BBC Worklife: The smarter guide to work and life
What is BBC Worklife?
BBC Worklife is the smarter guide to work and life for a global audience of young professionals.
As a features section of BBC.com, we offer trusted, insightful digital journalism from a global network of contributors in a wide array of multimedia formats – from long-form narratives to award-winning documentary films, graphics, interactives and more.
What is our mission?
We are living in an environment of constant change. Within the last decade, dramatic developments in technology, society and the global economy have drastically upended how we work and live, and with it the definition of professional happiness and success.
BBC Worklife aims to embody this changing era and be the trusted guide to work, life and success in a rapidly changing world.
Broadly, as an organisation, the BBC has adopted a mission to address a long-standing challenge in media: too few women as expert sources. As part of a company-wide initiative, Worklife asks that you strive for 50-50 gender balance in your reporting – meaning, the gender parity of your sources should be as close to 50% female, 50% male as possible.
Who is our audience?
We embody change and success with a specific readership in mind: a global audience of ambitious, intellectually curious working professionals aged 18-45, who are empowered and inspired by the pace of global change. Our readers are keenly interested in events abroad and the impact of technology on the world. They are career-driven, ethical and like a challenge.
How do we serve them?
We publish smart, essential stories which help our readers upgrade their personal and professional lives.
- Embrace and reflect rapid and radical change in work and living globally
- Show the human face of the changing global economy
- Take a future-focused look at working, leadership and success
- Define trends shaping the future of work and business
What is our voice?
Brisk, authoritative and smart. If the site were a person, this would be your well-travelled and well-read friend who keeps you up to date with what’s going on. They’re ahead of the curve and will always give a straight answer.
Pitching – it’s essential to include the below when pitching:
- POTENTIAL HEADLINE: Please include a strong headline when pitching an article. This should be the thesis of the story – if you explained this story idea to a friend on the street, what would you say in one sentence? Why would they think it’s interesting? This is crucial to getting a response from us and a greenlit pitch.
- What it is about and why this is essential reading: Elaborate on your potential headline showing exactly what your reporting shows already to support your pitch. Why should the reader stop scrolling to read your story? Why should they tell their friends and colleagues about it? If you cannot explain this in three sentences or less it likely won’t work for us
- What’s the new take? If it’s a topic that’s already being written about, how are you advancing it or looking at it in a new, surprising way?
- How is this relevant to a global audience? We love pitches about how people work and live all over the world. But stories should always be accessible and interesting to an international reader - if you’re writing about a trend in Mumbai, how will this be relevant or interesting to a reader in Toronto?
Sourcing: We expect original reporting. Our writers need to interview all their sources. We want you to track down the leading experts in the fields you are reporting on.
What we will reject
- Generic how-to stories, such as “how to get a raise” or “how to save money”
- Question pitches without clear, interesting answers
- Stories not relevant or interesting to a global audience
- Industry sector stories
- Investment advice
It is BBC policy to give every piece of content at least two edits.
These are a few examples of what we think of as great Worklife stories:
This piece embodies BBC Worklife: It’s a global story that blends work and life, it explains broader economic and societal themes and it veers away from the familiar idea of an entrepreneur with a compelling, memorable character.
Other recent stories we particularly liked:
This story delves into a little-known and fascinating subculture of “hypebeasts” and draws parallels to luxury fashion houses. It’s filled with great characters and has the depth that we’re looking for with our text pieces.
This data-led story is a fun, visual way of busting a persistent myth about millennial finances that was circulating at the time – that if they’d just stop spending their money on avocado toast, they could afford a house.
We love stories about different cultures and their unique approaches to work. A word, phrase or custom can reveal memorable insights about different cultures and offer something our readers can use in their own lives.
Kieran Nash, Editor (New York)
Angela Henshall, Deputy Editor (London)