College of Journalism
is head of statistics for BBC News
It’s three o’clock in the morning and you’re doing the night shift for a breakfast programme. Suddenly a survey with a beguiling top line lands in your inbox. Can you run it? Here’s a handy list of questions to ask yourself:
Where has it come from?
Specifically, who paid for the research and who conducted it? Are you comfortable with letting this organisation influence your news agenda?
It is not necessarily unacceptable to have research commissioned by a travel agent suggesting that people think going on holiday is the most important thing in the world, but it should set alarm bells ringing and make you all the more careful about the remaining questions. Similarly, if the research has been conducted by an organisation that you’ve heard of - perhaps one that you recognise from pre-election opinion polls - that should increase your confidence but does not mean the research can be automatically trusted.
What questions does it ask?
Think about what answers you would give to…
is a BBC internet research specialist
When Facebook launched its Graph search engine, I glibly described it as “the most privacy-invasive thing since the invention of the window”.
A little harsh? Actually it was a reflection of my amazement at its new-found efficacy. I was impressed.
Facebook previously only allowed us to filter our people searches by employment, schooling and town. With the launch of Graph we could suddenly search by religion, political views and sexuality.
We could find hidden links between people by exploring their mutual friends. We could find images tagged with someone’s name, photos they’ve liked and the comments posted. We could search by profession, places visited, and, perhaps most revealingly of all, we could search for pages on which they’ve clicked ‘like’.
All of these factors (and more) could be combined and articulated into sophisticated searches that scanned Facebook’s 1.35 billion member database and its enormous roster of communities - providing people, facts and…
leads on future talent for World Service Languages
There’s a brand new work experience scheme about to start in World Service Languages. It’s called Future Voices and the aim is to get people in the UK who speak and write two languages fluently through the doors of BBC News to find out what it’s like to work here. We’re searching for the bilingual talent of the future.
Bilingual reporting is well established in BBC News, with World Service Languages having led the way. There are currently around 40bilingual correspondents working all over the world, some of whom are becoming as familiar to UK audiences as they are to our international ones. Reporters like BBC Africa correspondent Tomi Oladipo (pictured reporting from Nigeria), Anne Soy in Nairobi or BBC Arabic’s Rami Ruhayem report adeptly and perceptively in English and another language, telling the same story but adapting it in terms of relevance, context and understanding for each audience.
Now we’re looking for talented, enthusiastic people who are passionate about reporting…
is currently editing the College of Journalism blog
Trinity Mirror data journalism chief David Ottewell has a yardstick for embarking on a substantial piece of data crunching: “Can we get a front-page splash out of this?”
He should know. He and his small specialist regional team have had plenty. Their popular interactive guide to the performance of every GP surgery in the UK - extrapolated from the GP patient survey - is just one of the…
is a BBC News specialist in FOI and executive producer in BBC Political Programmes
BBC correspondent Branwen Jeffreys reporting on A&E delays
In the decade since the Freedom of Information Act was passed, the BBC is just one media organisation that has used FOI to unearth hundreds of stories. In this edited excerpt from a new book, FOI Ten Years on: Freedom Fighting or Lazy Journalism?, BBC specialist Martin Rosenbaum looks back on the scoops, the hurdles and hard lessons learned:
Stories obtained by the BBC using FOI since 2005…
is a multimedia journalist at IRPI @aisselax
As Japan imposes new laws that threaten to restrict the freedom of the press, some Japanese reporters and activists are seeking new ways to conduct investigative journalism.
At the end of November the city of Manila hosted Uncovering Asia, the first investigative journalism conference to be held on the continent. Organised by the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), it was a…
is co-founder/director, Eyewitness Media Hub @samdubberley
Damage to Dublin airport plane, tweeted by Emily Carroll @EmzCarr
It’s no revelation that eyewitness media - video and pictures captured by those who happen to be at the scene of events - is now a mainstay of breaking news.
We saw it in its starkest, most immediate, most visceral on 7 January when many of us unwittingly clicked and watched the final moments of Ahmed Merabet, the first police officer at the scene of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris,…
is BBC chief business correspondent @lindayueh
Linda Yueh reporting from Manila for Talking Business
In the first of a series of posts on what it takes to be a specialist reporter or correspondent, Linda Yueh says perseverance is as important as expert knowledge in staying ahead of the field:
How do you keep across your patch year-round, get scoops in a crowded market, give yourself an original edge, set as well as follow the agenda?
The answer is it’s not easy. In terms of my beat,…
is currently editing the College of Journalism blog
The fast-moving sequence of events that unfolded after the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices called for a succession of fine judgements from the BBC News social media team. I asked assistant editor, social news Mark Frankel about the particular challenges the Paris story had thrown up and what, if anything, he and his team had learned from the coverage:
Lots of big breaking stories are…
is the international director of the Centre for Freedom of the Media and vice president of the Association of European Journalists
President Hollande of France called them "heroes" because they championed freedom. Fellow journalists and great crowds of citizens across Europe came out to pay tribute to the Charlie Hebdo journalists whose work cost them their lives. It has been an impressive first public response.
Has journalism got more dangerous? Yes, certainly, in that the jihadis in Europe, as well as the Middle…