Innovation Correspondent, BBC Scotland News

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

Scotland has a proud history of invention and discovery.   BBC Scotland’s new Innovation Correspondent won’t look back at the great achievements of the past, but instead will seek out and report on true innovation – in all its forms – as it exists in 21st century Scotland.

The BBC is launching a new 9pm news programme early next year, and we are hiring people to help tell Scotland’s stories in the broadest and most compelling way possible.  The Innovation Correspondent’s priority will be to bring to our audiences an insight into where people in Scotland are making real headway in their particular fields of expertise.

The new programme (subject to Ofcom approval) will be a nightly hour-long programme (with shorter bulletins at the weekend) bringing Scottish, UK and international news together with the needs of a Scottish audience at the heart of everything we do.  This new role is as a result of greater investment in news in Scotland, which will enhance all of our journalism. The role will have a focus on the new programme, but will work with existing Newsgathering colleagues on all of our output.

Role Responsibility

Having the job title “Innovation Correspondent” will fill your inbox with press releases encouraging you to publicise something the sender thinks is innovative.  So first and foremost you’ll need to have sharp judgement and the ability to spot genuine innovation. You’ll be able to identify examples of individuals, charities, and companies doing something different, explain it in a clear and engaging way, and also shed some light on its wider implications. 

We want the holder of this role to seek out real innovation wherever it can be found. You’ll be aided by a large, diverse and ever-expanding contacts book.  If a local authority has devised a genuinely new way to deliver some key services then we’d regard that as much a part of the brief as a scientific breakthrough made in a laboratory.  And ground-breaking creativity in the fashion industry is as relevant as fresh thinking shown by charities.

You’ll be creative in your storytelling. We want you to be able to report stories using a variety of techniques and also to advise programme producers on great live guests. The programme aims to be digital first – you’ll understand how to tell stories for a digital audience and your newsgathering will start with a digital audience front of mind. You’ll have a deep understanding of the wider news agenda and how the story you’re covering dovetails with that. 

But equally, the Innovation Correspondent must give context and an accurate assessment of the challenges or limitations facing the subject of the story.

The holder of the role will critically assess the work being done in the training and education sectors to ensure Scotland can continue its tradition of innovation.  On the day Scottish and Westminster budgets are revealed, and after other significant announcements, we’d expect you to be plugged into what the implications would be for the sectors you follow and to analyse that for our audiences.  We’ll also want you to report on the effect the UK’s departure from the EU has on our research and development sector. 

You’ll also be expected to understand and work within the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines. The programme requires its journalists to be able to work until 10 PM. You’ll be expected to focus on the new programme, but will work at times on all of our output. 

The Ideal Candidate

You’ll have a nose for what’s newsworthy, a passion for stories, an instinct for original journalism, and a real drive to get the stories you care about in front of a national audience. You’ll understand the programme’s target audience, and have a real sense of the sort of stories which will appeal to this audience. You’ll have a good understanding of Scottish news and be able to operate on a breaking news story, a lighter feature or a longer-planned film.  The ability to broadcast live with confidence and authority is vital.

Resilience and independence are vital; many colleagues in the communication and PR sector will doubtless contact you with ideas they think are deserving of your attention; you’ll have to cut through any spin and be able to ascertain whether there’s an actual story there.

You must be a creative visual storyteller to make sure your stories -- whether they’re picture-rich or picture-light -- are presented in the most engaging way possible.

You’ll have the energy, creativity and drive to contribute to a nightly, hour-long programme, often involving long days and unsociable hours.

You will be part of a team based in Dundee and good communication skills are vital. While you will be based in Dundee – you will travel and be across your whole patch including urban areas and more remote areas. You must have a full driving licence.  

Important Application Information

As part of your application, you will be asked to submit a short film of no more than three minutes duration. Your film should be uploaded to YouTube or similar and sent as a link in your application.

If you do not submit a film, we will be unable to consider your application.  

Package Description

CPF Proposed E

Base: Dundee

Contract: Continuing.  If you are an internal member of staff, we would consider a request for an attachment.

Interviews are expected to take place in early August.

The BBC recognises that flexible working can benefit both the employee and the BBC.  We are happy to consider flexible working requests for this vacancy.  Please include detail of the proposed arrangement in your application.  

For further information, contact, for recruitment queries, contact 


About the Company

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below. You’ll be asked questions relating to them as part of your application for this role.

The BBC is committed to building a culturally diverse workforce and therefore strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups.  We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of their background

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