BBC to double spending on journalism training

The BBC is to double spending on journalism training following
recommendations made in the Neil Report last summer.
 
The plans,
announced by Mark Byford, the BBC’s deputy director-general and chair
of the BBC’s Journalism Board, include a doubling of investment in
journalism training from £5 million to £10 million per annum by 2008,
the appointment of a director of journalism training, and the
development of a virtual College of Journalism providing interactive
learning modules, workshops and seminars.
 
Journalistic standards came under intense scrutiny during the Hutton
Inquiry, which closely examined Andrew Gilligan’s reporting of Dr David
Kelly’s claims about the “sexed up dossier” for the Today Programme.
 
Ron Neil’s report highlighted the need for training in dealing with
sources and allegations, live broadcasts and note-taking. The plans
represent a fundamental change in approach to training.
 
The new
programme moves away from the idea of a residential college and aims to
mirror innovative examples of journalism training in the United States.
It will take the form of flexible and interactive learning, seminars,
workshops and public events.
 
Mark Byford said: “This is an exciting and ambitious training
initiative which will, we hope, set a gold standard for broadcast
journalism training in the UK. “We want to offer our staff career-long
training and development to support them in their dealing with today’s
complex journalistic environment, to maintain high standards and
quality, and to support our aim to provide the best and most trusted
journalism in the world.”
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