North East Connected

BBC brings digital skills to Sunderland

Leading BBC digital experts will be delivering free workshops at the University of Sunderland which offer an opportunity to get clued-up on the latest in digital content and hands-on with new technology.

The BBC Academy Digital Skills Morning takes place at National Glass Centre on October 15, 8.45am-1pm at the University’s Sir Tom Cowie Campus, providing a special focus on nurturing new talent and creating an exciting future for the North East’s digital sector.

The day will be presented by Rowan Kerek Robertson, a social media consultant and former head of social media for BBC Television, alongside Mark Robertson, a BBC journalism trainer who has taught hundreds of BBC staff on how to get the best out of their mobile devices.

During the afternoon there will be sessions from the RTS North East and the University’s own media experts in areas such as legal online pitfalls, publishing content safely and digital techniques for investigative journalism. There will be screen-writing tips from award-winning writer Elliott Kerrigan, creator of the ground-breaking BBC Two sitcom Boy Meets Girl, as part of the BBC’s Writersroom – a department for scripted content, working with and developing new and experienced writers.

The Sunderland event is all part of Digital Cities North East 2018, an exciting series of free workshops, masterclasses and socials for the creative industries, running across four cities and towns in the region. From the latest in digital journalism, gaming and motion capture to getting started in TV production or hands-on with tech, this offers the chance to get free, bespoke training as well as meet other members of the North East’s creative community.

Lee Hall, Head of School of Media and Communications at the University of Sunderland, says: “I’m delighted that Sunderland has been chosen to kick off BBC Digital Cities, which is such a significant, region-wide event.

“The BBC has a global reputation for compelling storytelling, something our students across diverse disciplines – from journalism to filmmaking, screen performance to social media management – aspire to. This will be a great opportunity for them to learn from some of the leading practitioners in the world.

“Two of our own experts – media law specialist Carole Watson and investigative journalist Neil Macfarlane – will be delivering fascinating sessions to students and professionals too. These days we have so many more engaging ways to find and tell stories; but there are pitfalls when anyone publishes online. In an era when truth is under threat from fake news Carole and Neil will be doing their bit to help inspire ethical, responsible and important journalism.”

Carole Watson added: “It’s never been a more interesting or challenging time for anyone who posts on social media or publishes online or in print when it comes to facing legal issues. I’m very pleased to be asked to help give an overview on the pitfalls and some ways to avoid them.”

The Digital Cities event is suitable for experienced professionals wanting to brush up on their digital skills or new entrants to the profession.

These events require their own ticket and need to be booked separately.

Please visit the main events page for details. On the day you will need to visit our check-in desk and register for each event you have booked a ticket for.

For more details of all the events, please visit:

BBC Academy’s Digital Skills Morning in Sunderland

8.45am-1pm, NGC

It’s in the Data: Digital Techniques for Investigative Journalism

1.30pm-3.30pm, NGC

PUBLISH AND BE DAMNED? Keeping Your Content Legal

3.45-4.45pm, National Glass Centre

BBC Writersroom: Screenwriting Tips & Elliott Kerrigan Q&A

5pm-6.30pm, NGC

This event is suitable for persons aged 18+ only. However, there are alternative events during Digital Cities North East suitable for people under 18 – please visit the main event page for details.

Please bring a digital copy or a printed version of your ticket with you.

Please bring photo ID with you.

Lunch and refreshments are not included, but the cafe in National Glass Centre will be open from 10am until 5pm.

Please note that some practical sessions require the use of a smartphone or tablet. Where possible we ask that you bring your own devices with you to get the most benefit from these workshops.

Sessions are likely to be photographed and filmed and used subsequently by BBC Academy and partners for publicity and social media content for both current and future Digital Cities events. If you have concerns, please contact the organisers on

If you wish to make a large group booking, have any access requirements or any further queries please contact us direct on

For full details of all the sessions at Digital Cities North East 2018, please go to

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