BBC training is launching a follow-up to its online style guide for journalists, providing a dedicated online space for a debate on journalistic style.

The guide was written by experienced radio journalist John Allen, and provides advice on the use of language. Mr Allen will launch the project with four articles that explore the most popular aspects of the style guide: clichés, imported words, jargon and maintaining standards.

Users will be able to post comments on the style guide, and also suggest topics for new articles.

"Language is constantly moving and changing, so this kind of guide can’t be prescriptive," Mr Allen told dotJournalism.

“In the early days of the corporation there was all sorts of serious debate about the use of language on radio and television; George Bernard Shaw was actually on one of those committees.

"So it's been a big issue for the corporation from the beginning."

The guide was originally designed for internal use at the BBC, but was published online earlier this year as part of the BBC training and development web site at Since appearing on the site, the guide has been downloaded more than 76,000 times.

"There has never been a British equivalent of the Academie Française - a guardian of the language and a judge of what is right and what is wrong," writes Mr Allen in his article on imported words.

"Many people have looked to the BBC to set the standards in written and spoken English."

The site launches on 8 December when visitors will be able to contribute to the debate at The influence of technology and the internet is just one possible subject for future discussion.

"I think there’s a growing interest generally in the use of language," said Mr Allen.

"My brief was to write these articles as an introduction to the site. We want to see where the response takes us and let the readers choose the direction."

See also:

More style guides:,,2941,00.html

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