Your reaction to BBC World Service budget cuts and closures
Last Wednesday was a painful day for BBC World Service and its 180 million listeners according to its boss Peter Horrocks.
I talked to Peter on Over to You this week to find out what this “fundamental restructure” means in plain language to you the listeners.
A BBC World Service employee leaves flowers for the "death" of the BBC World Service. Picture: Getty Images
I also put your views to him about the cuts which were described as “ daunting” by the BBC and necessitate cash savings of 20 per cent over the next three years.
The World Service’s detailed response to the Government’s Public Spending review necessitates cash savings of 20 per cent over the next three years.
That means the loss of 650 World Service jobs, the closure of five language services and the end of some long running programmes on the English Service.
It amounts to an annual saving of £46m by April 2014, when the BBC World Service will be financed from the domestic UK television licence fee.
Now the BBC admits that audiences will fall by more than 30 million from the current weekly audience of 180 million as a result of the changes this year.
Over to You listeners emailed us with their reactions.
The closure of five language services including the English for the Caribbean regional service prompted an email from Shawn Lebert who was ‘utterly shocked’ to hear that decision.
Others were concerned about more repeats, or even the loss of a service entirely.
Managing these cuts is the unenviable task facing Peter Horrock who has said publicly that these cuts are made reluctantly and that they are very painful.
How will the latest round of cuts affect you? Over to You is your platform to tell us what you think, so send us your emails and comments.
Meanwhile listeners have continued to email Over To You about the countdown to the Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton scheduled for April. In particular they don’t like the trail that has been running on the World Service.
Another point was raised by listener Dr Bello Bella Bitugu who’s originally from Ghana but is now based in Innsbruck in Austria.
He told us he was disturbed by an item asking Kenyan pupils about their suggestion of the wedding dress for the wedding as part of the countdown specials.
He said it reminded him of colonial times when schools in places like Tanganyika as it was called then - were ordered to bombard African pupils with propaganda about the British Royal family.
We asked Dr Bitugu to put his points to Jamie Angus who’s the Senior Commissioner in News Planning at Global News and in charge of planning the royal wedding coverage.
Somehow I don’t think this is the last we’ll be hearing on the subject before the wedding takes place at the end of April.
Rajan Datar is the presenter of Over To You.