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Over many years the World Service has applied key BBC principles, such as impartiality, accuracy and avoiding offence on matters of taste, to radio broadcasting for international audiences.
Global broadcasting - by Hilary Hazzard, World Service Marketing Communications
The complexity of scheduling for a global audience means that BBC World Service can attract complaints. But it aims to be accurate, objective and unbiased at all times and actively trains staff to follow its strict programme-making guidelines.
The diversity of the World Service global audience brings rich rewards.
African programmes in particular generate a lot of audience interaction, not only from those living in Africa but from diaspora listeners in more developed countries, such as the US and Canada.
Indian listeners also generate a sizeable postbag while China, although technically blocked to the World Service, produces equally opinionated listener correspondence.
A number of BBC World Service programmes on radio and online actively solicit listeners' views with the aim of shaping future programming.
However, the main point of access for international listeners to BBC World Service is its Audience Relations department, based at Bush House in London, UK.
In 2002, Audience Relations received over 30,000 letters and emails in English alone.
Limited resources mean that neither production teams nor Audience Relations are able to respond individually to all the contacts made. However, constructive suggestions and criticisms are always forwarded to the relevant department.
Broad range of listeners
Audience Relations regularly hears from a wide cross-section of listeners of all ages and backgrounds.
This includes an increasing number of younger people who are discovering new ways of accessing international news, music and events through our 43 language websites.
During the 70th Anniversary celebrations in December 2002, numerous appreciative emails, birthday cards and even hand-made gifts were received, underlining the deep personal attachment of many listeners to BBC World Service.
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