The BBC web site (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/default.stm) is one of the
most comprehensive news sites available. There are two basic
editions: the main United Kingdom site and World Edition.
The site is also available in forty-three languages besides
News stories are grouped by global region: Africa, Americas,
Asia-Pacific, Middle East, South Asia, and UK. By clicking on the
appropriate area of the map in the top left-hand corner or selecting a
text link in the left-hand menu, it is possible to access only the news
for a given region. Because these menus are on every page, it is
easy to move between information groups and geographical areas.
The BBC site goes way beyond basic news stories, providing live
broadcasts, country profiles, an opportunity for the user to have his
say on major stories, news in pictures, and in-depth reports on news
around the globe. Of course, business, weather, sports and
entertainment stories are available as well as news. There is
also a large selection of science, technology, and health reports.
The BBC internet site manages a huge amount of information
extraordinarily well. The context-sensitive story archives are
particularly useful, since they allow readers to catch up on earlier
reports they have missed or to delve more deeply into specific
issues. Every report comes with a print version and e-mail link.
The columnar layout and skillful use of text and pictures makes the BBC
site easy to read and navigate.
It is also available to mobile
and PDA users and low-resolution graphics and text versions are
One unusual feature of this site is available only on the World Service
edition: clicking on Learn English on the World Service home page
takes the user to a number of resources that use the news to teach
visitors to speak, read, and write English. If the user’s
computer has sound, he can listen to English lessons – an invaluable
tool for any language student. English lessons are also available
in several different languages including, among others, Russian,
Chinese, Polish, Arabic, Spanish, and even Urdu.
The sheer quantity of information on the BBC web site is astounding,
although the preponderance of news seems to come from England, which is
perfectly understandable, and the United States. Residents of
other countries will need to bookmark one of their own country’s news
sites to get more complete national news. Nevertheless, for
citizens of any country, the BBC provides coverage of the major
international stories of the day which is satisfying in its breadth and