Smart speaker BBC news for locked-down Leicester

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As part of a plan to offer local area updates from across the UK to smart speaker users, the BBC has expedited the launch of a news service into the East Midlands city of Leicester in both English and Gujarati languages, as the city enters a local lockdown following a rise in Coronavirus case numbers.

News bulletins from BBC Radio Leicester are now available on-demand on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices to anyone who asks for the “BBC Radio Leicester Update” or “BBC Radio Leicester Gujarati Update”.

Audiences who say this to their speaker will get the latest headlines, advice and public health information on the local lockdown, as well as stories of people in the community making a difference. The briefings will be made available through the day in both English and Gujarati, to serve Leicester’s large Gujarati-speaking community.

The service can be accessed by using the following commands:

  • “Alexa, play BBC Radio Leicester update”
  • “Alexa, play BBC Radio Leicester Gujarati update”

The move comes as part of an wider effort by the BBC to use smart assistants to offer new local-level services during the Coronavirus crisis. The aim is to bring trusted local news and information to audiences across the UK in a fast-moving situation, to counter confusion and misinformation.

“For all the changes elsewhere, lockdown isn’t being eased in Leicester, so people there have a uniquely urgent need for information they can trust,” notes Mukul Devichand, executive editor, BBC Voice + AI. “I’m proud that the BBC could move fast to use Voice Assistants to help them. I hope and believe this and other hyper-local services will carry on after the current crisis, because serving community-level need is a key part of our future vision for a British public media that uses AI well.”

“Connecting with our communities is a really important part of the local radio offer, so I am really pleased that we have been able to offer our listeners in Leicester the news in this way. I hope people in the city find it useful,” added Chris Burns, head of audio and digital for BBC England.

On-demand daily news bulletins are also now available from BBC Radio Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, London, Devon, CWR (Coventry and Warwickshire), as well as BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru in Welsh. The BBC is introducing these on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices to begin with, but is looking to introduce them on other assistant platforms and to enrich the service in the future.

Smart speaker BBC news for locked-down Leicester

As part of a plan to offer local area updates from across the UK to smart speaker users, the BBC has expedited the launch of a news service into the east midlands city of Leicester in both English and Gujarati languages, as the city enters a local lockdown following a rise in Coronavirus case numbers.

News bulletins from BBC Radio Leicester are now available on-demand on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices to anyone who asks for the “BBC Radio Leicester Update” or “BBC Radio Leicester Gujarati Update”.

Audiences who say this to their speaker will get the latest headlines, advice and public health information on the local lockdown, as well as stories of people in the community making a difference. The briefings will be made available through the day in both English and Gujarati, to serve Leicester’s large Gujarati-speaking community.

The service can be accessed by using the following commands:

  • “Alexa, play BBC Radio Leicester update”
  • “Alexa, play BBC Radio Leicester Gujarati update”

The move comes as part of an wider effort by the BBC to use smart assistants to offer new local-level services during the Coronavirus crisis. The aim is to bring trusted local news and information to audiences across the UK in a fast-moving situation, to counter confusion and misinformation.

“For all the changes elsewhere, lockdown isn’t being eased in Leicester, so people there have a uniquely urgent need for information they can trust,” notes Mukul Devichand, executive editor, BBC Voice + AI. “I’m proud that the BBC could move fast to use Voice Assistants to help them. I hope and believe this and other hyper-local services will carry on after the current crisis, because serving community-level need is a key part of our future vision for a British public media that uses AI well.”

“Connecting with our communities is a really important part of the local radio offer, so I am really pleased that we have been able to offer our listeners in Leicester the news in this way. I hope people in the city find it useful,” added Chris Burns, head of audio and digital for BBC England.

On-demand daily news bulletins are also now available from BBC Radio Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, London, Devon, CWR (Coventry and Warwickshire), as well as BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru in Welsh. The BBC is introducing these on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices to begin with, but is looking to introduce them on other assistant platforms and to enrich the service in the future.


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