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Annual Review 2005/06
 
 
International Governor's Introduction

A critical international role

Sir Andrew Burns, BBC International GovernorBBC World Service reflects the highest standards in global news broadcasting and we were pleased to be reassured that it continues to be considered authoritative, reliable and an excellent source of detailed news and information, especially on global affairs.

This has been a year of great change for BBC World Service – change driven by the pressing need to respond rapidly and imaginatively to major shifts in technology, audience and geopolitics.These have prompted BBC World Service to undertake one of the biggest transformations in its history. Ten language services have been closed and resources moved into the launch of an Arabiclanguage television service and increased investment in on-demand services and FM radio distribution.

My fellow BBC Governors and I have supported this programme of sweeping change as the appropriate response to the great challenges faced by BBC World Service. But no organisational change on this scale is without pain.The closure of the language services – Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Kazakh, Polish, Slovak, Slovene and Thai – has meant personal disruption for many individuals. We thank the staff of those services sincerely for their contribution to creating and maintaining the BBC’s formidable international reputation, and for decades of distinguished broadcasting.

Today, BBC World Service remains the cornerstone of the BBC’s global reputation.The position it has built as the best-known and most-respected voice in international broadcasting brings great esteem to the UK. It was pleasing to see this acknowledged in Lord Carter’s review of the UK’s public diplomacy, which also underlined the critical role that the editorial independence of BBC World Service plays in creating that reputation.

During the year I chaired the Governors’ BBC World Service and Global News Consultative Group. This puts BBC World Service output under rigorous independent examination. A summary of our deliberations is included in this review. Overall the results were positive. BBC World Service reflects the highest standards in global news broadcasting and we were pleased to be reassured that it continues to be considered authoritative, reliable and an excellent source of detailed news and information, especially on global affairs.There were useful pieces of advice for BBC World Service to bear in mind. But the research demonstrated that, in the services examined, BBC World Service is maintaining its reputation for impartiality and objectivity.

Andrew Burns (signature)

Sir Andrew Burns
BBC International Governor


Supporters of Hamas celebrated in Ramallah as their party swept to victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections Iranian election officials at a polling centre in Tehran during the presidential election An Orthodox Jew passes a sign supporting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
BBC - Many voices, one world
International Governor's introduction
Many voices, one world
 
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