Basic English Explanations (BeX)

A text editor that calculates the readability of a piece of written content.


How can we help BBC journalists write news stories in ways that are more accessible for underserved audiences?

Basic English Explanations (BeX) is an experimental text editor that calculates the readability of online news articles.

Applying a selection of readability formulas, it helps journalists find paragraphs within their stories that might be particularly challenging for less educated audiences.

The ultimate goal for the project was creating a set of APIs that return metrics to help us:

  • Perform corpus analysis to get a better understanding of how readable BBC reporting is
  • Make suggestions to journalists about how to correct their text before publishing to make it more readable

The team built both the front-end tool for helping journalists make their stories more readable, as well as the back-end APIs for analysing content.


Love data and code?

We're looking for talented developers to join our team.