Wednesday, April 22, 2009

BBC Russian site relaunched

The website for the BBC's Russian service,, has become the latest of the 33 World Service language sites to relaunch.

The page is now over 20 percent wider, giving more space - a full 214 extra pixels, in fact - to showcase the very best of the BBC's Russian language output.

In particular, a new Rolling News index has been added - which allows users to see the latest news stories as they are published onto the site - a first for the BBC language services.

"We are publishing six to eight short stories an hour to reflect the news as it comes in," explains Dmitry Shishkin, editor of

"This is another feature very popular in the Russian market where the audience clearly needs it. We tried to boost the video and interactive presence as well as keeping a very significant amount of news stories and analysis on the front page."

Perfect platform

As a result, there is now more video available than ever within a single click on the site. This will soon be followed by new indexes for all of the Russian radio programmes.

"We always distinguished ourselves as being the only news site in Russian which gives the user the ultimate multiplatform experience. When a big story breaks the user reading our text story is also able to watch an embedded video, a picture gallery, to read and/or contribute to a forum on the issue, to listen to the radio discussion, and to comment on a blog," says Dmitri.

"The new site is a perfect platform for this task."

It follows the BBC World Service sites for English, Vietnamese, Spanish, Persian, Urdu and Portuguese.

"It was always our great disadvantage that the old site looked really different in comparison to the competitors' sites," Dmitry adds.

"We simply looked unusual and rather dated, the site was too compact in Russian terms - the market there is used to very long front pages. So we wanted to address that when we discussed the redesign."

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