Monday, 16 November 2009

Emerging into the light

It now looks pretty certain that December 14th will be the day the BBC College of Journalism goes truly global with the launch of its new website on - free to UK users, under subscription overseas.
It's been a pretty frustrating couple of months - not with the build of the site; that's been going rather well thanks to the patience and expertise of Web Manager Jon Jacob. There's one niggly little techie thing to finish and then we're there.
No, the frustration has been around the prep work - writing, editing, blogging - to build the content, knowing that no-one outside the BBC can see it yet.
Vital though that constituency is for us - our mantra is 'BBC learning for BBC journalists by BBC journalists' - it has meant that a lot of our discussions on the site have had a dimension missing; journalists and audiences outside the BBC.
Anyhow, here's another sneak preview of the homepage:
A large part of that front page is, as you can see, feeds of various kinds.
We're using, for example, to share blogs and articles that have some learning for journalists in them.
Some of you will be familiar with the College on Twitter - once we're fully public, we'll be able to link from our tweets to our content and blogs ... not being able to do that, for fear of annoying the hell out of non-BBC followers, has felt very restrictive for the last few months.
But there are also links to the content - liking the carousel top centre? And there's a lot of content inside.
About 2,500 pages at the last count. And something like a couple of hundred videos. And dozens of 'virtual newsroom' scenarios ... and quizzes ... and tests. And. And. And.
It's all arranged into four main categories: Ethics and Values, Law, Skills and Briefing. There's also a cross-category bit of the site - the Glossaries.
We've tried to keep the structure as flat as possible - the idea is that you should be able to go exactly where you want with no more than a couple of clicks ... something that's helped by the site's 'intelligent learning environment' - each page's metadata should ensure that you're offered on that page something else similar or related to the learning you're reading or watching.
We'll be adding new content regularly - there's already more stuff in the pipeline on court reporting, numbers, field production and political reporting - and building what we hope will be one of the most important networks around journalism and journalism education in the world.
We'll see.


Ryan Morrison said...

This is a fantastic resource that I've been grateful for on my occasions and has improved my journalism and writing skills considerably.

And will hopefully now provide an equally valuable resource (and possible insight into the workings of a BBC Journalist) for the bloggers and journalists of the UK and world.

Well done to the team.

Charlotte said...
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Charlotte Barry said...

This will prove very useful for journalism trainers and trainees in higher education. And opportunities for collaboration too.