Subject guides

Journalism involves explaining the world around us - whether it’s politics, business, science or the EU. In this section of the BBC Academy website, some of the BBC’s most senior journalists offer insights, tips and advice on covering their subject areas. Video and text reports include former economics editor Robert Peston revealing what he thinks makes the best business journalism and ex-political editor Nick Robinson sharing a day in his life reporting Westminster politics.


UK politics

Understanding the UK’s political systems is vital to make sense of what’s happening and why it matters to your audience. Find out how the UK Parliament works, and hear ex-political editor Nick Robinson’s tips on the daily challenges of political journalism

Business and the economy

Since 2007, business and the economy have made all the headlines. In this section BBC journalists explain the appropriate use of language, Robert Peston gives his view, and Hugh Pym guides you through the forest of statistics

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel and the Palestinians is a complex and controversial topic. This guide aims to help journalists understand some of the background to the conflict, identify journalistic dangers and highlight the language they might choose to report it

European Union

The organisation, politics and finances of the EU have generated some of the most important stories of the past 50 years. Understanding the EU’s structures and powers, as well as the relationships between institutions and member states, is crucial


Devolution is a daily reality for millions of people. The BBC must be clear about whether stories apply to the whole of the UK or just parts of it. Find out how devolution has added to the complexity of covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland


Defence stories can be complex, with even the basics such as appropriate language posing challenges. Read guides to the Navy, Army, Air Force, Special Forces and intelligence services. There’s also an insight into embedded journalism


Attitudes to religion are influenced by understanding, so it’s important to be aware of the principles behind the world's religions. Some of the BBC’s leading commentators, including Nicholas Witchell and Sir Mark Tully, guide you through the basics


Journalists and scientists have different approaches to their tasks and how they communicate. So how do you inform audiences and give an accurate account? Hear from leading scientists including Sir Paul Nurse, Professor Colin Blakemore and Dr Philip Campbell


From live match commentary to editing the BBC Sport website, covering sport means knowing more than the rules of the game and players' names. Watch 5 Live's Alan Green’s advice to live match commentators and Mark Pougatch’s radio presenting tips