Executive notes rising audience for BBC Global News, but declining shortwave listening.

Posted: 13 Feb 2012

The Telegraph, 10 Feb 2012, letter from Jim Egan, Controller, Strategy and Distribution, BBC Global News: "The BBC has not said that it will close all its short-wave services (Letters, February 8). Neither are short-wave broadcasts immune from attempts to jam and disrupt transmissions. We are committed to retaining short wave in areas of the world where it is the only reliable means of providing news, such as in Burma, Somalia and Nigeria. However, news consumption is changing. In Africa, for example, the use of mobile technology has exploded and is becoming a primary means of access to information. During the Arab Spring, audiences in Egypt overwhelmingly turned to television for trusted news. BBC Arabic’s viewing numbers rose by 80 per cent in 2011. In the same period, short-wave radio listening, including the BBC audience, declined." -- Shortwave is not immune from jamming, but it has more physical resistance to interdiction attempts than satellite broadcasting or the internet.

Ibid, letter from Philip Perkins: "It’s true that the number of short wave listeners has declined, but those who have tried listening to the World Service abroad will have found that there are few alternatives. Doesn’t the BBC have a duty to provide a service to those who fund its operations, including the estimated 5.5 million British citizens living abroad?"

The two letters above refer to the fourth item in this post.

Copyright 2006–2019 Kim Andrew Elliott.