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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 June, 2005, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
BBC Journalism College launched
A new Journalism College launched by the BBC this week will see the annual spend on journalism training double from 5m to 10m by 2008.

The training programme is a response to the Neil Report - which in turn was prompted by the Hutton Report.

It covers journalists working in the news division, the World Service, nations and regions and other "relevant areas" around the BBC.

Plans include a "virtual" college of journalism and the appointment of a director of journalism training.

Moving away from the idea of a physical "bricks and mortar" college with residential courses, the programme aims to mirror innovative examples of training in the US - where studies take place via interactive learning modules, workshops and seminars.

Mark Byford
Mark Byford says investment in journalism training is to double
Announcing the plans Mark Byford, deputy director general and head of BBC Journalism, 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".

Coursework supporting five editorial principles defined in the Neil Report will be done in BBC buildings or close to the workplace, with external training activity supplied through partnerships with training providers.

There will also be a significant shift of emphasis in content. In addition to the core journalistic craft and production skills which have been the mainstay of journalist training in recent years, the new College of Journalism will also focus on ethics and values, and building knowledge on key themes and issues, such as Europe and the Middle East.

The enhanced training is already underway. So far 10,000 members of staff have completed the online editorial policy course (the biggest BBC interactive training initiative yet) and 8000 staff have attended special Neil workshops.

All journalistic staff in the BBC will be given a minimum level of training each year and in future the completion of required training will be seen as integral to promotion.

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