World Conference 2022

Recordings Vol.8

World Conference 2022

The FIAT/IFTA World Conference 2022 was held in Cape Town, South Africa. It was FIAT/IFTA’s first conference in the African continent and the organisation’s first in-person event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To celebrate a World Conference to remember, we will be publishing recordings from a curated selection of the sessions from Cape Town. New videos will be available every Friday until the start of the FIAT/IFTA World Conference 2023.

This week’s presentations were given by Bríd Dooley from RTÉ, titled “Digital Transformation in Broadcast Archives: Marrying theory and practice – the journey so far”, and Amy McGarrigle & Gary Milne from BBC, titled “Audiences, Algorithms and Archive: The challenges of curating the BBC’s Archive social channels”.

Digital Transformation in Broadcast Archives: Marrying theory and practice – the journey so far.

by Bríd Dooley


Digital Transformation in Broadcast Archives: Marrying theory and practice - the journey so far

Digital Transformation is the buzzword of every business and sector today as they seek to adapt to and seize the huge opportunities of the digital connected era, to not only survive but thrive. While digital technologies are the driving force of this change,  digital transformation of a broadcast archive from its traditional business model is much more than the sum of the technologies and their application. It is about whole new way of working and thinking about the business of archives, identifying, and applying the appropriate technologies and processes which involves a whole of organsation approach including collaborative working,  continuous review and evaluation, innovation, and change aligned to a clear vision and purpose.

RTÉ Archives began with a business case developed and honed over years to seek the funding and support necessary to create and build a digital archive with the mission of both preserving the past, safeguarding the future, and providing better access and services for all stakeholders through digital services.  Building on this mission, the RTÉ Archives is now firmly on a programme of change.  Marrying Theory and practice in digital transformation will chart the digital transformation journey so far,  our approach through collaborative working, learning and a business strategy to develop and build a continually evolving digital archive service that can grow and thrive.

Bríd Dooley, Head of Archives

Bríd Dooley is Head of Archives for RTÉ, Ireland’s national public service media organisation, with a career spanning over 30 years in both the UK and Ireland, as well as being an active member of a number of professional international association networks.

As Department Head, she is currently focused on the development of the digital archive as part of RTÉ’s overall digital transformation strategy, ensuring the long-term preservation of all legacy, current and future digital collections which span over nine decades of continuous broadcasting history.

She is actively committed to growing the value and use of the archives for all stakeholders, including the application of new technologies across the archival services, providing public access via curated publications on and engaging in a range of partnership activities with cultural institutions and organisations.

Audiences, Algorithms and Archive: The challenges of curating the BBC’s Archive social channels

by Amy McGarrigle & Gary Milne


Audiences, Algorithms and Archive: The challenges of curating the BBC’s Archive social channels

The BBC has been resurfacing archive via social media since 2015. In that time, the digital landscape has evolved, with expectations from audiences, platforms and society shifting constantly. Our approach to curation has been forced to adapt, as we learned from the successes, and occasional mis-steps, on our accounts.

In this presentation we will highlight some achievements and discuss what we think those have taught us about online audience engagement with archive. But we also feel we have lots to still understand and we will discuss some of the challenges we face, and how we approach those.

We will debate the changing audience attitudes and how content that was deemed appropriate for social at one time, can be problematic in a changing societal context. Archive is not immune to ‘cancel culture’ and current political sensitivities. It’s always a careful balancing act but the insights gained from the vocal engagement can be useful.

Using third party platforms to surface archive leaves us at the mercy of their algorithmic priorities. Just as important are the considerations around giving external companies access to our content. Our archive YouTube Channel has raised questions around the value of meeting audiences where they are versus driving them to the BBC estate. And what to do when some of your biggest viral hits get ripped? The risks of poor reaction from fans have the potential to negate any positive engagement.

The ever-changing digital and social landscape means one can never fully master the social media beast. We are currently debating accessibility and diversity challenges, and the perennial conundrum of how to reflect UK audiences using an archive that may not have been fully reflective of society in the past. In this presentation we will discuss how a small team attempts to rise to the challenges, we will share some of our learnings and we will encourage sharing of others’ experiences in the Q&A.

Amy McGarrigle, Development Producer for BBC Archive Content and Partnerships, & Gary Milne, Assistant Producer for BBC Archive Content and Partnerships

Amy McGarrigle is an award-winning Producer with experience across digital and radio output for the BBC. She currently leads the team that has grown the hugely popular BBC Archive social channels and has also worked on archive projects involving VR, audio and interactive digital products.

Gary Milne is an Assistant Producer on the BBC Archive Content & Partnerships after previously having worked in the archives at STV. He has worked on archive-led short-form videos across the BBC site for News, Sport and BBC Ideas and currently helps curate content for BBC Archive’s successful Social Media feeds. He also worked on the Berlin Blitz VR project which used a 1943 radio broadcast as the basis for an immersive VR experience which has been well received at the Edinburgh Festival and at South By Southwest as well as reaching a massive audience worldwide. He recently produced a number of archive focused radio programmes and podcasts for BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4.