The transformation of BBC World Service, announced in
October 2005, is one of the most far-reaching in its 70-year
history. The key points are the BBC World Service will:
Launch a BBC Arabic language television service in 2007. It will
initially broadcast 12 hours a day and be freely available to
everyone with a satellite or cable connection in the Middle East
ensure the English language radio schedule reflects rapidly
changing audience demands and usage and gives BBC World
Service a clearer role as a news and information provider
place a strong emphasis on explanation, context, analysis and
on-the-spot reporting, while offering a global view of events,
trends and culture – using a broad range of news, magazine
and documentary programmes.
Have an agenda that will include the arts, sport, business
developments, religion and science as now.
Invest more fully in New Media initiatives and technology
capable of enabling audience participation, debate and the
publishing of audience views through a ‘Global Conversation’.
Seek to distribute text, audio and video content across a range
of on-demand platforms – including Broadband and mobile
phones, with a major focus on video news in priority languages
initially in English, Arabic, Portuguese for Brazil, Spanish, Urdu,
Persian and Russian.
Obtain further local FM partnerships and other radio
distribution methods to improve audibility and increase reach;
This will counteract the expected long-term decline in shortwave
Review the costs of transmission arrangements to ensure value
for money, continuing to match the means of distribution to
the needs of individual markets.
Increase marketing effort to secure and retain BBC World
Service impact in key markets.
Seek to explore the viability of developing further television
services in vernacular languages – for example Farsi – as well
as the possibility of making the most of BBC World Service
investment in news reporting in video to provide bulletins
for television and online partners in Russia, Latin America
and South Asia.
Look to maximise the value of current output for China in
English and Mandarin, especially non-news material including
English language teaching.