BBC Interactive News
In April 2019 the BBC launched its first ever voice-controlled Interactive News service in India to cover the biggest elections in the world. This special coverage is available on Google Assistant and allows the audience to navigate through the audio according to their interest: users can say ‘next’ or ‘back’ to move between stories, or ‘more’ to explore a story further. See video demo here:

With 900 million eligible voters and thousands of candidates, elections are a particularly noisy time in India. The BBC has combined modern innovations in storytelling with its trademark journalistic rigour to cut through the noise and help voters make informed decisions. We provide our audience with two news briefings a day brimming with bonus content, including exclusive interviews and expert analysis.

Our India service is a specific and time limited experiment around the election. We have also run offline tests around what a broader, English language service might be like. The aim has been to look at how to take advantage of the many opportunities for interaction with users, generating a playlist of news content that can be adapted to fit around a user’s particular needs and interests. But at the same time - with an eye on the challenges facing other forms of digital news - we have been thinking about trusted, impartial and accurate BBC News maintaining a cogent way to inform the public.

The launch of this product is the first ground breaking step of an exciting journey for the BBC, securing the corporation’s place as a leading producer of cutting edge voice experiences worldwide.