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Richard Porter | 10:01 UK time, Monday, 23 July 2007

India is probably the most competitive television news market in the world. There are at least 20 news channels, about half broadcasting in English and half in Hindi. There are channels specialising in business, channels specialising in headlines, and channels which go for entertainment stories.

BBC World logoAnd then there's BBC World.

We've been broadcasting in India longer than nearly all of them and at one stage we used to produce output specifically targeted at the sub-continent. Question Time India; HardTalk India; Wheels (a motoring programme), even a version of University Challenge featuring Indian students.

But in such a competitive market, you need to be clear about what you stand for, what your strengths are. We know that ours is international news made relevant to South Asian audiences. Which is why on Monday (at 9.30pm IST/10pm PST), we're launching a new edition of our flagship programme, World News Today, specifically targeted at viewers in India and Pakistan and other countries in south Asia where we know we have a loyal following.

The programme will be presented by Nik Gowing, who is very well-known to BBC World viewers and who has been reporting from Asia throughout his years on the channel. He makes it his business to have first-hand knowledge of the stories he's reporting from, and hops on to aeroplanes the way most of us hop on to a bus or a train. So he's just back from his latest trip to India to promote the new programme and he'll be there again in a few weeks to report on the 60th anniversary celebrations.

His new programme will report the world to South Asia and south Asia to the world - how does the extraordinary economic success of India impact upon western nations? How does America's support for President Musharraf impact upon his popularity in Pakistan? What do British Indians feel about the performance of the India cricket team during the tour of England? These are the sorts of areas which come under our remit, and we're confident we can provide audiences in South Asia with a depth and breadth of coverage that no other broadcaster can match.

We'd love to know whether you agree, and what suggestions you have for the kind of coverage we should be offering viewers in the region. It's an exciting few days for us...


  • 1.
  • At 11:18 AM on 23 Jul 2007,
  • Alan Bebbington wrote:

How very sad, it is, for India to have to get any of its internationl news from the BBC. BBC News is nothing more than the controlled propaganda arm of the British/US governments and their puppet masters. So what are they going to get? They'll get deceived, misinformed, manipulated and misrepresented. And why? So the great white Anglo-Saxons can dominate the world and hold on to their ancient secrets, as Cecil Rhodes desired.

PS AS most people, who can be bothered to find out for themselves, now know what the New World Order is all about, why doesn't the BBC convey the truth to the whole world?

You never know, they might even agree.

Although you might want to keep the UN's plans, to reduce the population by 80%, under your hat!!

  • 2.
  • At 03:55 PM on 23 Jul 2007,
  • patrick wrote:

This is a total waste of license payers money: why are we subsidising your plans for empire building? When pensioners, young families, students and many others are so hard pressed for money, you spend our money on creating a pointless 'global world-class brand' or whatever you wish to call it. The BBC has really outlived its original Reithian purpose.

  • 3.
  • At 09:37 AM on 24 Jul 2007,
  • Samita wrote:

I am from Nepal so I will be very happy if you cover Nepal's story too. Hope you dont put shadow on Nepal issue.

  • 4.
  • At 02:58 PM on 24 Jul 2007,
  • jools wrote:

I think it's a bit patronising to assume people in other countries are influenced by foreign news 'propaganda' any more than we are by CNN and others. Personally I like to look at how UK news is reported in other countries' media - it makes a change from the usual catastrophe headlines and helps put things in perspective. Maybe some people in India would like to see how their news is viewed by the rest of the world, even if just to know what 'propaganda' we're being 'fed'.

  • 5.
  • At 04:59 PM on 24 Jul 2007,
  • Richard Porter wrote:

To answer Patrick's question above, BBC World isn't funded by the UK licence fee. It is a commercially-funded channel, with income coming from advertising and distribution.

To answer patrick's question above, BBC World isn't funded by the UK licence fee. It is a commercially-funded channel, with income coming from advertising and distribution.

  • 7.
  • At 07:28 AM on 25 Jul 2007,
  • David Norbury wrote:

Re: Alan Bebbington. I never cease to be amused by the paranoid conspiracy theorists who clog up the comment boards on the BBC!! Methinks you've been paying a bit too much attention to the propaganda spewed out by the likes of Michael Moore (and yes, it is propaganda in exactly the same way as government announcements are propaganda).

What's more, you seem to fall into the same trap as people who decry the Empire as doing nothing for the likes of India. As the article points out, the BBC has been in India for a long time and it is from their innovation and example that Indian broadcasting has developed - in the same way that the British Empire allowed countries to develop in a way they never would have otherwise.

But hey, if you want to get more hits to your "Is President Bush actually an alien and secretly undermining the population by putting mind control drugs into Starbucks coffee" then that's fine. Good luck to you.

  • 8.
  • At 08:05 AM on 25 Jul 2007,
  • Thomas Chacko wrote:

I am an Indian who lived abroad for number of years and now back at home. As Richrd Porter reported, we have many healthy and very competitive TV channels and its news network which cover both national and international news. We do not really need to depend on BBC or any other network as someone commented.

How ever credit must be given to BBC for what it is. In my opinion it is one of the least biased and most accurate international news channel in the world. There is a big BBC following in India. Some may attribute this to a colonial hangover. But for people like me who depended on the BBC radio earlier and the BBC TV later while in Africa in the 70s, 80s and the early 90s for the most accurate and the least biased reports, still follow it as a habit and for the wide veriety of coverage that it gives. Keep it up BBC.

  • 9.
  • At 10:50 PM on 10 Aug 2007,
  • Manosij Majumdar wrote:

Will you please stop hyphenating us with Pakistan?

  • 10.
  • At 03:09 PM on 30 Oct 2007,
  • Alan Bebbington wrote:

Re: David Norbury.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people live in the illusionary world created for them by the mainstream media. Don't take my word for it. Do your own research. Look at the work carried out by Jordan Maxwell, Jim Marrs, Michael Tsarion, Dr Stanley Monteith etc etc. The truth is, you can't be bothered to go outside your box. And you can't accept that what you think and feel is the result of a lifetime of manipulation by the power elite using mind control and mind programming techniques developed over centuries(see the work of Stuart Swerdlowe). David Rockerfeller even admits to it in his memoirs. But hey, let's not let facts get in the way of truth.

  • 11.
  • At 03:54 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • gregor aitken wrote:

i am confused

If BBC world is a commercial operation how can Richard Porter work for them. Does he not work for the BBC.

So are his wages paid for by BBC world or by the BBC.

I am guessing when you say it is commercially funded you are not including the initial set up costs, or did that money come from the venture capital market.

also if it is a commercial operation why is it using the bbc logo.

Do thy pay for the use of OUR institutions logo.

It sounds like a lot of smoke and mirrors to me.

You folks are letting us down. day after day and the day will come when you are taken to task on your actions and i hope you can justify all you have done in our name

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