The BBC's programmes and services in the UK and around the world
Monday 14 July 2014, 16:03
In the first of two posts Director of Public Policy James Heath sets out thinking around and ideas about some of the key public policy questions facing the BBC.
Wednesday 23 July 2014, 08:57
Digital technology is continuing to change the world of learning and nowhere is this more apparent than in the huge range of massive open online courses (MOOCS).This new breed of global online courses emerged from the United States and are proving to be hugely popular with platforms including Coursera and edX providing access to hundreds of courses to students across the world.
In BBC Learning, we have been following the progress of this revolution in online learning very closely and today we are revealing details of an exciting pilot project looking at opportunities for the BBC to work alongside UK universities as a content partner; I want to use this blog to tell you more.
I have been an online student myself and have loved the opportunity to dip into a huge range of world class learning in subjects as broad as the history of modern art, innovation in business, global cooperation and England in the time of Richard III. Online learning has given me the chance to experience amazing standards of teaching from the comfort of my home and to suit my schedule.
In the UK, Futurelearn has been working with a large number of universities to launch the first set of MOOCs originating...
Friday 18 July 2014, 15:58
After he spent a week on the About the BBC website, we thought it only polite that we pass the Round Up torch to BBC Trainee Sam Buckett.
The World Cup drew to a close on Sunday and brought to an end the most entertaining football tournament of my own recollection. As such, the come down this week has been fairly intense, but as they say “all good things must come to an end”.
The BBC covered every moment of the football fiesta from Brazil across television, radio, mobile and online- as a football fan it was near impossible to miss any of the action without perhaps falling asleep on a train, only to wake up and find Germany 5-0 up against the hosts before half time, as I did.
However, as with every World Cup there will be moments I’ll remember forever. Goals from James Rodriguez, Robin Van Persie and Tim Cahill set the world stage alight as did some of the performances of lesser known players and teams such as Costa Rica, Chile and Algeria.
Of course, with any World Cup the lasting image will be that of the winning captain holding the trophy aloft amongst his team mates. As Phillip Lahm did so, I thought about all the years of training and perfect practice that had led to...
Friday 18 July 2014, 12:20
On Saturday 19 July, a major new exhibition opens at The Lowry in Salford; Here’s One We Made Earlier is the biggest ever celebration of the heritage and continuing importance of BBC Children’s programmes.We all remember the programmes and characters that shaped our childhoods, many of those made by the BBC. Blue Peter to Muffin the Mule, Humpty and Big Ted to CBeebies Bedtime Stories. This exhibition will pull the nostalgic heartstrings of many visitors, and will be just as relevant to the children who visit as it will to their parents and grandparents.
One of my distant forebears as Head of BBC children’s programmes in the late 1940s, Mary Adams, expressed the ambition that children's television would one day offer:
"plays, how-to-series, storytelling, a collectors' corner, pets, travel, outside broadcasts from museums and factories, informational films, quizzes and encyclopaedia programmes".
The aim was to make children's television a 'service in miniature', replicating all of adult television's genres and formats for younger audiences.
And that’s what we still aim to do –if...
Friday 18 July 2014, 11:44
It’s a big week on BBC Red Button with build-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games as Glasgow gears up to host athletes from across the globe.
BBC hosts for Commonwealth Games 2014
Golf fans can press red to see extra coverage and highlights of The Open Championship as the action at Hoylake wraps up.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games kick off in Glasgow this week. Red Button is showing previews ahead of the opening ceremony, followed by coverage and highlights of sports such as cycling, boxing and table tennis when the event gets into full swing.
If Formula 1 is more your thing, we...
Thursday 17 July 2014, 21:06
All this week writer Kay Stonham's comedy Bad Salsa has been airing on BBC Radio 4. In addition to penning her script, Kay has written this post. We're a little sorry that circumstances beyond our control meant we couldn't post it earlier this week.
Ten years ago I started going to a salsa club. I was a single parent, loved to dance and wanted to get a bit of carefree fun into my life. I immediately fell in love with the world and realized it would make a great setting for a comedy drama.
At a salsa club you can mix with anyone; young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight, black, white, they’re...
Wednesday 16 July 2014, 15:50
Last year the team at the BBC that deals with all feedback from audience members, appropriately called Audience Services, embarked on a project to test out different ways of responding to audience questions. One year on, head of the department Sam Smith reports back on the experience and shares some of her findings.
In a keynote speech late last year Tony Hall, Director General, outlined his vision of the BBC’s relationship with its audience. He said that he wanted a “closer, warmer relationship with our audiences…” one where “people would think – not ‘the BBC’, but ‘my BBC, our...
Tuesday 15 July 2014, 08:44
In my last post, I argued that the value the BBC gives the British public and the creative sector is because of the licence fee and not despite it. But could there be a better funding model, or at least one that is more suited to the digital world? What about subscription? Or could a hybrid model of a core licence fee funded service with additional services funded on a subscription basis, deliver the best of both worlds? This post deals with both potential options in turn.
Subscription is not a new idea for funding the BBC. Nearly 30 years ago, the Peacock report favoured it as the best way to give...
Monday 14 July 2014, 16:03
This is the first post in a new series of BBC public policy blogs, which set out our thinking, discuss ideas, and stimulate debate on some of the key public policy questions facing the BBC.
Some argue that the licence fee is outdated and should be scrapped; others that it should stay but be distributed beyond the BBC. It's right that these issues are debated and that we engage with the counter-views.
What the BBC is for and how it should be funded are inextricably linked. I think there are four basic tests for the BBC's funding mechanism: universality and social value, great programmes at an affordable...
Friday 11 July 2014, 19:00
Big sporting tournaments are a sure fire way of inspiring patriotism. Few other activities unite nations and of all sports, football is the ultimate unifier. In 1996 football came home and England played host to the European Championships. I was in Nottingham, one of the host cities, for the summer of that year and vividly remember the buoyant mood across the city; everyone full of hopes and dreams. I watched a number of the games on a big-screen at a Nottingham nightclub. The atmosphere was fantastic, the beer flowed freely and the air was punched as England drew with Switzerland, beat Scotland...
Friday 11 July 2014, 15:54
When I joined the BBC back in 2005, I wanted to be on the radio. That was why I joined. The tutor on my radio production course in central London had said I'd be a natural just as I started writing on the tutor evaluation form. That anecdote kickstarted one or two ambitions.
It wasn't to be. I got distracted by online in my first role at the BBC and before I realised just how much time had passed, the boat for Radioland had departed without me. From time to time I see my radio production...