Monday, 14 March 2011

Tusa to speak at 'Save the World Service' meeting

Former director of the BBC World Service John Tusa is among speakers tomorrow night (Tuesday March 15) at a public meeting, organised by the National Union of Journalists, in the House of Commons to defend the World Service against government cuts.

The union says: "The BBC World Service is a story of continuing success: ten years ago it had 153 million regular radio listeners and today, the figure is 180 million - representing one in every 25 adults in the world.

"Journalists are rightly proud of their part in creating that success, but the proposed cuts will damage the BBC World Service as well as cut Britain’s influence in the rest of the world."
The NUJ says the cuts will mean:
  • Thirty million short-wave listeners will no longer be able to hear the BBC World Service
  • Another twenty million listeners could lose their signal if other changes being considered for English and twelve remaining shortwave services go ahead
  • Job cuts will result in a noticeable drop in quality especially in the core area of World Service News, in the Language Services and in BBC Monitoring
  • The Europe Today programme, whose expertise is used throughout the BBC, is to disappear in the cuts. The Politics UK programme is also going.
  • Plans also include shutting down the medium wave World Service in English to Europe, and more than a dozen other services including Caribbean, Russian, Chinese, Azeri and Vietnamese, together with short-wave services in Indonesian, Kyrgyz, Nepali, and Swahili. These services are scheduled to close next week.
Other closures have already taken place - BBC Portuguese service to Africa, the Spanish Latin American service (BBC Mundo), and the services to Serbia, Albania and Macedonia.

The ‘Save the BBC World Service’ meeting will be held at the House of Commons, committee room 14, starting at 6.30pm.

Pic: Jon Slattery

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