BBC pops up in Kenya during President Obama’s visit


BBC‘s first travelling news bureau pops up in Kenya this July

Following its launch and six months on the road in the U.S, the BBC’s travelling news bureau BBC Pop Up  ( will be heading further afield to Kenya this July, ahead of President Obama’s visit to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, taking place on 25 & 26 July. While in Kenya the unit will join forces with the BBC Africa team (@bbcafrica) based in the country, to give communities both in Kenya and the U.S. their say on the visit.

Crowd-sourcing stories from Kenyan Americans in the US and locals in Kenya, BBC Pop Up will be producing short and long form video content for BBC World News and, including for its flagship Focus on Africa programme, which airs Monday – Friday at 19:30 CAT, plus a standalone documentary to broadcast on the channel on 8 August.

The project begins in Dallas in late June, where BBC Pop Up will be talking to a Kenyan American radio station broadcasting around America in Swahili. They’ll be asking the station’s listeners what stories they want filmed in their home country.  Once in Kenya, the team will be utilising the expertise and insight of the BBC’s East Africa Bureau in Nairobi, including colleagues at the BBC’s Swahili and Somali language services. BBC Pop Up’s host in Kenya will be Anne Soy (@annesoy), and the team will be holding a community meet-up in Nairobi, to help crowd-source more stories as well as utilise the unit’s social media accounts for newsgathering.

BBC Pop Up is the BBC’s start-up travelling journalism unit, which was launched in 2014 by the BBC’s North America digital team based in Washington DC as an experimental project.  The unit spent six months on the road based in a different U.S city each month, where the small team of video journalists held community meet-ups to crowdsource story ideas from local residents. BBC Pop Up went on to produce video features for, social media and a monthly half hour documentary for BBC World News, all reflecting stories and content gathered at the local level and shared with the BBC’s global audiences.

Over the course of six months in the U.S, the bureau produced 51 videos, seven long form TV documentaries, as well as 213 blog posts and activity on the bureau’s twitter, Instagram and Tumblr accounts.  The team also taught journalism classes at local universities during their trip.

Matt Danzico from BBC Pop Up says:   ‘BBC Pop Up has aimed to turn around the traditional idea of newsgathering, and looked to local communities to drive stories and ideas. We want to act as the vehicle through which the community tells its story to our global audience. This July, we’re expanding that idea by being the bridge between countries as well.’