January 25, 2019

Microsoft Education Joins BBC Learning, Angelina Jolie And BBC World Service In Developing Current Affairs Program For Children

Plans Include Launch Of Media Literacy And Journalism Initiative In Classrooms Around The World


New York, NY – BBC Learning, a division of BBC Studios, in partnership with Microsoft Education, today announced plans to collaborate with BBC World Service and Angelina Jolie on their forthcoming global English-language, current affairs television program for adolescents, previously announced in December 2018. In addition, BBC Learning and Microsoft have designed a global media literacy and student journalism initiative that ties in with the program (name TBC). Microsoft will invest in both.

The initiative will help give students, ages 7-14, the knowledge, tools and critical thinking skills required to understand, evaluate and contextualize news and also encourage them to be effective citizen journalists who can accurately report on the world around them.

Beginning with a pilot of ten episodes, the weekly half-hour program will be produced by the BBC World Service, which retains editorial oversight, and executive produced by Angelina Jolie. The primary objective is to help children have access to impartial information of the highest editorial standard and bring a deeper understanding of the different issues their peers face in other parts of the world.

The program will be truly global in scope, beginning with an English-language version but then expanding into multiple languages and engaging children from Argentina to Zanzibar.

Angelina Jolie said: “All of us who have come together on this project feel a great responsibility towards young people. We want to make sure that we are able to put forward a news program that helps to give them a broad view of the world they live in and the issues they face, and that helps connect them to other children around the world.”

Kara Iaconis, Global Head, BBC Learning, said: “BBC Learning is focused on delivering the most compelling education initiatives that develop a generation of students to become future leaders, innovators, creators and citizens. We are excited to be able to deliver this powerful and free global initiative, in partnership with a technology leader like Microsoft and humanitarian Angelina Jolie, that allows schools to give students the skills they need to navigate a world of unprecedented information.”

“The amount of media spread on the internet has mushroomed in recent years. But not all information is created equal,” said Brad Smith, President of Microsoft. “It’s important that we help young people develop the ability to become discerning learners and consumers of news. This starts in part with providing high quality and unbiased content that expands young people’s global views. Microsoft’s partnership with BBC Learning and BBC World Service can play an important role in helping young people develop media literacy.”

Schools and students will be able to access the content for free once it becomes available. Further details and components of the initiative, including launch date, will be announced in the coming months.

About BBC Studios

BBC Studios, a global content company with British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC. Formed in April 2018 by the merger of BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios, it spans content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries. BBC Studios’ award-winning British programs are internationally recognized across a broad range of genres and specialties. It has offices in 22 markets globally, including seven production bases in the UK and production bases and partnerships in a further nine countries around the world. The company, which makes over 2,500 hours of content a year, is a champion for British creativity around the world and a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector.

In the Americas, BBC Studios’ operates two production units – one in Los Angeles, responsible for ratings juggernaut and Emmy®-nominated Dancing with the Stars and multi-award-winning Life Below Zero, and the other in Brazil, where local productions Dancing Brasil and Bake Off Brasil have become breakout hits. The company manages joint venture relationships with AMC Networks for flagship channel BBC AMERICA (U.S.) – home of original series Killing Eve and global brands Dynasties, Doctor Who, and Top Gear – and with ITV for SVoD service BritBox (U.S./Canada), as well as strategic partnerships in Canada with Blue Ant Media for BBC Earth Channel and Corus for BBC Canada.

About BBC World Service

BBC World Service delivers news content around the world in English and 41 other language services, on radio, TV and digital, reaching a weekly audience of 279 million. As part of BBC News World Service, BBC Learning English teaches English to global audiences. For more information, visit The BBC attracts a weekly global audience of 347 million people to its international news services including BBC World Service, BBC World News television channel and

Press Contacts:

Amy Mulcair
VP, Corporate Communications & Events, BBC Studios – Americas
+1 646 404 0941/ +1 212 705 9499

Ali Koper
Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft
+1 425 638 7777

Paul Rasmussen
Head of Communications, BBC World Service
+44 7711 415 102