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Teenage guest blogger

Robin Bulloch | 14:50 UK time, Thursday, 28 February 2008

I'm Robin Bulloch and I edit the Victoria Derbyshire programme, which goes out on Radio 5 Live each weekday between 0900 and 1200. 5 Live's got a uniquely close relationship with its audience and our programme is at the heart of that.

Radio Five Live logoWe talk to people in the news, be they nurses, students, teachers, victims of crime, teenagers - whatever. Listeners know they can contact us all the time through calls, texts and e-mails and that their voices will be heard. They can react to whatever we're talking about on the programme and share their opinions and experiences. This not only creates some great radio but also informs our editorial decisions and helps set the agenda for 5 Live every day.

Victoria's blog, which is steadily increasing its readership, has become an important new way of reaching the audience. Victoria's really committed to it and writes something new every day. The aim is to give the audience something more than they'll get by listening to the programme.

Sometimes Victoria gives an insight into what goes on behind the scenes, how we choose subjects and decide which guests to have on. Sometimes she'll share her own experiences, relevant to a topic we're discussing on air. It can be very personal and judging by the comments listeners post on the blog, they appreciate that. It's about direct contact.

This week we've asked a guest blogger to write about his life. Georgie, who's 18, is one of the teenagers we've invited to help produce Friday's programme, fulfilling a promise Victoria made on air during a discussion about anti-social behaviour when some listeners made the point that the media only ever seems to portray young people in a bad light.

We gave Georgie a pretty free rein to write about whatever he wanted, but we did give him guidelines to make sure his blog stayed within BBC editorial guidelines, didn't expose him to any kind of danger and didn't put us at risk of legal action.

Georgie has written candidly on the blog about struggling with anorexia, losing his father, being bullied at school, being gay and trying to find a job. The results have been revealing and have provoked a varied and interesting response from the audience. We aim to repeat the exercise with more featured bloggers in the coming weeks and months.


  • 1.
  • At 05:58 PM on 28 Feb 2008,
  • Bedd Gelert wrote:

This sounds like a good way of connecting with the 'yoof', and a whole lot better than that silly nonsense of branding yourself as 'Slive'..

  • 2.
  • At 03:38 PM on 29 Feb 2008,
  • Drew Buddie wrote:

My 12 year old son has had a few blogs over the past 2-3 years and gets a great thrill from doing so. Is there any way for him to be able to have a 'go' at being a guest blogger for someone on the BBC?

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