There’s a saying, “no news is good news”. But, for a growing number of advertisers these days, it seems “bad news is bad news”.

And there is a lot of bad news to go around, with troubled political climates around the world.

That bothers the executive who runs what is often considered to be one of the most trusted news organizations in the world.

“We are concerned that some advertisers are talking about the blacklisting of news as a content category,” says Jim Egan, the CEO of BBC Global News.

BBC Global News can run advertising, unlike its license-fee funded UK parent. So Egan was at this week’s NewFronts, the event at which digital publishers tout their upcoming content roster to ad buyers.

But Egan admits to being worried. Over the last year, several news or so-called news sites have found their way on to the blacklists which some ad buyers and platforms use. Some media agency executives told Digiday they had blocked hundreds of news sites.

“I understand that response,” he says. “But on the other hand, I do think that news does have enormous value both commercially and socially as well.

“It’s important that people think about the consequences of decisions such as blacklisting of news. Because, we would argue, not all news sites are the same. Some are very, very careful and deliberate about both the editorial content, and also the commercial content, and are worth advertising with.”

Whilst advertising funding for news may be a dirty concept to the BBC in the UK, elsewhere Egan says, it is fundamental.

“The work that we do with advertisers allows proper journalists to keep doing their jobs,” he adds.

BBC Global News’ NewFronts announcements included:

  • BBC Reel: A new video strand curating BBC video content with themed playlists and mini-seasons, plus user-created playlists.
  • BBC Music: The service is opening up to the rest of the world, bringing performances from the Live Lounge plus music news and festival coverage.
  • The World’s Kitchen: an augmented reality app in which chefs teach users recipes.
  • World of Wonder: 360-degree VR video allowing users to navigate natural wonders and historic places with BBC News reporters.
  • WorkLife: The BBC is refocusing Capital, its work section for young professionals to include lifestyle elements.
  • 100 Women: BBC News’ annual examination of the role of women arond the world is returning.

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Digital Content NewFronts 2018.  The series a co-presentation of Beet.TV and the IAB.   Please see additional videos from the series on this page.