I was most amused by the James Naughtie interview on Today this morning with Peter Horrocks and John McCarthy concerning the BBC World Service and it’s 80th birthday! Yes, we were informed of the global reach of the BBC and the trust it enjoys across the world. Seems it is increasingly popular in Iran and let’s not forget the vital role in played during “the Arab Spring”. It’s the impartiality of the World Service that so appeals, we told by Naughtie. Alright – who agrees?

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11 Responses to THE WORLD SERVICE AT 80…

  1. George R says:

    As part of the Government’s financial settlement with the BBC, the BBC takes over the formal responsibility for running the World Service from 2014-15.  
    Instead of the funding for World Service coming directly from British people’s taxes, in the near future it will come from the Licence Fee.  
    And BBC-NUJ will have a freer hand to propagandise its own political line.  
    So, what can we expect on the political front from BBC-NUJ globally in its use of our Licence fee money on its World Service?:  
    1.) a further move away from attempting to represent Britain’s historical global presence in a positive way;  
    2.) an implicit presumption that World Service represents the interests of non-British, anti-capitalist, anti-colonial people;  
    3.) an expansion of the co-operation with Al Jazeera TV- with which BBC-NUJ has a ‘technical’ agreement, and were many ex-Beeboids find it politically congential to work (many based at Al Jazeera’s studios on south bank of Thames in London).  
         At the same time, there will be an expansion of the role of INBBC Arabic TV service which is based in the East Wing of Mecca-facing Broadcasting House, London. INBBC’s Arabic TV’s role is to provide the Islamic population of the Middle East, and beyond, with the sort of Islam-compliant programmes they want to see. And we licencepayers will pay for it. Of course, in the unlikely event of INBBC’s World Service  offending Islamic interests with its broadcasting in Iran or wherever, INBBC would be closed down there.  
    4.) a more explicit alliance with Islamic global interests such as  Muslim Brotherhood (which has a programme for global Islamic conquest), and with Hamas and Hezbollah, which operate their Islamic jihad globally.  
    Clearly, in the interests of British licencepayers, the politically and financially reformulated World Service should be stopped from its massive global empire of broadcasting propaganda.  
    While Paxman and Beeboids oppose the historical global  British empire, they have a blindspot in failing to criticise the BBC-NUJ’s own global political empire.


      • George R says:

        Of course, there will be many people who live outside Britain, who do not pay the Licence Fee, who will want the convenience of being able to receive BBC-NUJ World Service broadcasting, which is ‘free’ to them.  
        But the point is that it is British-based licencepayers who are being forced to pay for the World Service output, which is largely aimed at  foreign audiences.  

        British people should not have to pay for such broadcasting. World Service should be closed down: the end of the BBC global empire.


  2. Jeremy Clarke says:

    I am a fan, David. I have become very fond of the World Service because it is largely uncluttered by the Westminster Village crap that passes for news on Radio 4. Also, it does provide a far better overview of world affairs.   
    Yes, HuffPo and The Guardian appear to be compulsory reading in Bush House and the talking heads include the usual array of Guardian-esque drones, and they rather overdo the repeats. There are some gems on there, however: Bridget Kendall’s The Forum, Matthew Bannister’s Outlook and Evan Davis’s The Bottom Line are entertaining, insightful and genuinely interesting programmes.   
    Lyse Doucet (leaving aside THAT voice and her strange attitude to the Taliban), Julian Worricker, Peter Day, Lawrence Pollard and others, whose names escape me, are all decent presenters. There are, generally, fewer egos on the WS than on R4 and everything is a little more chilled-out.
    The phone-in, World Have Your Say, is unintentionally funny because they invite on the world’s most inarticulate commentators to discuss highly complex subjects and the connection usually breaks up. Comedy gold.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      That may be, Jeremy, but the BBC uses the World Service to, as Paxman put it, “spread influence”.  That can’t be right either way.


  3. sue says:

    “When people have other sources of news they can’t trust they turn to the BBC for the unvarnished truth and that’s clearly what happened in the Arabic speaking world last year in the Arab Spring.”

    “Free comment and impartial news is just as important as it ever was.”

    Hear more here.


    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      Hear more here.’

      OK, I take it back, they can still do great comedy.

      Along with that world-renowned accuracy thing…

      ‘Director of the World Service Peter Horricks’

      Mr. Horrocks’ next blog on The Editors will be a hoot… if I have anything to do with it 🙂

      No wonder they can’t get anything outside the hive right either.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The unvarnished truth, except when it conflicts with Olympics broadcasting rights and commerical revenue.


  4. cjhartnett says:

    I`ve heard a few good “World Service ” programme at odd times, so I`m prepared to think that its output is generally better that the Red Wedge that is the BBC.
    That said, isn`t it now “racist” and “patronising” to presume to think that the truth of the BBC is any more use to an Egyptian that Classic Muslim Brotherhood…station to the stars.
    In fact-the BBC is that bad these days, that I prefer the unsubtle and obvious bias of RT/AlJazz than the gloopy quicksand that is BBC output…I bet the BBCs talking up of revolutions has cost more lives as they trusted the “analysis”…Tiananmen…is Deng the daddy still…oh sorry Liu…let`s draw a line under that one!
    The BBCs world service should be mandatory hospital radio…if they can turn it off, then they`re able to work!


  5. deegee says:

    I couldn’t help noticing
    BBC Persian TV audience doubles to six million

    How could they possibly know with any degree of accuracy? Telephone polling? Door-to-door?