BBC appoints new head for College of Journalism

The BBC has appointed Jonathan Baker, deputy head of newsgathering for BBC News, as the new head of its College of Journalism.

Baker will replace Vin Ray who will leave his post in the next few months – it’s not known if he will be staying at the BBC.

Ray was appointed as the first director of the BBC’s College of Journalism in October 2005 shortly after it launched – news of his departure first emerged on Twitter early last month.

His replacement Baker has worked in a variety of editorial roles at the BBC, including recently as world news editor responsible for all foreign news coverage, editor for the Ten O’Clock News and the Six O’Clock News.

Baker’s remit will include design, delivery and evaluation of skills training and development for journalists at all levels of the BBC.

The BBC issued a statement today saying: “He [Baker] will build on the great work done by Vin Ray and the team to help Journalism access the very best of the resources and expertise of the academy.”

Baker said: “I’ve been involved in some of the college’s biggest projects to date, and I’m delighted to be joining it full time.

“It has become a real powerhouse in drawing up and delivering training to journalists at all levels across the BBC.

“As the website becomes accessible to all, and the wider BBC Academy begins to take shape, it’s a busy and exciting time to be joining what I know is a top-class team of journalists and trainers.”

The College of Journalism was established in the wake of the Hutton Report which criticised the BBC’s reporting of the “sexed-up” dossier row before the start of the second Iraq war.

The college announced last month that its internal training website would become freely available to rival broadcasters, industry organisations and licence fee-payers as part of a range of partnership agreements to share specialist training and resources.

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