Archives for September 2011

A last blog entry

World Service Blogs | 15:43 UK time, Monday, 19 September 2011

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You can have your say about the BBC World Service and its programmes by email (overtoyou@bbc.co.uk), telephone (44 144 960 9000), SMS (447786 202006) or on the BBC World Service Facebook page

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Is social media isolating the audience?

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Rajan Datar | 14:16 UK time, Friday, 16 September 2011

This week we take a closer look at Facebook, and the BBC's increasing use of it. It claims to have 750 million users worldwide.

One in five webpages opened in the US is a Facebook page.

So, what happens to more conventional listeners who don't wish to sign up to the digital revolution?

This a question prompted by Alex Lee, who writes in with her fears that by choosing not to become a member of Facebook, she is being left out of the BBC conversation.

To answer Alex's fears, and also to have a more general discussion about social media, I'm joined by Julian Siddle, a BBC science programme maker, who has been dealing with social media since the very beginning.

Julian strongly argues the case for Facebook, highlighting the fact that the social media conversation will be happening anyway, so it would be foolish of the BBC to not engage with it.

Rajan Datar is the presenter of Over To You.

Over To You is your chance to have your say about the BBC World Service and its programmes.

Broadcast times can be found by clicking here

Listen to previous episodes of Over To You


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Send the team your feedback by email (overtoyou@bbc.co.uk), telephone (44 144 960 9000), SMS (447786 202006) or by leaving comments on this blog

How BBC World Service has covered the 9/11 anniversary

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Rajan Datar | 11:34 UK time, Friday, 9 September 2011

This week we look into how BBC World Service has approached the tragic and very sensitive issue of the10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. I find out how to get not only the content right but the tone as well.

I speak to two key people behind the BBC's coverage of the anniversary, Steve Titherington, BBC World Service Commissioning Editor, and Philippa Goodrich, Editor of Business Daily on the World Service.

Steve outlines the special approach that the World Service has taken to the anniversary, discussing how he intended to commission a range of programmes that really took the time to connect with Americans.

Philippa, in turn discusses how the 9/11 attacks can be seen as the starting point of a decade of decline for America, and talks about the difficulties in balancing the economic issues with the greater tragedy within it.

In the mailbag this week we hear from Dennis Anthony who writes in with concerns about the use of diction within the World Service, with the word 'epicentre' a particular bone of contention.

Another listener writes in to express his dissatisfaction with the overuse of ident music on the World Service.

Finally, Joy Clarke emails from South Africa to express her delight with the latest series of Reith Lectures, a series that is close to our own hearts on Over To You.

So, as you can see it's a jam packed show this week, but please if you have anything to say for next week's show, let us know. We always want to know your thoughts on the World Service.

Rajan Datar is the presenter of Over To You.

Over To You is your chance to have your say about the BBC World Service and its programmes.

Broadcast times can be found by clicking here

Listen to previous episodes of Over To You

Subscribe to the podcast

Send the team your feedback by email (overtoyou@bbc.co.uk), telephone (44 144 960 9000), SMS (447786 202006) or by leaving comments on this blog

Why is the BBC calling the anti-Gaddafi forces in Libya 'rebels'?

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Rajan Datar | 13:22 UK time, Friday, 2 September 2011

Why is the BBC still calling the anti-Gaddafi forces in Libya, 'rebels'?

Two listeners, Graeme Doel in Australia and Tamim Foder in Egypt, share the same feeling - as Tamim put it "Please stop calling the Libyan freedom fighters 'rebels' - they are fighters for democracy."

I spoke to Acting Head of News, Jamie Angus, who said that the news team had been using the term rebels up to the beginning of this week and a lot less since then.

He said that the BBC is trying to reflect the situation on the ground where there is on-going military action.

The National Transitional Council (NTC) forces refer to themselves as liberation forces but the BBC does not, as it has a value weighting to it.

When the NTC moves to Tripoli and declares itself a government the BBC will cease to use the word rebels entirely.

For Jamie, the key point is for "The BBC to use the right language which takes the audience with us and makes clear what we are talking about."

Regular listeners to Over to You might remember that in June we covered the case of Urunboy Usmonov, a journalist for the BBC Central Asian Service.

He was detained by authorities in Tajikistan for alleged links to banned Islamist group Hizb-ut Tahrir .

These are charges he has repeatedly denied but nonetheless Urunboy is currently on trial in Tajikistan.

To update us on the trial's progress, I was joined by his colleague and the Head of the BBC's Central Asian Service Hamid Ismailov.

He explained that Urunboy had been in touch with members of Hizb-ut-Tahrir in his professional capacity to interview them as an accredited journalist in Tajikistan.

At Urunboy's trial, it has been revealed that he has been tortured with cigarette burns on his arms. Hamid said that the BBC is standing firm that Urunboy is innocent and must be released without charges.

Finally, is news about the UK on the World Service too London-focused? If so, is that a problem?

We were contacted by Andrew Pearce from Formby in the North West of England - over 200 away from London - who is concerned that the World Service's news output is unfairly biased towards the capital city.

I put Andrew's point to Steve Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor for the World Service who said that, "Where the story deserves it and the BBC is not in the capital, it's important to point out the distinctions where there are distinctions, and where there are commonalities, talk about the commonalities."

What do you think? We're always interested to hear from you at Over to You.

Rajan Datar is the presenter of Over To You.

Over To You is your chance to have your say about the BBC World Service and its programmes.

Broadcast times can be found by clicking here

Listen to previous episodes of Over To You

Subscribe to the podcast

Send the team your feedback by email (overtoyou@bbc.co.uk), telephone (44 144 960 9000), SMS (447786 202006) or by leaving comments on this blog

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