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Reaching places other broadcasters can't reach

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Rajan Datar | 21:34 UK time, Thursday, 4 November 2010

The World Service prides itself on reaching stories that other broadcaster can't reach - to use an old advertising slogan - but there's a plea from an Afghan listener on this week’s Over To You to pay more attention to the plight of ordinary civilians in his country.

Ghazi Wardak got in touch to relay his family's worries that the media - including the BBC World Service - too often ignores the humanitarian aspects of the conflict in Afghanistan. 

Ghazi comes from a province located to the east of the capital, Kabul, where American troops are currently stationed, but he’s studying in Kent in England.

He challenges the Head of World Service News and Current Affairs, Andrew Whitehead, on the coverage of civilian issues, and an interesting exchange of views ensues. Andrew points out that his correspondents do often seek out the views of the local people but there are inevitably logistical blocks to doing that as often as he would like.

And we on Over To You likewise would greatly appreciate more contact from listeners in less covered regions of the world  - be it in Afghanistan, other conflict zones or indeed Burma which, this weekend, is holding its first elections for 20 years.

We ask the head of BBC Burmese, Tin Htar Swe, about the difficulties of  reporting an event in a country where the BBC is banned from keeping a resident correspondent – and the ways around this problem. 

And finally the story that is obsessing you - and with good reason - is the future good health of the World Service itself. Many of you have emailed this week on whether or not the service should take advertising over the airwaves, following a comment made on last week’s programme.

The majority come out on one side of this debate and you can find out which side that is by listening to the programme... as ever, we look forward to your company this weekend - and of course to receiving your incisive views on anything you've heard on the BBC by email, phone or letter over the coming days. 

Rajan Datar is the Presenter, Over To You

Over To You is your chance to have your say about the BBC World Service and its programmes. It airs at 00:40, 03:40 and 12:40 every Sunday (GMT).





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