The BBC Academy Podcast

By BBC Radio


Essential listening for the broadcast production, journalism and technology communities. Practical advice on all aspects of TV, radio, journalism.


Data Journalism: More important than ever?

In an era where fake news is fashionable, data can help distinguish the facts from the fiction. But how do you interrogate a spreadsheet and hold the data to account? And how can journalists use data to find stories? The BBC has placed the "interrogation of data" at the heart of its annual plan for 2017/18 and subsequent three-year strategy. Around 12 new staff are being recruited, including data journalists, data scientists, developers, designers, a cartographer, and a first head of statistics who will start in August 2017. Data is clearly becoming an increasingly important storytelling tool. But is data journalism new? And is it a specialist skill or can anyone do it? In this podcast you will learn: - the skills you need to be a data journalist - what makes a good data story - if you need to know how to code or be good at maths to create stories - how 'scripting' can be useful when working with data - how long it takes to learn the spreadsheet skills you need to work on data stories - how quickly you can go from idea to publication "I really hope that sometime in the future we drop the term 'data journalism' because it's just journalism" – Helena Bengtsson Presenter Daniel Wainwright of the BBC England Data Unit is joined by BBC data journalism editor John Walton, Guardian data projects team editor Helena Bengtsson and Paul Bradshaw who leads the new MA in Data Journalism at Birmingham City University. Find out more about BBC Academy: Website – Facebook – Twitter –


VR and 360 video: The path to popularity

Virtual reality (VR) and 360 video are the new cool kids on the media block but how will this impact media organisations? Over the past couple of years, projects have been produced on a wide range of subjects, such as Notes on blindness, The Arctic and even one filmed from the International Space Station. The BBC has produced its own VR content too. There's no doubt that VR and 360 both give the user something extra, taking them somewhere they couldn’t go in real life and providing an 'experience' rather than just something to watch. So how should media organisations approach the challenge in terms of creativity, production and distribution? "You have to be prepared to hand over control to your viewers which has implications for how we report on TV."– Zillah Watson In this podcast you will learn: - the difference between VR and 360 video - how broadcasters are currently using VR and 360 - how other industries are using VR and 360 - what's augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) - will there be a killer app? Zillah Watson, from BBC Research & Development, is an editor who’s been responsible for a number of VR projects at the BBC. She wrote a recent report for the Reuters Institute on VR and 360 in news organisations. Si Lumb is a senior product manager for BBC’s Research & Development Future Experiences team. Rebecca Gregory-Clarke is the lead technologist for immersive technology at Digital Catapult, a government-backed agency that promotes technological development in the UK. Find out more about BBC Academy: Website – Facebook – Twitter –


Following your audience on 'dark social'

Billions of people are using chat apps. Can brand owners and broadcasters make themselves part of these private conversations? And should they? The BBC World Service, the Weather Company USA and youth-led creative network Livity have been exploring ways to engage with these hard-to-reach audiences. This podcast explores how organisations are using short animated images such as gifs as well as chatbots - computer programmes which simulate conversations with humans - to become part of the conversation in private spaces. Communications on these text, email or instant messaging apps is referred to as 'dark social' because, unlike a Facebook share or a retweet, it’s harder for brands and broadcasters to see what’s going on ‘in the dark’. In this podcast you'll learn: • how big-name brands are using ‘dark social’ to promote themselves • what the Weather Channel learnt from audience interactions with its chatbot • about the insight the BBC World Service gained from its first attempt to deliver original journalism via a chat app This podcast is presented by Charles Miller, editor of the BBC Academy blog. He's joined by BBC World Service assistant editor Vladimir Hernandez, series-producer of Young, Angry and Connected, a story of political activism in Africa and the BBC's first WhatsApp journalism project. Also on the panel are Alan Bryant, a planner and strategist at Livity, which helps organisations reach young people, and Domenic Venuto, general manager of consumer products at the Weather Company in the US. Find out more about BBC Academy: Website – Facebook – Twitter –


Live social video

Live social video is everywhere right now. You can’t move these days on social media sites without seeing your followers 'going live' from somewhere - no matter how mundane the subject matter. Broadcasters and brands are getting involved too, with reporters pressing the live button at scenes of breaking news, including the Brussels bombing earlier this year and the Soho vigil in response to the Orlando nightclub shooting. It’s not just serious stories which are popular. Who remembers LadBible’s last lolly standing or Buzzfeed’s exploding watermelon? These days it seems nobody wants to wait for anything. These apps offer a sense of immediacy: watch the news as it happens. In this podcast we find out: What you need to think about before pressing 'go live'. - How you can use 'lives' to drive new stories and content. - Tips and advice on running a successful live broadcast with your smartphone - How best to engage with your audience during the transmission. Sarah Brown is the strategic partnership manager at Facebook. She is a writer, producer and editor with 15 years experience in international journalism and communications, specialising in digital media and with a passion for world news and current events. Andy Dangerfield a social media editor for News at Buzz Feed UK with more than 10 years experience reporting, feature writing and broadcasting. Since joining BuzzFeed News at the start of this year, Andy has been at the forefront of delivering BuzzFeed’s news and political coverage on new platforms. Mark Frankel is the social media editor for BBC News. He has a background in journalism and currently is helping to shape and deliver a 24/7 breaking news operation for the BBC across branded social media accounts.

The BBC Academy Podcast Podcast


Episode one: What makes a p...


In the first of a five-part series on podcasting, Miranda explains: - what makes podcasts distinct from radio programmes - how the role of the presenter is different from that on radio - the typical situation of the listener – ...