02 May 2008

Beeb Interacts With Russian Bloggers

Citizen journalists and bloggers in Russia are sharing their work with the BBC as part of a new project.

The corporation is working with Russia’s largest blogging platform on Live_Report, where members of the public can submit their own news articles, photos and other items of interest.

Some of the best reports are then featured on the BBC’s Russian-language website and could also be selected to be used on radio.

The initiative has already attracted an array of blog posts and comments on subjects ranging from anti-Nato protests to the appearance of the Russian president at an internet forum, notes the head of the BBC’s Russian Service.

Sarah Gibson writes that the partnership project with LiveJournal aims to harness “fresh reporting talent” and gives the BBC “access to direct reports from all around the country, even though our team is based mainly in Moscow and London”.

Gibson adds on The Editors blog that Live_Report is designed to be relevant to the BBC’s more active Russian audience.

“We already have a very active band of readers and listeners who are constantly telling us what they think, and suggesting ideas for interactive programmes.”

And what about the standard of submissions offered by this band of citizen reporters? Gibson says the team of journalists is well-prepared to work with less then polished pieces.

“My view is that this is an exciting challenge to our team of journalists - who are already very used to dealing with user-generated content through forums, interactive programmes and so on.

“If there are issues with a particular piece, we can work on that on a case by case basis.”

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