By Ogova Ondego
Published November 25, 2016
A British global radio and digital broadcaster has announced a new line up of programmes and services in English.
BBC World Service, that received some B£289m from the UK Government in 2015, says it is investing in original journalism; a richer range of programmes on science, arts and global debate; new podcasts and unique content to reach audiences on digital and social platforms.
On its Arts, Culture and Science programming, BBC World Service English–that is available across Africa on radio, online, mobile and through partner stations–says its aim is to “create new programmes which open up the worlds of art and science, showcase the best, respond to audience curiosity and take the programmes to where exciting things are happening. “ Consequently, it has introduced the following programmes:
- The Arts Hour will hit the road once a month and record in the world’s greatest cultural cities in front of an audience. With live music, comedy and rich panel conversation, Arts Hour on Tour will offer a truly immersive experience which showcases and explores the best local culture and talent and the burning issues in culture
- In The Studio, a new weekly culture and arts strand, will meet some of the greatest names in the cultural world as it follows the creative process of musicians, writers, filmmakers and artists as they make their work
- A new weekly podcast will cover the latest in the film industry, from Hollywood to Bollywood and Nollywood
- CrowdScience, a new weekly series, has been launched in November 2016 to feed the appetite for science coverage among listeners, especially younger people. Its starting point each week is a question from the audience about life, Earth and the universe and our reporters then travel the globe finding answers from scientists and engineers working at the frontiers of knowledge
- To enhance its digital content, BBC World Service English says it is appointing its first ever podcast editor “to develop new podcasts to meet growing audience interest in listening to new forms of audio in new ways.”
Saying its “primary purpose is to provide accurate, independent news and good information to audiences around the world,” BBC World Service English has added the following programmes to its service:
- World Hacks, a weekly half hour programme and related digital content, aims to ‘meet the people fixing the world’. It has launched in November 2016 to foster a new strand of BBC journalism, which starts its storytelling with the idea that there are solutions to problems. The series will track down and explore ideas with people trying to make things better, and explore whether they work and can be shared
- World Questions, a debate programme, takes democratic discussion around the world. It will develop into a monthly brand with lead presenter Jonathan Dimbleby hosting, a panel and live audience in key cities around the world. The programme will travel to the heart of big stories and issues, offering unique opportunities for democratic engagement in challenging locations
- BBC Minute, which currently supplies lively news summaries to youth orientated music stations around the world shall develop into single subject editions covering areas like the arts, health and technology. BBC says it will also start producing BBC Minute Video Minutes for existing and new partners which will capture the engaging tone of the audio to reach untapped younger audiences
- BBC World Service says it shall have more editions of The Newsroom to provide regular news briefings and original journalism day and night to bring unfolding news whenever and wherever it’s happening.
Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service English, says: “This funding boost gives us the opportunity to enrich our schedule with a wider range of programmes that reflect the breadth of our listeners’ interests, from the big news stories and analysis to explorations in science, innovation, arts and culture. From Syria to the US presidency, from Nollywood to outer space – our audiences are curious about the world around them and we can offer a new wealth of programmes to respond to their interests and connect people in a global conversation. We’re also aiming to attract new and younger audiences, particularly on digital and social platforms.”