BBC World to launch Arabic TV

The BBC World Service is launching an Arabic TV and information service, and ending services in 10 other languages to help pay for the venture.

    BBC Arabic service is to go live in 2007

    The Arabic service will be the first publicly funded international television service launched by the British Broadcasting Corp. Its BBC World TV service is a commercial venture.

     

    The BBC said it would end broadcasts in Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Kazakh, Polish, Slovak, Slovene and Thai by March, in the process shedding 218 jobs.

     

    "The changes add up to the biggest transformation of BBC World Service that has been undertaken - and one of the most far-reaching - since the BBC began international broadcasting more than 70 years ago," BBC World Service Director Nigel Chapman said.

     

    The far-reaching changes, which also include expanding internet services in Arabic, were required because of changes in technology, the world and Europe, he added.

     

    Competition

      

    BBC Arabic Television Service is expected to go live in 2007 and compete with Aljazeera, which is itself launching an English-language service next year.

       

     

    "Many of the European services being closed had their roots in the Second World War and have served their audiences well right through the Cold War years"

    Nigel Chapman,

    Director, BBC World Service

    Chapman pledged to build on the BBC World Service's legacy as "the most successful, trusted and respected voice in the Middle East" by offering "trusted and accurate news with an international agenda".

      

    The 19 million pound (28 million euro, $33.6 million) a year TV project will create 148 new jobs.

      

    "Many of the European services being closed had their roots in the Second World War and have served their audiences well right through the Cold War years," Chapman said.

      

    "But Europe has changed, fundamentally, since the early '90s. Now the countries to which these languages are broadcast are members of the European Union or are likely to join soon."

     

    Broadcasting union Bectu was quoted as saying on the BBC website that the decision appeared to be political. "The decision will create a perception abroad that the BBC World Service is working to a government agenda."

     

    The union, along with the UK's National Union of Journalists condemned the job cuts.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.