I’m Leaving the BBC

29Mar11

After much consideration, and with a little sadness and some regret, I’ve decided to leave the BBC.

In the four and a half years I’ve been here I’ve had the opportunity to work on some fantastic projects. From those crazy early days on PIPs as a software engineer (hi guys!), to the later days on PIPs as product owner. The days working for Tony Ageh as we tried to make sense of the archive. Building the system that enables the publication of archive programmes to BBC Online. And, in the final chapter for now, the first steps towards a telling of history and the world around us through events, programmes, interlinked stories and time.

For me the BBC has always been about two things: its archive and its presence in the nations and regions. The choice to join the BBC was very much with my heart. Growing up in Northern Ireland, where I still think the best bit of the BBC is, I remember just how much the BBC influenced my childhood. Its strong, local presence combined with the best of network programming made a lasting impression. Passing Broadcasting House in Belfast every time I was in town. Dreaming of one day visiting Shepherds Bush, imagining what it must be like. I’ve now worked in Belfast BH and not only worked, but lived, in Shepherds Bush.

I was lucky to be heavily involved in local projects twice, first with the integration of local radio into iPlayer and then with the Northern Ireland Troubles Archive, previously known as A State Apart. I’ll say no more, but I have much to thank the first project for ;) The second has been really something else. To the guys in Belfast: you are all wonderful. I’m so proud to have worked on the early development of what will one day be a real jewel not just on bbc.co.uk, but also something that is so important to all of us in Northern Ireland.

Thank you to everyone who has made my time here so wonderful, who I’ve learned so much from and respect greatly. There is no doubt that at the BBC I have worked with the best and smartest people I have ever worked with. People who’ve had a profound effect on how I act and think. There are far too many to mention everyone, but I’d like to give a special thank you to Richard Jolly, Adam Smyth, Tony Ageh, Nicole Clement-Reynier (née Walker), Mary McCarthy, Sophie Walpole, Simon Delafond, Michael Smethurst, Tom Scott, Chris Sizemore, Matt Wood, Silver Oliver, Paul Rissen, Richard Northover, Brendan Quinn, Yves Raimond, Matthew Cashmore and Ian Forrester. The list goes on and on.

Yes it’s been a hard couple of years, but things are getting better. It’s just time for me to move on. I know and hope that the early work we have done on web-native storytelling, event-based history and time-based discovery will not only live on, but become a key and defining part of BBC Online.

It’s been an honour and a privilege to have worked at the BBC. My last day is Thursday 5th May. I’m very lucky to have somewhere equally special to go to. More details soon.

Update 28/04/2011:
The new job has now been confirmed. I’m excited to be starting at MetaBroadcast on Monday 16th May.

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3 Responses to “I’m Leaving the BBC”

  1. 1 Mo

    Best of luck with the new special place — I’m looking forward to finding out where it is. Undoubtedly, your influence’ll be missed, though…

  2. Thanks Mo. It’s good to have you there now carrying on some of the same work. Make sure you look after that archive.

  3. 3 Ciarán

    Good luck Jonathan! You will be missed.


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