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BBC to offer online journalism bursary in honour of Ivan Noble

BBC News has announced a new bursary for journalists to work on its website in honour of Ivan Noble, the science and technology reporter who died of a brain tumour earlier this year.

Ivan, who was 37, died after a two-year fight against a brain tumour during which time he wrote a regular 'tumour diary' on the BBC News website.

The BBC News site will be offering an annual, six-month bursary to a journalist at the start of his or her career. The bursary will be awarded to a journalist who has recently completed a journalism course or has less than two years' journalistic experience. They must also have a passion for science and technology.

Over the six months, the bursary winner will work on the science and technology sections of the website, will research and write news reports and features, and will learn a wide range of skills for reporting for the web.

Pete Clifton, editor of BBC News Interactive, said the bursary was an ongoing commitment to help reporters to learn the skills of web journalism. He said: "When Ivan died, many readers asked what we would do as a lasting tribute to him.

"We think the bursary is a fitting thing to do - we want to encourage a new journalist with the same passion for science and technology that Ivan had."

Ivan's wife Almut welcomed the announcement. She said: "Ivan's illness was only a very short period of his life and the bursary is there to remember his life before he was ill. He was a science and technology writer and this is what the bursary marks.

"I'm very pleased and honoured that the BBC has chosen to remember his professional life before he was ill."

Ivan's tumour diary was a regular feature on the site from September 2002 to the last entry, on 31 January 2005 - the day he died. It followed his battle through remissions and relapses and provoked thousands of emails of support and tribute.

The book of his diary entries, entitled Like a Hole in the Head, features some of these tributes. The book's title comes from a comment Ivan made after being told he needed more brain surgery. His response: "I need another craniotomy like I need a hole in the head."

The book also features interviews with people who have lost relatives to brain tumours, as well as doctors trained in breaking the bad news of terminal illness. The BBC's proceeds from the book will go to Medecins Sans Frontieres UK, the charity chosen by Ivan.

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