Friday 5 June 2009, 11:26
PM (RSS). If there's a natural blogger at the BBC it's Eddie Mair. He's comfortable with the informal tone and uneven pace of a blog. When journalists start blogging they'll often try to impose the kind of structure you get on a newspaper page or in a radio programme - with a predictable rhythm, thematic consistency and all that. Not on the PM blog. Here you'll find tiny, two-line updates, long photo-essays (like this one from Hugh Sykes), prompts for listener involvement and pithy two-paragraph entries spun-off from items on the programme. It's bright and often funny and has the feel of a newsroom (and there are kittens).
Robin Lustig/World Tonight (RSS). This is a hidden gem, not part of the BBC news mainstream but really good, regularly updated analysis from international veteran and World Tonight presenter Robin Lustig. Bookmark the blog or subscribe for several posts per week on topics like India's elections, Italy's lessons for British legislators and the Czech ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. I don't think there can be a more varied mix of clever international insight anywhere. This is my favourite Radio 4 blog.
Justin Webb's America (RSS). I'm stretching it a bit here. Credit where it's due: Webb's blog is from BBC News but I'm cheekily claiming its author for Radio 4 because of his regular appearances on the network and because he's joining Today in September. So sue me. What I like best about it is Webb's tone of voice - it's sufficiently different from his on-air manner to make this a really useful addendum to his other US coverage. Conversational and dry - mini-insights, not heavyweight analysis. Proper blogging from a news pro.
dot.life (RSS). I couldn't miss this one out. Rory Cellan-Jones isn't the only contributor to the technology blog from BBC News (Darren Waters is also a regular) but he is 'one of ours'. He makes regular appearances on Today and PM and he must be the most prolific blogger the network has (15 posts in May). Rory has moved from covering business to technology and by making clever use of the social media tech he covers (he's a big twitterer) he's become the BBC's 'go to' guy for digital and online. So the blog feels really up-to-date and responsive to change.
Honourable mentions: Tom Feilden's science blog (RSS) (one of the three Today blogs) complements his on-air stories usefully. PM sister programme iPM has a blog (RSS). It's a friendly place, animated by its users as much as its authors. Mark Urban, another voice familiar to Radio 4 listeners, has an excellent Newsnight blog (RSS) about world conflict.
Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog
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Thursday 4 June 2009, 15:53
Tuesday 9 June 2009, 09:04