The Reporters of the BBC Website
THE GREEN BOX
In late 2002 the BBC News website underwent a subtle redesign. Nothing radical was changed – only some headings and the positions of a few logos. During this period, however, the BBC also started to introduce a new element into its pages – a few journalists started to appear as thumbnail portraits.
This tactic has been common in print media for some time – the inclusion of a small picture of the author to locate the text within the experience and opinion of a real human being. However, their function in a website differs from their function in the colour supplement of a magazine – they partake of the fluidity of the medium, their pictorial information starts to merge with the image of the news to be conveyed.
The originally very small images are built out of a CLUT (Colour Look-Up Table) consisting of exactly 122 single colours. For the book, the images from the Internet have been enlarged by 600%. This reduces their colour range, so that the pictures look pixelated, giving the impression of a digital source in the book itself, even once transferred to print.
Nick Crowe has been dealing with mechanisms of information transfer in the Internet for many years. The Reporters of the BBC Web Site is a further investigation of these medial strategies.