Commentator: BBC World Service is not perfect, but "it was never as crass as Radio Moscow or the Voice of America."

Posted: 24 Nov 2012   Print   Send a link
Dawn (Karachi), 21 Nov 2012, Mahir Ali: "BBC employees generally bristle, with some justification, at any description of the corporation as a state broadcaster. Its reputation for independence, after all, is crucial to its image. Yet it’s easy to exaggerate. The World Service that served as a window to the world to (Aung San) Suu Kyi — and millions of others — was, after all, once known as the Empire Service, and funded by the Foreign Office. Its merits should not be discounted, but nor should its role as an instrument of propaganda in the Cold War go unacknowledged — although it was never as crass as Radio Moscow or the Voice of America."

BBG Strategy, 19 Nov 2012: "Getting traction in Pakistan has proven elusive for Voice of America. Many potential affiliates are either wary of governmental crackdowns or concerned about strong anti-Americanism within their current audiences, causing them to avoid the VOA brand. Still others, who may be open to working with VOA, view it incorrectly as a deep-pocketed entity willing to pay-for-play. Even when affiliates are secured, the programming is often preempted or banished to fringe time slots. Looking to start fresh, VOA is using a new tactic to get its foot in the door with Pakistani audiences. Three news affiliates, Lahore-based Dunya News and Express News, and Karachi’s AAJ TV are now all airing News Minute. The short is airing in prime time on all three stations, so what it lacks in depth it should more than make up for in eyeballs."