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Something new

Richard Porter | 14:06 UK time, Thursday, 2 October 2008

On Wednesday evening, TV viewers in the US began to see something new from BBC World News; two bulletins of the best international news from the BBC, more tailored to a US audience and free to air through the American PBS network.

BBC World News logoIt's the start of a new partnership between us and KCET, the Southern California public television station, with a simple aim. To offer American viewers something they can't get anywhere else.

Fronted by Mike Embley in London, the two programmes are a showcase for the BBC's unrivalled international newsgathering power.

On day one Richard Galpin reported from Georgia as EU monitors arrived to begin observing a Russian withdrawal. From Brussels, our Europe Editor Mark Mardell explained how pressure on European banks was forcing countries to find new ways of safeguarding depositors' money. In Iraq, Hugh Sykes reported on the rise of the Awakening movement - former insurgents now fighting alongside rather than against US forces. And Jon Leyne in Tehran reported on a US phenomenon taking off in Iran - blogging.

The first day also posed us some challenges. How much should we be focussing on events within the US, given that we've pledged to offer something different to the US media? And how much coverage should there be of live events or breaking news? With the Senate debating the "bail-out Bill" while we went on air, both issues came together.

The answer - well if we're putting together a bulletin of the day's main global stories, then it would be perverse to leave out US stories. However, you can expect us to place them in a different context - so last night's Senate coverage was immediately followed by the story out of Europe, which I doubt was receiving much attention elsewhere in the US media. As for live coverage - given that we're offering PBS viewers a speedy round-up in 25 minutes, we won't devote much time to lengthy live coverage of events, but you can expect to see breaking news reported as fast as any other network.

Will the programme prove as popular as before? The early signs are good. More than 80% of US viewers will have access to BBC World News through PBS and we hope the revamped programme will actually deliver a bigger audience to us.

Plus we'll continue to broadcast Matt Frei's World News America programme on BBC America, which is the other part of our two-pronged strategy to best serve the US audience.

By coincidence, it marked its first anniversary on air on Wednesday. In its inaugural year, the programme won a prestigious Peabody Award, signed veteran newsman Ted Koppel as Contributing Analyst and had correspondents reporting first-hand from the scene of numerous international breaking news stories, from the assassination of Benazir Bhutto to the current economic crisis hitting markets across the globe.


  • Comment number 1.

    Balance is what everyone expects from a leading broadcaster. Coverage of the run-up to the all-important Presidential elections is so very important. Of course adept coverage and analysis of the critical financial news regarding the banking and insurance sectors will be under close scrutiny especially as big international banks are reeling. Investors will be looking for in-depth clues regarding the unprecedented foreclosures.

  • Comment number 2.

    I know we don't actually pay for these programmes as part of the License Fee, but it would be nice if they could be popped on the iPlayer, just so we know what BBC News is telling the Americans... it does reflect on the rest of us!

  • Comment number 3.

    Congrats on the NEW addition of the programmes.

  • Comment number 4.

    How is this funded?

    Via license tax or general taxation - am I paying for a free news service for the worlds richest nation????

  • Comment number 5.

    The catch is of course "Tailored for a US audience"

    Read "Made palatable for a US audience"

    Here's an idea for you - it would push your ratings through the roof.

    Why not have a series called - "How the US media is censored"

    Do a nice story on the Jews v Arab kill rate in Palestine, the deliberate starvation, the water shortages, the land confiscations, the assasinations and general terror - and post the extreme efforts the Isreal lobby group will go to gag the BBC.

    You could do the same for Health care, comparing a British family with a US family suffering from the same chronic disease. . . then watch how the US health care industry would try to censor things.

    Just as 'blogspace' runs all the stories you can't print in the US media - why not have the BBC do the same in television. . .

  • Comment number 6.

    A nice indirect way of going about it would be to do a series called 'families'. Comparing how US politics affects different families. . . . .

    An Israeli Family and a Palestinian Family

    A US Family and British Family with major health problems

    A poor US family with a poor Swedish family raising education issues

    A rich family in the USA involved in Banking with a poor family undergoing foreclosure.

    And so on. . . .

  • Comment number 7.

    What is the difference between this new program and BBC World News America?

  • Comment number 8.

    I agree with no. 2 (Briantist).

    Putting up with the left wing bias from the domestic BBC - with all the damage it is doing to our democracy - is bad enough. But to have it paraded around the world is embarrasing.

  • Comment number 9.

    The difference between BBC America and BBC World is that essentially BBC America is a specially censored edition that is acceptable to US politicians and the US media.

    There a basic rules the media in the USA have to follow, the most important of which is probablly don't tell Americans anything that might set them of thinking. . . .. .

    Like how come the British NHS costs less per capita than Medicare and Mediaid and covers everyone and does a better job.

    Or how come the USA spends more on 'defence' than the entire rest of the world but cannot subdue a small country like Afghanistan.

    Or why do only two countries in the world, the USA and Israel support the occupation of Palestine. . . .

    BBC World might point these facts out or discuss them, but BBC America would never be so crass as to upset US public by introducing facts into any political debate.

  • Comment number 10.

    I really do hope the BBC can breakthrough the US media censorship - but I'm not hopeful

    Its very difficult to understate how censored and isolated Americans are from international sources of information - and shockingly how ignorant of basic political facts that would be discussed in any free society.

    I've been posting on US message boards of one sort of another for over 15 years and am still amazed at the questions I'm asked.

    For instance there are many, many Americans who believe Micheal Moores 'Sicko' is a complete 'set-up' they quite literally cannot believe it.

    What comes across to Europeans as glaringly obvious is to Americans unbelievable - and the documentary fails because of that.

    One would hope BBC World will fix that.

  • Comment number 11.

    is this your push to be the ministry of information for the new world order.

    Good luck

  • Comment number 12.

    I thought we already had this on the main BBC news - the last couple of weeks have had what the US government is doing in the financial situation as the lead story. Followed by a short piece on what the government of the UK plans to do.

    Ditto their election.

    Who really is the UK's main news provider targetting it's news at ? I'd say it was expansion of foreign news, but no other country gets this much coverage.

  • Comment number 13.

    To the casual eye the items listed for your opening show may seem like genuinely balanced news items but are they?

    It seems to me that the BBC continues to exercise its efforts for the benefit of the USA status quo and not to attempt to square the circle in comparison to other news delivery.

    We know that many Americans do not know where the UK is let alone where Georgia, Iraq, Iran, etc are. So the BBC are playing to an intellectual band with the means to obtain whatever media they want via satellite already.

    I am sorry BBC but your hype and excess, and your continued obsession with the USA does not fool this license payer. I want a better service in the UK before you go galavanting to somewhere else.

  • Comment number 14.

    5. Eutectics
    Taylored for a US market??? Break through the censorship in US news???

    Yes, I was a bit suspicious that this was actually about pushing the BBC/socialist perspective into America.

    If we are going to aim programmes promoting terrorists etc at the yanks how about some ideas for programmes to be paid for by US tax payers and beamed into the UK....

    1) family from Iraq living prosperously and peacefully now they have thrown al-qaeda out of their neighbourhood

    2) Israeli family dodging illegal rockets fired by 'palestinians' and paid for by the EU

    3) Jewish student in a UK university, keeping quiet about his religion because he doesn't know what reaction to expect from his socialist lecturer

    4) Christian teacher in UK school keeping quiet about the fact she goes to church on Sunday because she doesn't know what effect it might have if her socialist bosses find out

    Cuts both ways.

    Personally I would prefer the news organisations to concentrate on providing services to the people who are paying for them.

  • Comment number 15.

    Nice post illustrating the diffence between the propaganda that Americans are fed and facts.

    1. The facts are that there was no Al Queda in Iraq before the US invasion and the Iraq was a fairly law abiding society. The terror and deaths in Iraq were the direct result of US intervention - never reported in the US media

    2. Are we talking about a Jewish family living on a property illegally stolen at gunpoint from Arabs - there are at least 400,000 of them in Palestine the terror campaign they run to maintain thier illegal occupation kills about 10 times more Palestinians than Jews and is condemned by the entire world community - never reported in the USA media

    3. Where did you get this fantasy from??? Literally unbelievable - especially as technically I am Jewish and its never had an influence on politics - ever heard of Gerald Kaufmann?

    4. Literally unbelieveable - Gordon Brown is son of a Church Minister and a committed Christian, as was Tony Blair.

    The fascinating bit is where do these propaganda fantasies come from?? Who feeds you these lies?

  • Comment number 16.

    Or more simply, do you not see your beliefs are completely detached from the facts?

    This is very problem the BBC needs to address.

  • Comment number 17.

    15. Eutectics

    Obviously (very obviously) I was being slightly controversial to make the point - difference is I know I'm doing it think your nonsense is true.

    Always amazes me how the socialists are so sure of everything and so sure everyone who disagrees with them is imoral or stupid or corrupt.

    I dont agree with the BBC - or any other state funded organisation - being used to pump propaganda into another country.

    Certainly not your propaganda.

  • Comment number 18.

    You were not being controversial.

    You were posting your opinions and beliefs, which you are quite unaware have absolutely no basis in fact.

    That's the problem,.

    You seem to be of the view that we were having a difference of opinion, we were not. I was not expressing my opinions, merely pointing out the facts.

    The question I'm asking is do you have an explanation for why you have a series of beliefs that have no contact with reality?

    I would suggest, and here I am expressing an opinion, that your false beliefs are the result of being force fed with US media and political propaganda.

  • Comment number 19.

    Or why do you believe what I posted to be untrue? What evidence do you have that the facts I posted are incorrect?

    You have beliefs - I have facts - there is a big a difference between the two.

  • Comment number 20.

    i am guessing you have not been paying attention to the news jon112, America is now more socialist than it has ever been. The government buying up businesses etc etc.

    The bbc is if anything turning up near the end of the subtle, yet in-your-face socialising of the USA.

    The free market in the USA ended long ago and the last few weeks have just been the final nail in the coffin of the whole idea.

    I am half way through reading the bail out bill and it goes beyond a subtle soccialising of the USA, it gives a carte blanche for it to become a financial dictatorship.

    I know you will deny all this with your usual, not true and not gonna check approach to everything. but read the bill it makes for fascinating reading. A kinda finacial version of the Military commissions act. Which i am sure you will tell me also doesn't exist or is nothing to be worried about.

    I see you also think Gordon brown comes from a foreign country. I missed scotlands independance, when did it happen?

    or was that just jons version of the world.

  • Comment number 21.

    You are misunderstanding the situation, largely as a result of US media propaganda.

    I'm not denying anything you post. Its all pretty accurate, what's wrong is that you associate the concentration of assets in a few hands as 'socialism' rather than 'feudalism' or 'State Capitalism'

    As I said, its very interesting that the only Libertarian and the only Socialist senator in the USA are on the same side on this one, the reasons are obvious, but only if you understand the politics rather than the propaganda.

  • Comment number 22.

    It's not about politics - its about Democracy.

    When you have democrats like Ron Paul and Berni Sanders - at extremes of the political spectrum - singing from the same song sheet, you know something is seriously wrong with US politics.

  • Comment number 23.

    Who set this up in the first place?

    Who in the BBC is responsible?

    Name that person.

  • Comment number 24.

    Eutectics, you might enjoy Al Jazeera programmes "Inside USA" (unusual stories from the USA) and "The Listening Post" (media issues and critique of media coverage).

    (Youtube user AlJazeeraEnglish).

  • Comment number 25.

    Eutectics i like the cut of your jib, ive never seen an american who can give an honest opinion on their own country, if the BBC service helps bring one american voice to the forefront then its good news for us all.

  • Comment number 26.

    19. Eutectics

    'You have beliefs - I have facts - there is a big a difference between the two'

    Yep, thats exactly the point I was making - the unshakable certainty that what you think is right and anyone who disagrees is wrong.

    Here's something I REALLY DO BELIEVE: the middle east is pretty complex and I dont know all the answers.

  • Comment number 27.

    Whether someone is right or wrong is a matter of opinion and judgement - not fact.

    I'm just pointing out the facts.

    It would appear your beliefs have no connection with the facts, that is to say, your beliefs are not the product of critical analysis and judgement.

    You can tell me the moon is made of green cheese if you like. . . . It doesn't mean anyone will believe you.

  • Comment number 28.

    Actually the Middle east pretty simple.

    If the US government stopped supporting the Israeli occupation and terror campaign half the problems would be solved straightaway.

    The other half of the problem could be solved by the US not giving every thug, warlord and dictator in the region weapons and money.

    Afghanistan was a communist state where women policemen wore miniskirts - look what USA funding of Islamic terrorism did to it.

    Kabul University 1970's (Communist)

    American 'liberated' Afghanistan 1990's

  • Comment number 29.

    28. Eutectics

    "Actually the Middle east pretty simple.

    If the US government stopped supporting the Israeli occupation and terror campaign half the problems would be solved straightaway."

    Yep, that would work - right up to the point when the Arabs started ethnic cleansing the Jews, the Jews fought back and Israel/Palestine became another Iraq style blood bath, Europe was flooded with another wave of refugees from the bloodshed and the US Jewish lobby pushed that president out of office, etc etc

    Or the EU/Arabs could stop funding the Palestinians and they would have to give in. But then thousands of palestinians would starve, the French etc would not get their business contracts in the arab world and several national leaders would be lynched by their own people/parties.

    Or the US could take the brakes off Israel and let them bomb the Palestinians until they had to flee - like Beirut 1982 but bigger. Then we'd have another blood bath, the arabs might attack Israel to protect the Palestinians, the Islamists would use it as a rallying call for more attacks on America...

    etc etc

    Surprise, surprise, there's more than one perspective on it...and those are only guesses as to what might go wrong with the 'simple' solutions. I guess there's a reason why it hasn't been so simple for all those different people to solve over the years.

    None of this progresses the original debate about whether a state funded media organisation should be broadcasting news into another sovereign country.

    How about if Bush started funding Fox news to run special broadcasts into England to get the pro-war message accross? Would that be a good use of US tax dollars?

  • Comment number 30.

    As I said, what you are posting is completely detached from the facts.

    Israel has NEVER been invaded. Check the maps, check the UN resolutions, check the history books.

    That you believe it has been constantly under attack for 60 years its one of the great triumphs of modern propaganda.

    There 'only another perspective' on it if you change the facts to suit what you want to believe - as the US media do by omitting to mention them.

    It's very important that people in the USA get glimpse of what is happening in the free world, just as it was important that the BBC broadcast to the USSR and Nazi Germany.

    The idea is for Americans to see the world without the blanket of media censorship - its a very different place from what they are told.

  • Comment number 31.

    As I said, if you know the facts the solution is simple and obvious.

    The trick for the Israeli and the USA to make the obvious (Israel stops trying to colonise other countries and defines its borders) look complicated.

  • Comment number 32.

    31. Eutectics...

    'As I said, if you know the facts the solution is simple and obvious'

    Yep, just like when Bush said the solution to the Sadam problem was 'simple' - a bit of 'regime change' and it would all be ok.

    I'm sure that several million Israeli jews would simply leave Israel without any problem and/or a Hamas controlled government would simply live peacefully alongside them in the new-palestine if the Jews refused to leave the occupied land. Both groups have such a long history of cooperation, compromise and peace loving, I'm sure they would cooperate without any problems.

    It's all very 'simple.'

    You should make the negotiators at the currently stalled peace talks aware of this 'simple' solution - they may not have thought of it.

    Still doesn't contribute to the original debate as to whether a state funded news organisation should be broadcasting into another sovereign nation - particularly IF that broadcasting was intended to carry a particular political perspective.

    Would you agree with Bush using US taxes to support a broadcaster to promote his 'GWOT' war to a UK audience?

  • Comment number 33.

    jon112uk isn't BBC america funded seperate from the BBC, its funded in america, not from the British license payer as this is illegal, anyways other countries across europe can pick up the BBC the British pay for, for free

  • Comment number 34.

    33. bansis

    "jon112uk isn't BBC america funded seperate from the BBC, its funded in america, not from the British license payer"

    Hi - I asked right up the top of this how it was being funded - certainly hope you're right on that!

    Still have concerns about a state funded broadcaster doing this, even if the activity is funded elsewhere. It needs impecable impartiality at the least. Whats the objective behind it? Are UK institutions attempting to influence US politics? In what direction?

    Money isn't the biggest issue.

    As a counter example... if Bush used oil billionaires to fund Fox news to push a new pro-Bush, pro-war TV station into England it would (rightly) get some major cynicism - even if the US taxpayer wasn't out of pocket.

  • Comment number 35.

    The what's being pointed out is that what is considered 'impartial' by a US audience is the product of almost total censorship of the mainstream US media.

    The US media is about as 'impartial' as that of Nazi Germany or the USSR. . .

    If you want to discuss the problems of the middle east you can't do it without pointing out that the World community has consistently demanded Israel obey international law, withdraw to its 1967 boundaries and stop the colonisation programme.

    The last vote on the subject was 150 to 6 against Israel and the USA.

    Never reported in the US media. . .

    Similarly, the health care debate in the US is continually and deliberately misreported - Americans pay about twice as much as anyone else in the developed world for the worst health care statistics.

    That is should be politically unsustainable in a free society.

    The British NHS if it was running US health care it would remove the need for private insurance, improve health outcomes - and here's the killer - reduce taxes.

    Never reported in the US - Americans might hear stories about 1,000's of phantom Canadians coming over the border for health care, or the latest medical accident in the UK, both nothing about the awesome gap both in cost and performance between US health care and the rest of the modern world.

    It's all carefully contrived propaganda. . . .

  • Comment number 36.

    Fox news is available in the UK on Satellite - the difference is so are many other news channels.

    The difficulty with Fox News is that compared to the BBC or even Al Jazzerra is that it comes across as unprofessional and inaccurate - to the point that it is actually comic.

    Again we go back to the health care debate - I can watch Fox News attacking Canadian health care just about every week, it works for Americans, it doesn't work for Canadians.

    What Americans don't realise is that to Canadians and Brits the idea of dumping universal health care to get something on the US model is absolutely not up for debate - you would be laughed at.

    The US health system can only be maintained if that gap is maintained, and its maintained through censorship. If Americans knew Canadians and Brits were laughing at them - things would change

  • Comment number 37.

    I am doubtful that this marriage will result in success. Amerikans are not particularly open to much beyond their profligate consumerism and their myopic kultural views. Indeed! It is often claimed by social critics that the Amerikan people (as-a-whole) are clueless and willfully ignorant... and they're damn proud of it too!

  • Comment number 38.

    I disagree.

    I think Americans are desperate to change things - they just don't know how. Their media blocks all serious discussion of solutions to the problems facing the USA.

    The situation is analogous to that of the Soviet Union before liberalisation.

    It's hard to underestate the degree of media control. I regularly 'work the message boards' and was stunned to discover a very big percentage of Americans found Micheal Moore's 'Sicko' literally unbelievable, in the sense that Russian's could not imagine a supermarket with its shelves crammed full, they could not imagine a free at point of delivery health system.

    We take for granted that Americans live in a free society, it looks free, we as outsiders are in contact with it through films and books and even if we visit the USA on the surface everything seems alright.

    If you dig deeper though you find something else - a constant fear of losing your job, getting sick and not paying the bills, a very limited horizon of opportunity, a mountain of debt and a focus on basic survival that Europeans with thier social welfare systems never consider.

  • Comment number 39.

    Fascinatingly the programs from BBC America that were the most 'dangerous' were the ones that banned.

    You might not think of 'Eastenders' as subversive but to many Americans it was scary insight into life in another country - and it raised lots of questions about lifestyles.

    BBC quickly changed its format to something more familiar to Americans, something they could identify with and which removed the cultural challenges to 'the American Dream'

    Comparing popular TV in the US and UK fascinating - Casualty and ER are shocking when run alongside each other. ER is a glossy, expensive, extraordinaryly well produced series - the very best in television. Casualty is like the NHS, competent, cheap and effective.

    When we look at the issues they address - well its a whole different story. ER is dealing with a twilight world of medical horror the scripwriters of Casualty can't imagine.

  • Comment number 40.

    Fox news - yes it's available in the UK and yes it's unimpressive.

    But it's here for commercial reasons, it's not funded or promoted or controlled by the US government.

    The more I read the comments here the more it sounds like people want the BBC operating in the US for political reasons - to put the Americans right, to expound the message of the palestinians etc, etc.

    Thats what I find worrying.

    Would people be happy with the US government using Fox (or anyone else) to put the Europeans 'right' about their politics?

  • Comment number 41.

    Hi Richard,

    How about telling the US the actual facts of 9/11 rather than conspiracy theory propogated by the Bush Administration?

    Contraversial stuff, eh?

  • Comment number 42.

    Well Jon, the answer to your question is another one.

    Is the truth suberversive?

    Would communism in Eastern Europe have continued if there had not be Glasnost and Perestroika?

    Yes Fox exists for commercial reasons - that's why it lies to Americans about the costs of universal health, as do the other media channels.

    Do arms manufacturers get huge amounts of money selling arms to Jews and Arabs in the middle east - that's why you don't hear much in the way of serious discussion of resolving the Arab - Israel conflict.

    The US media is all about the process of giving Americans the illusion of a free society - when the reality its all about benefiting the big corporations.

    Anyone who has been watching the blogs for the last 4 years has seen the housing bust coming from a mile off.

    Did the US media inform the US public that housing business model was unsustainable - or did we get 'Flip this House'

    The job of journalists should be to inform - not sustain the greed of powerful corporate business interests.

  • Comment number 43.

    42. Eutectics

    "The US media is all about the process of giving Americans the illusion of a free society - when the reality its all about benefiting the big corporations"

    My guess is the US media is all about benefiting there OWN big corporations - regardless of what that involves, - including creating recessions, bringing down banks etc.

    The question wasn't about peoples opinion of US media it was about whether you would support a US government agency setting up a TV station to broadcast their version 'obvious truth' into England or Europe?

    My concern is that the BBC is doing just this in America and the comments on this blog just reinforce the concern.

  • Comment number 44.


    When you say 'regardless of what that involves' would that include staging terror attcks.

    Or is your belief limited to bringing down economies and not buildings?

  • Comment number 45.

    Well doesn't the US media cabal do that anyway - we get ER they don't get Casualty, its a feature of US media reporting that anything from outside the USA, is either remodelled for an American audicence or simply prohibted.

    The reverse is not the case. British, Australian, or New Zealand films and programs are generally not permitted to be shown in the USA without being 'remodelled', the USA don't Panorama or Horizon or Dispatches - though there is no logical reason why not

    I don't mind the US media having access to the UK and Europe. I object to Americans being more or less prohibted acces to external media sources - for both commercial and political reasons.

  • Comment number 46.

    I don't know what they are doing in California but in the New York City metro area PBS played "Dump the Chumps." BBC is no longer broadcast on my local PBS Channels. Now all we have to do is get rid of it nationally and on NPR and the US taxpayer will no longer be subsidizing it. When that happens, anyone wanting to receive it will have to pay for it on Cable TV, Satellite TV, or see it on the internet.

  • Comment number 47.

    "Well doesn't the US media cabal do that anyway - we get ER they don't get Casualty, its a feature of US media reporting that anything from outside the USA, is either remodelled for an American audicence or simply prohibted."

    Why would any American want to watch casualty? I don't want to watch it as it lost any sense of reality a decade ago. In any case ER, NCIS etc are broadcast in the UK by commercial stations. They show them because they're popular and therefore make money for the stations. The UK equivalents don't.

  • Comment number 48.

    "Yes Fox exists for commercial reasons - that's why it lies to Americans about the costs of universal health, as do the other media channels."

    The NHS which is barely adequate for purpose, and exists in a country where trainee doctors don't have to pay the full cost of their education and are therefore prepared to work for less than their US equivalent costs about a sixth of our total tax revenue and that doesn't include dentistry. How much do you think a US NHS would cost?

  • Comment number 49.

    BBC America is a commercial satellite and cable channel that carries advertisements.

    It is not funded by the UK government or UK taxpayers.

    You can find out about it at

  • Comment number 50.

    Peter Sym

    Nice to show us an example of the propaganda distortions one expects from the US media.

    I did not say that ER was not better TV, quite the contray. I pointed out that the medical conditions and situations that occur in ER are like something out of the stoneage - mainly because patients are waiting far to long before seeking treatment. A lot of medical problems illustrated in ER simply would not occur in a universal health system or be depicted in Casualty.

    Running the two programs alongside each other gives a clear picture of the advantages universal health care.

    Given the British NHS turns far superior results than US health (both in mortality rates and overall health) at less than half the cost is as same as saying US health care is both totally inadequate and needlessly expensive.

    You didn't it phrase it that way though did you?

    Propaganda and censorship work by omitting to mention the important facts which are required to analyse a situation. If you want to say the NHS is 'barely adequate' the question is 'barely adequate' compared with what?

    If you want to make the comparison with France, yes the figures agree with you, if you want to make the comparison with the USA, the figures don't.

  • Comment number 51.

    I've watched quite a lot of BBC news coverage on the current financial crisis. Much of this is v. well presented e.g. the explanation of 'hedge funds' on one bulletin. On the other hand, a lot of the 'copy' still suffers from a lack of clarity when the going gets more complex. Indeed, the interventions of the BBC financial man on a Newsnight discussion the other night were - for me - quite bewildering.

    Sometimes, you think the correspondents' perception of their audience is one largely comprising their old mates from the LSE rather than the public at large.

    Although this crisis is potentially catastrophic it also affords a unique opportunity for the BBC to raise the levels of economic literacy in the population as a whole. And after all, that's part of the BBC mission to educate.

  • Comment number 52.

    Very nice! Here in the US, with Internet available, I get my US news from BBC and CNN, my local news from the newspaper, and my world news from the BBC, mainly.
    I hardly watch TV news any more, and was happy to discover BBC World News on my local PBS station some time ago.
    I wasn't aware of the increased coverage. Are all PBS stations picking it up?

    I notice references to "censoring" of news before it gets to the US. Is that really a concern? I've seen, for example, documentaries on the oppression [the correct word] of Palestinians by the Israeli government. And it's all available on the 'Net. Trust me, cousins- I'm all right. :-)

  • Comment number 53.

    Well exactly. . . . . the divergence between what can be found on the internet and what is available in the US press and on TV is positively scary.

    The thing is with the internet is you have to look for the information instead of having it rammed down your throat.

    Fascinatingly the Hebrew press, notablly Haaretz,is way less censored in its reporting of the Palestine issue than the US press.

  • Comment number 54.

    I'm a bit disappointed. I preferred the original BBC World News to the World News America. I haven't seen the new version yet. I would prefer more BBC-type coverage. It's usually more thorough. (This isn't merely due to the BBC's differences with the US media ideologically. They usually go into more detail and cover different stories.)

    I am glad that, despite Sci-Fi's failure to promote Doctor Who as well as its own shows, Doctor Who is still highly watched and still gets some coverage. It's head and shoulders above American SF.

    And, I'm surprised the BBC hasn't tried to sell Songs of Praise to American religious channels. (I'd love to se it sometime...)

  • Comment number 55.

    If it's making profits which are pumped back into the BBC at home, then fine. If it's just a vanity exercise, then no, it seems pointless to be investing so much time into developing services for our American cousins.

  • Comment number 56.

    Before October, PBS in the United States carried BBC World News on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Those airings have disappeared. Please bring them back as I am reduced to watching France-24 for evening news, a sorry plight.


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