Wednesday 11 December 2013, 11:50
We are proud to announce the four short-listed entries for the College of Journalism’s second Student Innovation Award.
A cutting edge exploration of the possibilities of ‘drone journalism’, a powerful documentary project about ethnic tensions in Kosovo, a multimedia history of nuclear power, and a highly interactive piece of election coverage, stood out as much for the strength of their storytelling and originality as any technical innovation.
The four entries that will compete for the top award are:
Created with the New York Times's Pulitzer Prize-winning Snow Fall in mind, Jason uses video, stills and interactive content to trace the nuclear story from the dawn of the atomic age to the Fukushima disaster, asking what it all means for the UK’s nuclear future.
Tuesday 10 December 2013, 11:50
Do you know your Unmit from your Unitar? What’s the story behind the flag of French Polynesia or current life expectancy in Uzbekistan? The answers are all in the CIA World Factbook - an eclectic online resource which provides basic intelligence support to the US government (and the rest of us). No hacking required.
There’s information for 267 world entities, covering history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, the military and more. The Factbook is part of the library/publications section on the CIA’s website, and information is regularly updated, often weekly, from government agencies and sources.
All data and accompanying country images, for instance, are copyright-free. Just heed the health warning about reuse of the official CIA seal.
So whether you’re a journalist in need of an overview of the Philippines or a content producer wanting to confirm the national anthems of various countries, the Factbook is a surprisingly valuable resource. It’s also a good place to access more obscure information. You never know when you might need to find out which countries have airports with unpaved runways…
Each country profile provides information on...
Monday 9 December 2013, 12:17
Watching the Russian media has always had its fair share of bizarre and disturbing moments, but recently it has been like peering into a twilight zone of surreal paranoia. Cloak-and-dagger mysteries and arcane conspiracies are part and parcel of the Russian media scene.
The first story I covered when I became BBC Monitoring's Russian media analyst in 2009 was the abrupt sacking of a popular TV presenter who was a staunch supporter of Vladimir Putin. It involved a fake international media monitoring body, a bogus website and speculation that the journalist in question, Vladimir Solovyev, had offended the then president Dmitriy Medvedev.
In the years that followed, I regularly found myself writing about strange and at times very disturbing goings on: Putin's sensational and sometimes bizarre publicity stunts, smear campaigns and cyber attacks against Kremlin opponents, unsolved killings or beatings of anti-establishment journalists, and the myriad forms of state-inspired censorship.
Putin's return to the presidency in May 2012 ushered in even more off-the-wall media behaviour. Presenters on official TV channel Rossiya 1 became increasingly outspoken in venting their anti-Western and...
Thursday 5 December 2013, 10:07
It’s been a significant few weeks for local news and journalism in the UK. In Grimsby, Estuary TV became the first of a new wave of local TV stations to go on air. It will broadcast to more than 350,000 households in East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. In the next two years more than 50 stations are due to follow - the biggest expansion of local television for a generation.
On the regional press front, major changes are afoot. David Montgomery, the chief executive of Local World has outlined his radical vision on the future of local newspapers. He sees a world where sub-editors and editors...
Tuesday 3 December 2013, 12:15
'The couple leaving us is...' Or should that be 'are'? Deborah Meaden exits Strictly Come Dancing Coming up with a style guide is often about choices: where there are two (or more) ways of doing something, which one do you go for?
That's why when we launched the BBC News style guide on the College of Journalism website a few months ago I said style custodians were always in the right because they make decisions they expect colleagues to follow. But it's clear audiences do not always take the same view.
In recent weeks we've had a number of emails from people taking issue with our choices and...
Monday 2 December 2013, 11:59
The government of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced its intention to prosecute the former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf for suspending the constitution and putting the country under emergency rule. A three-member panel of judges has been constituted for this purpose.
In November 2007, General Musharraf promulgated a provisional constitutional order to stop a panel of Supreme Court judges from blocking his bid for re-election as a civilian president. Consequently, a large number of superior court judges were dismissed and put under house arrest. Sajid Iqbal, who was then...
Friday 29 November 2013, 14:59
The College of Journalism has launched another four international language websites: Burmese, Pashto, Swahili and Vietnamese.
As with all of our foreign language sites, they aim to put BBC Global News language services’ in-house style, standards and best practice on record - and, as part of BBC’s public purpose, share that resource with journalists around the world.
The new sites focus on three main areas: BBC values, language and journalistic skills. The skills category has advice on television, radio and online production, presentation, writing, social media and much more. A BBC values...
Wednesday 27 November 2013, 10:13
I have written before about the high levels of mobile phone penetration found across large parts of the Middle East, where some countries - including Saudi Arabia - have more than two active phones (or live SIM cards) for every person who lives there.
Even in many less affluent countries such as Egypt mobile penetration levels are above 100%. Now new data compiled by Statista (shown below), from the results of Google’s Our Mobile Planet survey, reports that in some Middle East countries smartphone penetration is rapidly approaching those numbers too.
This presents some interesting opportunities...
Tuesday 26 November 2013, 10:01
We rounded a corner and ran into a police roadblock. They were letting people through, but slowly. In the aftermath of Sardinia’s destructive Cyclone Cleopatra there had been a landslip to the right of the road which had washed some of the tarmac away.
The day before I’d been in the BBC Brussels bureau where I’m based listening to the advice from one of the College of Journalism’s trainers, Marc Settle - advice on how to get the best out of your iPhone.
So it was all fresh in my mind. I opened the camera, put it into video mode, tapped the screen to get it focused and exposed correctly...
Monday 25 November 2013, 11:54
In 2010, at the annual service of remembrance for journalists killed in the line of duty, the celebrated correspondent Marie Colvin eloquently explained the importance of on-the-ground eyewitness reporting from the world’s front lines. “Someone has to go there and see what is happening,” she said.
“You can’t get… information without going to places where people are being shot at, and others are shooting at you. The real difficulty is having enough faith in humanity to believe that enough people - be they government, military or the man on the street - will care when your file reaches...