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The BBC Academy and College of Journalism

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Anne Morrison Anne Morrison | 14:36 UK time, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

cojo.jpgIn becoming Director of the BBC Academy, as well as bringing together all of training and development at the BBC for the first time (my first and most obvious task), I've been determined to use the creation of the Academy to raise our ambitions for training within the BBC and to be much more explicit and proactive about our role in training the industry. The announcements we have made this week indicate a willingness to look outwards and understand the skills gaps in the industry.

It is part of our public service mission to work with partners to foster a skilled, modern workforce, able to circulate through the industry. We are doing this against a background of many companies and broadcasters, under commercial pressure, cutting back on investment in training. What we can do, within the limits of fair trading, is to share some of the fantastic resources we have for the benefit of the wider industry by working in partnership with other broadcasters and institutions on areas of shared interest.

As change in the media world accelerates, training becomes ever more important. The Academy brings together centres of expertise in Journalism, Production, Leadership and Technology training to create a world-class development resource for our staff. However, with an increasingly mobile workforce it is in our interest that we should help support training outside the organisation as well as inside. In other words, our new initiatives are not inspired by charity but by enlightened self-interest!

The BBC College of Journalism website is a tremendous learning resource, with masterclasses from leading BBC journalists such as Evan Davis, John Humphrys, Robert Peston, Jenni Murray and Jeremy Vine, as well as craft skills, ethics and values, videos, audio files and interactive modules. We have now made it freely available to everyone in the UK and in the New Year it will be available by subscription abroad.

We are joining forces with Channel 4 to create the Diversity 2010 programme, which aims to increase understanding of diversity in the workplace and embed it in our future leadership. We are also collaborating with ITV to improve employability in the media industry for people with disabilities. By sharing best practice and enabling two-way placements, ITV will further develop its Enabling Talent disability programme and the BBC its award-winning Extend scheme.

With other partners we've developed a very successful model for Multiplatform Foundation training which we're rolling out within the BBC currently. Now, the Academy will share that model with other broadcasters and organisations including PACT, BECTU, and the Indie Training Fund. Finally, we will be delivering ideas development and pitching workshops for independent and in-house producers outside London to share best practice and help increase the number of commissions from the UK nations. The workshop was piloted successfully in Belfast and will be held in Cardiff and Glasgow in the New Year.

These new initiatives add to existing BBC schemes to train freelance talent and represent just the beginning - and we are confident there'll be many more initiatives to come as the Academy fulfils its potential. It's a very exciting journey we've all embarked on and the ambitions we have won't be achieved overnight, but I passionately believe in the importance of investing in the future talent of our industry.


  • Comment number 1.

    Is it possible to subscribe to the BBC Academy and College Masterclasses as a foreigner? Best regards and hopes for that from Chresten (Denmark)

  • Comment number 2.

    If the BBC is thinking of training journalists from other media outlets I think this will be a sinister move in the light of the BBC’s infamous Left and Liberal output.

    Do they want other media outlets to follow the same BBC style and flavour of politics? Are they going to teach journalists how to tilt a story in this or that direction by using subtle innuendos or quiet omissions? Are they to be told to concentrate on obtaining the views of Liberal and Left quangos such as Greenpeace, the EU or the UN at the expense of views from elected representatives? Are they to be told to campaign for environmental issues as the BBC does?

    The BBC has recently offered free video feeds. They now want to provide instruction to other journalists. If you have too much money, why not give some back instead of:

    (i) eroding the rest of the industry and

    (ii) attempting to build it back up again in the BBC’s own image.

    We already have politicians who are identikit copies of each other as the BBC increasingly shepherds them to its own point of view. Will the BBC now to coach the rest of the industry in the same dark arts thus further reducing voter choice and increasing apathy?

    I hope the next government, whatever its make up, will have the guts to simply tell the BBC to live with much less money and let the rest of the industry breathe again.

    We need the facts and the truth from journalism. If a media outlet is supposed to be impartial than let us ensure that it is. If that means sacking most of the senior management in BBC news then so be it.

    Those other media organisations and journalists who do not have a responsibility to be impartial should be allowed to be as diverse as they wish as this will bring collective impartiality. The last thing we should be doing is pressing bad practice onto other organisations and journalists and getting the worst of all worlds.

    The damage being done to our society by the BBC is a terrible. To export this to other journalists would be a tragedy.

  • Comment number 3.

    #2, good rant!

    Funny, the Left always accuse the BBC of having a right wing bias, the Right always accuse the BBC of having a left (of centre) bias, whilst the centre always accuse the BBC of having either a left or right bias depending of what side of the fence the complainant is sitting...

  • Comment number 4.

    First, congratulations. My name is Antonio Brasil and I am a professor of journalism and director of the TV Lab at Rio de Janeiro State University. We are the first Brazilian online University TV [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] and our main objective is to train Brazilian journalism students in TV journalism with live transmissions via Internet. I would like to have more information about how to become one of your international partners and how to acess the BBC College of Journalism from Brazil.
    Prof. Dr. Antonio Brasil
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 5.

    #3 Boilerplated. Nice to see you made it hear. I feel I have trespassed into the teacher’s common room.

    You know, the BBC used to use that as a defence – equal criticism from both Left and Right with both wrongs making a right (or my opinion, a Left).

    However, they have quietly dropped this claim in recent years. It may be because they have no way of proving it (how could they?). Or it could be that the perception at the BBC is the complaints are more numerous from the Right than the Left.

    By the way, for those who don’t tow the BBC party line, there is an alternative College of Journalism (a bit out of date, though), here. This is where the kids who smoke around the back of the bike shed go...

  • Comment number 6.

    #5. At 11:40am on 18 Dec 2009, KennethM wrote:

    "It may be because they have no way of proving it (how could they?)."

    What tosh you utter, all one has to do is read the BBC blogs to prove it, people are always making political rants (be they left or right) at the BBC and at the BBC's expense quite literally (using their servers and bandwidth etc.).

    Oh, and thanks for the URL, a real laugh per electron there, sorry to say but, who ever uploaded that joke-site wouldn't know impartial journalism if it hit them between the eyes! :-(

  • Comment number 7.

    #6 Boilerplated

    Unfortunately you missed my point. I used the phrase ‘equal criticism from both Left and Right’. This is what they cannot prove; unless you have managed to find a way to calibrate to what degree a criticism is from the Left or from the Right. If you have then please enlighten us.

    I suggest you read comments more thoroughly before adding your own.

  • Comment number 8.

    #7. At 2:25pm on 21 Dec 2009, KennethM wrote:

    "Unfortunately you missed my point."

    Sorry but it is you who have totally missed my point, so please take your own advise.

    Only those who want the BBC to be biased think that the BBC is being biased, everyone else can see that the BBC is being neutral and unbiased.

    If you think that the BBC is being unbiased - equal coverage of all political opinion - why try and suggest that, and here I will quote from your original comment, "I think this will be a sinister move in the light of the BBC’s infamous Left and Liberal output"?...

  • Comment number 9.

    I am interested in gain access to this website too
    How can I subscribe to the BBC Academic and College of Journalism


  • Comment number 10.

    How can I gain access to the website?Thanks in advance.

  • Comment number 11.

    Re comments #9 and #10, perhaps you need to read the blog, the link is contained within but just for the both of you (and anyone else...);


  • Comment number 12.

    Judging by the grammar/spelling ("tow the BBC party line", "The damage being done....is a terrible", "take your own advise") shown here (though not hear) the sooner some people get access to the BBC Academy the better. The BBC is recognised around the world as a leader in journalism and broadcast values. If you want to see unashamed political leaning try watching Fox News. Good journalists will learn what they can from any placement and adapt it to their new role. Remember Ross Kemp wasn't always a BAFTA winning reporter.

  • Comment number 13.

    How can I access the site? I've signed in but but it keeps asking my password. What do I have to do?

  • Comment number 14.

    I am not sure why you can't access the site.
    Have you ever been a member of The Communist Party?

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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