BBC World Service

BBC World Service

Overview
The BBC World Service is the world's largest international broadcaster
International broadcasting
International broadcasting is broadcasting that is deliberately aimed at a foreign, rather than a domestic, audience. It usually is broadcast by means of longwave, mediumwave, or shortwave radio, but in recent years has also used direct satellite broadcasting and the Internet as means of reaching...

, broadcasting in 27 languages to many parts of the world via analogue and digital shortwave, internet streaming and podcasting, satellite, FM and MW relays. It is politically independent (by mandate of the Agreement providing details of the topics outlined in the BBC Charter
BBC Charter
The BBC Charter established the BBC . An accompanying Agreement recognises its editorial independence and sets out its public obligations in detail....

), non-profit, and commercial
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

-free.

The English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 service broadcasts 24 hours a day.
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Encyclopedia
The BBC World Service is the world's largest international broadcaster
International broadcasting
International broadcasting is broadcasting that is deliberately aimed at a foreign, rather than a domestic, audience. It usually is broadcast by means of longwave, mediumwave, or shortwave radio, but in recent years has also used direct satellite broadcasting and the Internet as means of reaching...

, broadcasting in 27 languages to many parts of the world via analogue and digital shortwave, internet streaming and podcasting, satellite, FM and MW relays. It is politically independent (by mandate of the Agreement providing details of the topics outlined in the BBC Charter
BBC Charter
The BBC Charter established the BBC . An accompanying Agreement recognises its editorial independence and sets out its public obligations in detail....

), non-profit, and commercial
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

-free.

The English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 service broadcasts 24 hours a day. In June 2009 the BBC reported that the World Service's average weekly audience reached 188 million people. The World Service is funded by grant-in-aid
Grant-in-aid
A grant-in-aid is money coming from central government for a specific project. This kind of funding is usually used when the government and parliament have decided that the recipient should be publicly funded but operate with reasonable independence from the state.In the United Kingdom, most bodies...

 through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, commonly called the Foreign Office or the FCO is a British government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom overseas, created in 1968 by merging the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office.The head of the FCO is the...

 by the British Government. From 2014, it will be funded by the compulsory BBC licence fee
Television licensing in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies, any household watching or recording live television transmissions is required to purchase a television licence every year. As of 2010, this costs £145.50 for colour and £49.00 for black and white. The licence is required to receive any live...

 levied on every household in the United Kingdom using a television
Television set
A television set is a device that combines a tuner, display, and speakers for the purpose of viewing television. Television sets became a popular consumer product after the Second World War, using vacuum tubes and cathode ray tube displays...

 to watch broadcast programmes.

BBC World Service is a patron of The Radio Academy
Radio Academy
The Radio Academy is a registered charity that is dedicated to 'the encouragement, recognition and promotion of excellence in UK broadcasting and audio production'....

. The Director of the World Service is Peter Horrocks
Peter Horrocks
Peter John Gibson Horrocks is Director of BBC World Service. He was educated at the independent King's College School in Wimbledon and at Christ's College, Cambridge....

.

History


The BBC World Service began as the BBC Empire Service in 1932
1932 in radio
The year 1932 saw a number of significant happenings in radio broadcasting history.-Events:*January 8 - Pittsburgh radio activist and catholic priest, Father Cox, and his army of unemployed men return home after a protest march on Depression era Washington, D.C.*March 1 – Both NBC and CBS go to...

 as a shortwave service
Shortwave listening
Shortwave listening is the hobby of listening to shortwave radio broadcasts located on frequencies between 1700 kHz and 30 MHz. Listeners range from casual users seeking international news and entertainment programming to hobbyists immersed in the technical aspects of radio reception and DXing...

. Its broadcasts were aimed principally at English speakers
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 in the outposts of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, or as George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

 put it in the first-ever Royal Christmas Message, the "men and women, so cut off by the snow, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them."

First hopes for the Empire Service were low. The Director General, Sir John Reith
John Reith, 1st Baron Reith
John Charles Walsham Reith, 1st Baron Reith, KT, GCVO, GBE, CB, TD, PC was a Scottish broadcasting executive who established the tradition of independent public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom...

 (later Lord Reith) said in the opening programme: "Don't expect too much in the early days; for some time we shall transmit comparatively simple programmes, to give the best chance of intelligible reception and provide evidence as to the type of material most suitable for the service in each zone. The programmes will neither be very interesting nor very good." This address was read out five times as it was broadcast live to different parts of the world.

On 3 January 1938, the first foreign language service, Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, was launched. German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 programmes commenced shortly before the start of the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and by the end of 1942 broadcasts were being made in all major European languages. The Empire Service was renamed the BBC Overseas Service in November 1939, and a dedicated BBC European Service was added in 1941. These broadcasting services, financed not from the domestic licence fee but from government grant-in-aid
Grant-in-aid
A grant-in-aid is money coming from central government for a specific project. This kind of funding is usually used when the government and parliament have decided that the recipient should be publicly funded but operate with reasonable independence from the state.In the United Kingdom, most bodies...

 (from the Foreign Office budget), were known administratively as the External Services of the BBC.

The External Services gained a special position in international broadcasting during the Second World War, as an alternative source of news
News
News is the communication of selected information on current events which is presented by print, broadcast, Internet, or word of mouth to a third party or mass audience.- Etymology :...

 for a wide range of audiences, especially those in enemy and occupied territories who often had to listen secretly. George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

 broadcast many news bulletins on the Eastern Service during World War II.

The German Service, created on 29 March 1938 and discontinued in 1999, played an important part in the propaganda war against Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

.

The service has been located at Bush House since a landmine damaged the studios' original home at Broadcasting House
Broadcasting House
Broadcasting House is the headquarters and registered office of the BBC in Portland Place and Langham Place, London.The building includes the BBC Radio Theatre from where music and speech programmes are recorded in front of a studio audience...

 on 8 December 1940. The European Service was the first to relocate, followed by the rest of the External Services in 1958. As part of a larger changes in terms of the use of BBC properties, the World Service will return to Broadcasting House in 2012, when BBC News
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

, BBC World
BBC World
BBC World News is the BBC's international news and current affairs television channel. It has the largest audience of any BBC channel in the world...

, the World Service, and BBC London
BBC London
BBC London is the BBC English Region producing local radio, television, teletext and online services in London and parts of the surrounding area. Its output includes the daily BBC London News and the weekly Politics Show on television, the BBC London 94.9 radio station and local coverage of the...

 will all be located in the same newsroom for the first time.

The name "BBC World Service" took effect on 1 May 1965.

In August 1985, the service went off the air for the first time. Workers were striking in protest at the British government's decision to ban a documentary featuring an interview with Martin McGuinness
Martin McGuinness
James Martin Pacelli McGuinness is an Irish Sinn Féin politician and the current deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland. McGuinness was also the Sinn Féin candidate for the Irish presidential election, 2011. He was born in Derry, Northern Ireland....

 of Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970...

. The External Services were renamed under the BBC World Service brand in 1988.

Aim


According to the World Service, its aims include being "the world's best-known and most-respected voice in international broadcasting, thereby bringing benefit to the UK, the BBC and to audiences around the world".
The UK Government spent £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

241 million on the World Service in 2008/9.

The BBC is a Crown Corporation of the British Government, but operates independently of it. There is no direct control of the BBC by the British Government. The World Service is required to take a "balanced British view" of international developments.

During the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 the World Service was one of the leading international broadcasters to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. The fall of the Iron Curtain
Iron Curtain
The concept of the Iron Curtain symbolized the ideological fighting and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1989...

 has led to a significant change in World Service activities in the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. In its 2007 Foreign & Commonwealth Office Annual Report, the House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Committee concluded that the BBC Russian Service's joint project with Bolshoe Radio: was "the development of a partnership with the international arm of a Russian state broadcasting network [which] puts the BBC World Service’s reputation for editorial independence at risk."

BBC Learning English
BBC Learning English
BBC Learning English is a department of the BBC World Service devoted to English language teaching.The service provides free resources and activities for teachers and students, primarily through its website. It also produces radio programmes which go out on some of the BBC World Service's language...

, a constituent part of the World Service, devotes significant resources to helping people learn English
English language learning and teaching
English as a second language , English for speakers of other languages and English as a foreign language all refer to the use or study of English by speakers with different native languages. The precise usage, including the different use of the terms ESL and ESOL in different countries, is...

.

Programmes


The English programme of the BBC World Service initially offered news, background, entertainment, culture and spiritual matters. After the 1990s only news, background, and culture remained.

After 1945


After 1945, the World Service was recognisably British in its programming. This was most clearly symbolised by the hourly broadcast of the song Lillibullero
Lillibullero
Lillibullero is a march that sets the words of a satirical ballad generally said to be by Lord Thomas Wharton to music attributed to Henry Purcell. Although Purcell published Lillibullero in his compilation Music's Handmaid of 1689 as "a new Irish tune", it is probable that Purcell hijacked the...

 (still broadcast, but not as often as before), followed by the chimes of Big Ben (no longer used in English-language broadcasts). Apart from news, there were music programmes, such as those presented by John Peel
John Peel
John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, OBE , known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest-serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004...

, classical music programmes presented by Edward Greenfield
Edward Greenfield
Edward Greenfield is an English music critic and broadcaster. He joined the Manchester Guardian in 1953, working as a lobby correspondent in the House of Commons. He has been a record critic for the newspaper since 1955, a music critic since 1964, and was chief music critic from 1977 until his...

, religious programmes with mostly Anglican celebrations, often from the Church of St. Martin in the Fields, weekly drama, educational programmes such as English-language lessons, and humour, with Just A Minute
Just a Minute
Just a Minute is a BBC Radio 4 radio comedy panel game chaired by Nicholas Parsons. Its first transmission on Radio 4 was on 22 December 1967, three months after the station's launch. The Radio 4 programme won a Gold Sony Radio Academy Award in 2003....

. The hourly news always contained a section called News from Britain.

The towering figure among the informative programmes was Letter from America
Letter from America
Letter from America was a weekly 15-minute radio series on BBC Radio 4, previously called the Home Service, which ran for 2,869 shows from 24 March 1946 to 20 February 2004, making it the longest-running speech radio programme in history...

by Alistair Cooke
Alistair Cooke
Alfred Alistair Cooke KBE was a British/American journalist, television personality and broadcaster. Outside his journalistic output, which included Letter from America and Alistair Cooke's America, he was well known in the United States as the host of PBS Masterpiece Theater from 1971 to 1992...

, which was broadcast for over 50 years. For many years, a daily reading from a novel, biography or history book was broadcast in Off the Shelf. One of the longest running programmes is Outlook, which features human interest stories. It was first broadcast in July 1966 and was presented for more than thirty years by John Tidmarsh
John Tidmarsh
John Alan Tidmarsh, O.B.E., born 13 August 1928 in King's College Hospital, Camberwell, is a British broadcaster and journalist who spent 10 years with domestic radio and television and more than 30 with the BBC World Service magazine programme Outlook....

, who was awarded an OBE for his services to broadcasting.

The shortwave broadcasts and links between London and overseas relays were very unreliable before satellite communication, and the BBC relied heavily on enthusiastic shortwave listeners ("DXers") for reception reports. In 1967 they started a regular programme "BBC WORLD RADIO CLUB" to register this network of dedicated technical reporters. Presented by Doug Crawford, a former pirate-radio DJ, the programme regularly received 16 sacks of mail a week.

After 1990s


At the end of the 1990s the BBC decided to focus more heavily on news. During the Second Gulf War the BBC World Service in English started broadcasting short news summaries on the half hour, and continues to do so. Drama and music are still broadcast, but not as frequently as had been the case previously. The BBC World Service has argued that people tune to them mainly for news and that most people can access plenty of music from other sources.

Current programming


Mainstays of the current BBC World Service schedule include the news programmes The World Today
The World Today (BBC World Service)
The World Today is BBC World Service's high profile, Sony Radio Academy Award winning, early morning news and current affairs programme, which as of the 27th March 2011 will be broadcast from 0300 to 0830 daily. It consists of news bulletins on the hour and half hour, serious international...

, Newshour
Newshour
Newshour is BBC World Service's flagship international news and current affairs programme, which broadcasts twice daily: at 1400 and 2100 each edition lasting one hour. It consists of news bulletins on the hour and half hour, international interviews and in-depth reports of world news...

and World Briefing, and the daily arts and entertainment news programme The Strand
The Strand (radio)
The Strand is the BBC World Service's daily arts show. It was launched on Monday 27 October 2008. It is regularly hosted by Harriett Gilbert, Mark Coles, Anna McNamee, and Bidisha.-Format:...

, which started in late 2008. There is a daily science programme, including Health Check, Click and Science in Action. At the weekends, much of the schedule is taken up by Sportsworld
Sportsworld (radio)
Sportsworld is the flagship weekend sports programme on BBC World Service radio and winner of bronze award in the best sports programme category at the 2009 Sony Radio Academy award and the silver award at the 2011 Sony Radio Academy awards....

, which often includes live commentary of Premier League football matches. On Sundays the international, interdisciplinary discussion programme The Forum
The Forum (BBC World Service)
The Forum is the BBC World Service's flagship discussion programme. It brings together prominent thinkers from different disciplines and different parts of the world to try and create stimulating discussion, informed by highly distinct academic, artistic and cultural backgrounds.-Format:Each...

 is broadcast. On weekdays, an hour of the schedule is given over to World: Have Your Say
World: Have Your Say
World Have Your Say is an international BBC global discussion show, which broadcasts on BBC World Service every weekday at 1800 hours UTC and on BBC World News every Friday at 1500 hours UTC....

which encourages listeners to participate in discussing current events via text message, phone calls, emails and blog postings.

Statistics and languages


The following audience estimates are from research conducted in 2004 by independent market research agencies on behalf of the BBC:
Language 2004 2006
English 39 million 44 million
Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 
20.4 million 22 million
Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 
16.1 million 21 million
Urdu  10.4 million 12 million
Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 
12.4 million 16 million

In Africa and the Middle East the service broadcasts to 66 million listeners, of whom 18.7 million listen in English.

Besides English, the BBC World Service broadcasts in

  • Arabic
  • Azeri
    Azerbaijani language
    Azerbaijani or Azeri or Torki is a language belonging to the Turkic language family, spoken in southwestern Asia by the Azerbaijani people, primarily in Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran...

  • Bengali
    Bengali language
    Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

  • Burmese
    Burmese language
    The Burmese language is the official language of Burma. Although the constitution officially recognizes it as the Myanmar language, most English speakers continue to refer to the language as Burmese. Burmese is the native language of the Bamar and related sub-ethnic groups of the Bamar, as well as...

  • Cantonese
    Standard Cantonese
    Cantonese, or Standard Cantonese, is a language that originated in the vicinity of Canton in southern China, and is often regarded as the prestige dialect of Yue Chinese....

     
  • French
    African French
    African French is the generic name of the varieties of French spoken by an estimated 115 million African people spread across 31 francophone African countries...

     for Africa
  • Hausa
    Hausa language
    Hausa is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers, spoken as a first language by about 25 million people, and as a second language by about 18 million more, an approximate total of 43 million people...

  • Hindi
    Hindi
    Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

  • Indonesian
    Indonesian language
    Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

  • Rwanda-Rundi
    Rwanda-Rundi
    Rwanda-Rundi or Ruanda-Rundi is a Bantu language, actually a dialect continuum, of Central Africa. Neighboring dialects are mutually intelligible, but more distant ones may not be. Two dialects, Kirundi and Kinyarwanda, have been standardized as official languages, of Burundi and Rwanda...

  • Kyrgyz
    Kyrgyz language
    Kyrgyz or Kirgiz, also Kirghiz, Kyrghiz, Qyrghiz is a Turkic language and, together with Russian, an official language of Kyrgyzstan...

  • Mandarin
  • Nepali
    Nepali language
    Nepali or Nepalese is a language in the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family.It is the official language and de facto lingua franca of Nepal and is also spoken in Bhutan, parts of India and parts of Myanmar...

  • Pashto
  • Persian
    Persian language
    Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

  • Portuguese
    Portuguese language
    Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

     for Brazil
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Brazilian Portuguese is a group of Portuguese dialects written and spoken by most of the 190 million inhabitants of Brazil and by a few million Brazilian emigrants, mainly in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Japan and Paraguay....

  • Russian
    Russian language
    Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

  • Sinhala
  • Somali
    Somali language
    The Somali language is a member of the East Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Its nearest relatives are Afar and Oromo. Somali is the best documented of the Cushitic languages, with academic studies beginning before 1900....

  • Spanish
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

     for Latin America
  • Swahili
    Swahili language
    Swahili or Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoro Islands. It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups in Somalia...

  • Tamil
    Tamil language
    Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

  • Turkish
    Turkish language
    Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

  • Ukrainian
    Ukrainian language
    Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

  • Urdu
    Urdu
    Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

  • Uzbek
    Uzbek language
    Uzbek is a Turkic language and the official language of Uzbekistan. It has about 25.5 million native speakers, and it is spoken by the Uzbeks in Uzbekistan and elsewhere in Central Asia...

  • Vietnamese
    Vietnamese language
    Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...



The German broadcasts were stopped in March 1999 after 60 years, as research showed that the majority of German listeners tuned in to the English version. Broadcasts in Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

, Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 for Europe, Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

, Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

 and Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 were stopped for similar reasons.

On 25 October 2005 it was announced that the Bulgarian
Bulgarian language
Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group.Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language, demonstrates several linguistic characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages such as the elimination of case declension, the...

, Croatian
Croatian language
Croatian is the collective name for the standard language and dialects spoken by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina and other neighbouring countries...

, Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

, Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, Hungarian, Kazakh
Kazakh language
Kazakh is a Turkic language which belongs to the Kipchak branch of the Turkic languages, closely related to Nogai and Karakalpak....

, Polish, Slovak
Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

, Slovene and Thai language
Thai language
Thai , also known as Central Thai and Siamese, is the national and official language of Thailand and the native language of the Thai people, Thailand's dominant ethnic group. Thai is a member of the Tai group of the Tai–Kadai language family. Historical linguists have been unable to definitively...

 radio services would end by March 2006 in order to finance the launch of an Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and Persian language
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 TV news channel in 2007. Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 broadcasts ceased on 1 August 2008.

In January 2011, BBC World Service announced that it would be closing five language services: Albanian, Macedonian, Portuguese for Africa, Serbian, and English for the Caribbean. The British government announced that the three Balkan
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 countries had luxuriant access to international information and continuation of broadcast in the local tongues had become unnecessary. It is a part of reducing 650 jobs (more than 25 percent of its workforce) due to facing a 16 percent budget cut between now and 2014 related with government's comprehensive spending review. It will make BBC cuts more than 1000 jobs following 360 jobs cut at BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 Online a few days earlier.

In March 2011 The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

published an article describing an agreement with the US State Department to receive funding in exchange for helping listeners access the World Service from countries routinely applying state censorship. This came shortly after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the US was losing the information war to (amongst others) China and Russia.

Transmission


Traditionally, the BBC World Service relied on shortwave, because of its ability to overcome barriers of censorship, distance and spectrum scarcity. To this end, the BBC has maintained a worldwide network of shortwave relay stations since the 1940s, mainly in former British colonies. Over the decades, some of these stations have acquired increasingly powerful mediumwave
Mediumwave
Medium wave is the part of the medium frequency radio band used mainly for AM radio broadcasting. For Europe the MW band ranges from 526.5 kHz to 1606.5 kHz...

 and FM
FM broadcasting
FM broadcasting is a broadcasting technology pioneered by Edwin Howard Armstrong which uses frequency modulation to provide high-fidelity sound over broadcast radio. The term "FM band" describes the "frequency band in which FM is used for broadcasting"...

 outlets as well. A special use of such cross-border broadcasts has been emergency messages to British subjects abroad, such as the advice to evacuate Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 during the Black September
Black September in Jordan
September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the "era of regrettable events." It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the militancy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. The...

 incidents of September 1970. These facilities were privatised in 1997 as Merlin Communications, which were later acquired and operated as part of a wider network for multiple broadcasters by VT Communications
VT Communications
VT Communications was a part of VT Group plc. VT Communications was essentially the company formed from the privatisation of the BBC World Service transmitter sites. It was initially named Merlin Communications, then, after acquisition by VT, VT Merlin Communications...

 (now part of Babcock International Group
Babcock International Group
Babcock International Group plc is a British-based support services company specialising in managing complex assets and infrastructure in safety-critical and mission-critical environments. Although the company has civil contracts, its main business is with public bodies, particularly the UK...

). It is common for BBC programmes to air on traditionally Voice of America
Voice of America
Voice of America is the official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government. It is one of five civilian U.S. international broadcasters working under the umbrella of the Broadcasting Board of Governors . VOA provides a wide range of programming for broadcast on radio...

 or ORF
ORF
ORF may refer to:* ORF , the Austrian public service broadcaster.* Open reading frame, a portion of the genome.* The IATA airport code for Norfolk International Airport in Norfolk, Virginia.* ORF format , Olympus raw image file format....

 transmitters, while their programming is relayed by a station physically located in the UK.

Since the 1980s, satellite distribution has made it possible for local stations to relay BBC programming, typically news bulletins but also educational, drama, and sports programming. The World Service is available as a free (basic) channel on a large number of satellite and cable systems. Both a live stream and an archive of previous programmes (now including podcasts) are available on the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

.

Africa


Broadcasts have traditionally come from the UK, Cyprus (see Europe), the large BBC Atlantic Relay Station on Ascension Island
Ascension Island
Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island in the equatorial waters of the South Atlantic Ocean, around from the coast of Africa and from the coast of South America, which is roughly midway between the horn of South America and Africa...

, and the smaller Lesotho
Lesotho
Lesotho , officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country and enclave, surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. It is just over in size with a population of approximately 2,067,000. Its capital and largest city is Maseru. Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The name...

 Relay Station and Indian Ocean Relay Station on Seychelles
Seychelles
Seychelles , officially the Republic of Seychelles , is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar....

. A large part of the English schedule is taken up by specialist programming from and for Africa, for example Network Africa, Focus on Africa and Africa Have Your Say. In the 1990s, the BBC added FM facilities in many African capital cities. BBC service for Africa also uses Portuguese and French languages.

Americas


BBC shortwave broadcasts to this region were traditionally enhanced by the Atlantic Relay Station and the Caribbean Relay Company, a station in Antigua
Antigua
Antigua , also known as Waladli, is an island in the West Indies, in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region, the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua means "ancient" in Spanish and was named by Christopher Columbus after an icon in Seville Cathedral, Santa Maria de la...

 run jointly with Deutsche Welle
Deutsche Welle
Deutsche Welle or DW, is Germany's international broadcaster. The service is aimed at the overseas market. It broadcasts news and information on shortwave, Internet and satellite radio on 98.7 DZFE in 30 languages . It has a satellite television service , that is available in four languages, and...

. In addition, an exchange agreement with Radio Canada International
Radio Canada International
Radio Canada International is the international broadcasting service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation . Until 1970, it was known as the CBC International Service and was sometimes referred to as the "Voice of Canada" in its early years.- The early years :The idea for creating an...

 gave access to their station in New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

. However, "changing listening habits" led the World Service to end shortwave radio transmission directed to North America and Australasia
Australasia
Australasia is a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. The term was coined by Charles de Brosses in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes...

 on 1 July 2001. A shortwave listener
Shortwave listening
Shortwave listening is the hobby of listening to shortwave radio broadcasts located on frequencies between 1700 kHz and 30 MHz. Listeners range from casual users seeking international news and entertainment programming to hobbyists immersed in the technical aspects of radio reception and DXing...

 coalition
Coalition
A coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause. This alliance may be temporary or a matter of convenience. A coalition thus differs from a more formal covenant...

 formed to oppose the change. Both XM Radio
XM Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio is one of two satellite radio services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Radio. It provides pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television. Its service includes 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional...

 and Sirius Satellite Radio
Sirius Satellite Radio
Sirius Satellite Radio is a satellite radio service operating in North America, owned by Sirius XM Radio.Headquartered in New York City, with smaller studios in Los Angeles and Memphis, Sirius was officially launched on July 1, 2002 and currently provides 69 streams of music and 65 streams of...

 rebroadcast the World Service over commercial satellite radio
Satellite radio
Satellite radio is an analogue or digital radio signal that is relayed through one or more satellites and thus can be received in a much wider geographical area than terrestrial FM radio stations...

 to Canada and the United States, and more than 300 public radio stations across the U.S. carry World Service news broadcasts -- mostly during the overnight and early-morning hours -- over AM
AM broadcasting
AM broadcasting is the process of radio broadcasting using amplitude modulation. AM was the first method of impressing sound on a radio signal and is still widely used today. Commercial and public AM broadcasting is carried out in the medium wave band world wide, and on long wave and short wave...

 and FM radio, through Public Radio International
Public Radio International
Public Radio International is a Minneapolis-based American public radio organization, with locations in Boston, New York, London and Beijing. PRI's tagline is "Hear a different voice." PRI is a major public media content creator and also distributes programs from many sources...

 (PRI). The BBC and PRI also co-produce the programme The World
The World (radio program)
PRI's The World is a global news radio, audio and multi-platform program created by Public Radio International based on the program's congruence with PRI's mission, and in order to fulfill the critical need for more original global news created for and provided to Americans. This was partly a...

 with WGBH
WGBH (FM)
WGBH is a public radio station located in Boston, Massachusetts. WGBH is a member station of NPR and PRI. The license-holder is the WGBH Educational Foundation, which also owns WGBH-TV and WGBX-TV....

 Radio Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, and the BBC is also involved with The Takeaway
The Takeaway
The Takeaway is a morning radio news program co-created and co-produced by Public Radio International and WNYC-New York Public Radio with editorial partners the BBC World Service of the United Kingdom, The New York Times, and WGBH Radio Boston of the United States...

 morning news programme based at WNYC
WNYC
WNYC is a set of call letters shared by a pair of co-owned, non-profit, public radio stations located in New York City.WNYC broadcasts on the AM band at 820 kHz, and WNYC-FM is at 93.9 MHz. Both stations are members of National Public Radio and carry distinct, but similar news/talk programs...

 in New York City. BBC World Service programming also airs as part of CBC Radio One
CBC Radio One
CBC Radio One is the English language news and information radio network of the publicly-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It is commercial free and offers both local and national programming...

's CBC Radio Overnight
CBC Radio Overnight
CBC Radio Overnight is a Canadian radio program, which airs nightly on CBC Radio One from 1 a.m. to 5:30 or 6 a.m. ....

 schedule in Canada.

The BBC continues to broadcast to Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 in several languages. It is possible to receive the Western African
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

 shortwave radio broadcasts from eastern North America, but the BBC does not guarantee reception in this area. It has ended its specialist programming to the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

 but continues to provide a stream of World Service programming to the Falkland Islands Radio Service
Falkland Islands Radio Service
Falkland Islands Radio Service is an independent radio broadcaster in the Falkland Islands. The station broadcasts for 76 hours each week and provides a wide range of programming including all music genres, local news and phone-in shows. The station has five fulltime staff members and...

.

Asia


For several decades, the World Service's largest audiences have been in Asia, the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 and South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. Transmission facilities in the UK and Cyprus have been supplemented by the former BBC Eastern Relay Station in Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 and the Far Eastern Relay Station in Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

. The East Asian Relay Station moved from Hong Kong to Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 when the former British colony reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Together, these facilities have given the BBC World Service an easily accessible signal in regions where shortwave listening has traditionally been popular. The English shortwave frequencies of 6195, 9740, 15310/360 and 17790/760 kHz are widely known.

The largest audiences are in English, Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

, Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

, Bengali
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

 and other major languages of South Asia, where BBC broadcasters are household names. The Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 service is essentially the national broadcaster of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, along with its Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

ian audience. The World Service is available up to eighteen hours a day in English across Asia, and in Arabic for the Middle East. With the addition of relays in Afghanistan and Iraq these services are accessible in most of the Middle and Near East, at least in the evening. In Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, the BBC World Service in English is essentially treated as a domestic broadcaster, easily available through long-term agreements with Radio Television Hong Kong
Radio Television Hong Kong
Radio Television Hong Kong is a public broadcasting organisation in Hong Kong that is operated as an independent department in the government under the Broadcasting Authority. RTHK operates seven radio channels, and produces television programmes that are then broadcast through local television...

 and MediaCorp Radio. In the Philippines, DZRJ 810 AM
DZRJ-AM
DZRJ-AM , also known by its tagline The Voice of the Philippines, is an AM radio station of the Rajah Broadcasting Network, Inc. in the Philippines. The station was located on the roofdeck and tower of the J&T Building along Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard...

 airs the BBC World Service in English from 12mn - 5am.

On 13 January 2006, Thai BBC was closed to divert resources instead to a new Arabic language
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 satellite television broadcasting station, although there were more than 570,000 listeners weekly.

In 2011 the Mandarin shortwave service for China was closed due to spending cuts, though internet services and a weekly Cantonese
Cantonese
Cantonese is a dialect spoken primarily in south China.Cantonese may also refer to:* Yue Chinese, the Chinese language that includes Cantonese* Cantonese cuisine, the cuisine of Guangdong province...

 radio broadcast continue.

Jamming



Iran, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Myanmar/Burma
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

 have all jammed
Radio jamming
Radio jamming is the transmission of radio signals that disrupt communications by decreasing the signal to noise ratio. Unintentional jamming occurs when an operator transmits on a busy frequency without first checking whether it is in use, or without being able to hear stations using the frequency...

 the BBC in the past. Japan and Korea have little tradition of World Service listening, although during the 1970s to 1980s, shortwave listening was popular in Japan. In those two countries, the BBC World Service was only available via shortwave and the Internet. As of September 2007, a satellite transmission (subscription required) became available by Skylife (Channel 791) in South Korea.

Europe


The World Service employed a medium wave transmitter at Orford Ness
Orford Ness
Orford Ness is a cuspate foreland shingle spit on the Suffolk coast in Great Britain, linked to the mainland at Aldeburgh and stretching along the coast to Orford and down to North Wier Point, opposite Shingle Street. It is divided from the mainland by the River Alde, and was formed by longshore...

 to provide English-language coverage to Europe, including on the frequency
Frequency
Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit time. It is also referred to as temporal frequency.The period is the duration of one cycle in a repeating event, so the period is the reciprocal of the frequency...

 648 kHz (which could be heard in parts of the south-east of England). Transmissions on this frequency were stopped on March 27, 2011, as a consequence of the budgetary constraints imposed on the BBC World Service in the 2010 budget review. A second channel (1296 kHz) traditionally broadcast in various Central European languages, but in 2005 it began regular English-language transmissions via the Digital Radio Mondiale
Digital Radio Mondiale
Digital Radio Mondiale is a set of digital audio broadcasting technologies designed to work over the bands currently used for AM broadcasting, particularly shortwave...

 (DRM) format. This is a digital shortwave technology that VT expects to become the standard for cross-border transmissions in developed countries.

In the 1990s, the BBC purchased and constructed large medium wave and FM networks in the former Soviet bloc, particularly the Czech (BBC Czech Section), Slovak Republics (BBC Slovak Section), Poland (BBC Polish Section
BBC Polish Section
The BBC Polish Section was one of the foreign-language services of the BBC World Service. It existed between 1939 and 2005.-History:...

) (where it was a national network) and Russia (BBC Russian Service
BBC Russian Service
The BBC Russian Service was part of the BBC World Service's foreign language output, one of 33 languages it provided.-History:The BBC Russian Service began broadcasting on 26 March 1946....

). It had built up a strong audience during the Cold War, whilst economic restructuring made it difficult for these governments to refuse Western investment. Many of these facilities have now returned to domestic control, as economic and political conditions have changed.

On Monday 18 February 2008, the BBC World Service stopped analogue shortwave transmissions to Europe. The notice stated, "Increasing numbers of people around the world are choosing to listen to radio on a range of other platforms including FM, satellite and online, with fewer listening on shortwave." It is sometimes possible to pick up the BBC World Service in Europe on SW frequencies targeted at North Africa. The BBC's powerful 198 kHz LW, which broadcasts the domestic BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 to Britain during the day (and carries the World Service during the night) can also be heard in nearby parts of Europe, including the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and parts of France, Germany and Scandinavia.

On Wednesday, 10 December 2008, BBC World Service and Deutsche Welle
Deutsche Welle
Deutsche Welle or DW, is Germany's international broadcaster. The service is aimed at the overseas market. It broadcasts news and information on shortwave, Internet and satellite radio on 98.7 DZFE in 30 languages . It has a satellite television service , that is available in four languages, and...

 started broadcasting a joint DRM digital radio station. It broadcasts a mix of English-language news and information programmes produced by each partner, and is aimed at an audience in mainland Europe. The station hopes, among other things, to stimulate the production of DRM radio receivers.

Former BBC shortwave transmitters are located in the United Kingdom at Rampisham
Rampisham
Rampisham is a village in west Dorset, England, situated in a steep valley ten miles north west of Dorchester. The village has a population of 102...

, Woofferton
Woofferton transmitting station
The Woofferton transmitting station is a shortwave broadcasting site at Woofferton, south of Ludlow, Shropshire, England.The station was originally built by the BBC during World War II to house additional shortwave broadcasting transmitters...

 and Skelton
Skelton transmitter
The Skelton transmitting station is a radio transmitter site at near Skelton, Cumbria, England about north west of Penrith, run by Babcock International....

. The former BBC East Mediterranean Relay Station is in Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

.

Pacific


Shortwave relays from Singapore (see Asia, above) continue, but historic relays via Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly referred to as "the ABC" , is Australia's national public broadcaster...

 and Radio New Zealand International
Radio New Zealand International
Radio New Zealand International , a division of Radio New Zealand, is the official international broadcasting station of New Zealand. It broadcasts a variety of news, current affairs and sports programmes in English and news in seven Pacific languages...

 were wound down in the late 1990s. The World Service is available as part of the subscription Digital Air package (available from Foxtel
Foxtel
Foxtel is an Australian pay television company, operating cable, direct broadcast satellite television and IPTV services. It was formed in 1995 through a joint venture established between Telstra and News Corporation....

 and Austar
Austar
Austar is an Australian telecommunications company. Its main business activity is Subscription Television but it is also involved with internet access and mobile phones...

) in Australia. ABC NewsRadio
ABC NewsRadio
ABC NewsRadio is an Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio service devoted to delivering live and 24-hour news updates and information. The service is available on a number of broadcasts right around Australia, including AM/FM radio, some pay-TV platforms and online via the Internet.Originally...

, SBS Radio
SBS Radio
SBS Radio is a service provided by the Special Broadcasting Service '..to inform, educate and entertain Australians, especially those of non-English speaking backgrounds'. SBS Radio originally began as two stations based in Melbourne and Sydney, set up to provide pre-recorded information about the...

, and various community radio
Community radio
Community radio is a type of radio service, that offers a third model of radio broadcasting beyond commercial broadcasting and public broadcasting. Community stations can serve geographic communities and communities of interest...

 stations also broadcast many programmes. Many of these stations broadcast a straight feed during the midnight to dawn period. It is also available pseudo-free-to-air via the satellite service Optus Aurora
Optus Aurora
Optus Aurora is a free-to-view satellite television platform in Australia, aimed at providing television and radio services to remote and black spot areas using the Optus C1 and B3 satellites...

, which is encrypted for the sake of protecting local rebroadcasting of national television services (a subscription is available for qualifying citizens living in remote areas).

In Sydney, Australia a transmission of the service can be received at 152.025 MHz. It is also available on the DAB+ Network in Australia
Digital radio in Australia
Digital radio in Australia uses the DAB+ standard and is currently available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Darwin. The national government owned networks, the ABC and SBS, provide their current services and a few digital-only services on the new platform, while the...

 under the name of SBS6.

BBC World Service relays on Radio Australia
Radio Australia
Radio Australia is the international broadcasting and online service operated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation , Australia's public broadcaster.- History :...

 now carry the BBC Radio news programs.

BBC World Service is on an AM Frequency (810 kHz) in Auckland, New Zealand.

UK


The BBC World Service does not receive funding for broadcasts to the UK, and reliable medium wave reception has traditionally only been possible in southeast England (see Europe, above). Since the introduction of digital broadcasting
Digital broadcasting
Digital broadcasting is the practice of using digital data rather than analogue waveforms to carry broadcasts over television channels or assigned radio frequency bands...

, the World Service's output has been made more widely available in the UK—the service is now carried on DAB
Digital audio broadcasting
Digital Audio Broadcasting is a digital radio technology for broadcasting radio stations, used in several countries, particularly in Europe. As of 2006, approximately 1,000 stations worldwide broadcast in the DAB format....

, Freeview, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Virgin Media Inc. is a company which provides fixed and mobile telephone, television and broadband internet services to businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom...

 and Sky Digital
Sky Digital (UK & Ireland)
Sky is the brand name for British Sky Broadcasting's digital satellite television and radio service, transmitted from SES Astra satellites located at 28.2° east and Eutelsat's Eurobird 1 satellite at 28.5°E. The service was originally launched as Sky Digital, distinguishing it from the original...

.
After the British domestic radio station BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 ceases broadcasting at 0100 GMT, the World Service is broadcast on all its frequencies overnight, including 198 kHz longwave
Longwave
In radio, longwave refers to parts of radio spectrum with relatively long wavelengths. The term is a historic one dating from the early 20th century, when the radio spectrum was considered to consist of long, medium and short wavelengths...

, which can be heard in parts of continental Europe.

Although the BBC said that shortwave transmissions for Western Europe had ceased (as of March 2007), shortwave reception of 6195 and 9410 kHz, which might be aimed at Western Russia, was still possible for a few hours a day in the UK (sometimes, with a high strength signal), 9410 kHz from the Seychelles (For East Africa) is receivable in the UK between 18.30 and 22.00 (Feb 2011) However,the BBC has said all the remaining analogue shortwave transmissions to Europe ceased as of February 2008. In a very few cases, 15400 kHz from the relay station in Ascension Island
Ascension Island
Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island in the equatorial waters of the South Atlantic Ocean, around from the coast of Africa and from the coast of South America, which is roughly midway between the horn of South America and Africa...

 still becomes listenable, as are some frequencies directed to Africa.

In 2002, residents of Hooke
Hooke, Dorset
Hooke is a small village in west Dorset, England, 13 kilometers northwest of Dorchester. The village has a population of 118 . The village is situated in the valley of the short River Hooke, a tributary of the River Frome, in the Dorset Downs chalk hills...

 in Dorset
Dorset
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

 reported a case of the signal being so strong that they were able to receive the station through their toasters and other electrical appliances.

Interval signals


The interval signal
Interval signal
An interval signal, or tuning signal, is a characteristic sound or musical phrase used in international broadcasting and by some domestic broadcasters...

 of the BBC World Service in English were the Bow Bells, a recording made in 1926. Introduced as a symbol of hope during the Second World War, it was until recently used preceding many (though not all) English language broadcasts. Though for a few years in the 1970s, Oranges and Lemons
Oranges and Lemons
"Oranges and Lemons" is an English nursery rhyme and singing game which refers to the bells of several churches, all within or close to the City of London. It is listed in the Roud Folk Song Index as #3190.-Lyrics:Common modern versions include:...

 was used as the interval, the Bow Bells were soon reintroduced.

January 1941 saw the beginning of the Morse code
Morse code
Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...

 letter "V
V
V is the twenty-second letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Letter:The letter V comes from the Semitic letter Waw, as do the modern letters F, U, W, and Y. See F for details....

" as an interval signal. The interval signal had several variations including timpani
Timpani
Timpani, or kettledrums, are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum, they consist of a skin called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. They are played by striking the head with a specialized drum stick called a timpani stick or timpani mallet...

, the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, was written by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1804–08. This symphony is one of the most popular and best-known compositions in all of classical music, and one of the most often played symphonies. It comprises four movements: an opening sonata, an andante, and a fast...

 (which coincide with the letter "V"), and electronic tones which until recently remained in use for some Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

an services. In other languages, the interval signal is three notes, pitched B-B-C. The use of interval signals on shortwave broadcasts appears to have been abandoned lately.
The BBC World Service's signature tune is now a five-note motif created by composer David Arnold. It is heard across the network in different variations. The World Service's well-known signature tune Lillibullero
Lillibullero
Lillibullero is a march that sets the words of a satirical ballad generally said to be by Lord Thomas Wharton to music attributed to Henry Purcell. Although Purcell published Lillibullero in his compilation Music's Handmaid of 1689 as "a new Irish tune", it is probable that Purcell hijacked the...

was previously broadcast approaching the top of many hours, followed by the Greenwich Time Signal
Greenwich Time Signal
The Greenwich Time Signal , popularly known as the pips, is a series of six short tones broadcast at one-second intervals by many BBC Radio stations to mark the precise start of each hour...

 and the hourly news. Now, a variety of voices declaim "This is the BBC in..." and go on to name various cities (e.g. Kampala
Kampala
Kampala is the largest city and capital of Uganda. The city is divided into five boroughs that oversee local planning: Kampala Central Division, Kawempe Division, Makindye Division, Nakawa Division and Lubaga Division. The city is coterminous with Kampala District.-History: of Buganda, had chosen...

, Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

). Until fairly recently, the hourly sequence was preceded by the announcement "This is London" — it is now followed by a more promotional "Wherever you are, you're with the BBC" or "With world news every half hour, this is the BBC". Except in the UK, these announcements no longer refer to the BBC World Service, but just "the BBC". More recently, Lillibulero has been relegated only to occasional use, and when it is played, only a shortened version is used. It has been suggested (by World Service staff) that the reduction in the use of Lillibullero is firstly because of its background as a Protestant marching song in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

.

The BBC's official response is that the decision was made by the transmission engineers, who found it particularly audible through short wave mush, and that they knew it as a tune for the old English song "There was an old woman tossed up in a blanket, quite 20 times as high as the moon".
GMT is announced on the hour on the English service, e. g. "13 hours Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time
Greenwich Mean Time is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. It is arguably the same as Coordinated Universal Time and when this is viewed as a time zone the name Greenwich Mean Time is especially used by bodies connected with the United...

" is said at 1300 GMT. 0000 GMT is announced as "Midnight Greenwich Mean Time". On New Year's Eve, in what is an annual tradition, the World Service broadcasts the midnight chimes of London's landmark Big Ben clock tower.

News


The core feature of much World Service scheduling
Scheduling (broadcasting)
Broadcast programming or scheduling is the practice of organizing television shows or radio programs in a daily, weekly, or season-long schedule. Modern broadcasters use broadcast automation to regularly change the scheduling of their programs to build an audience for a new show, retain that...

 is the news. This is almost always transmitted at one minute past the hour, where there is a five-minute bulletin, and on the half-hour where there is a two-minute summary. Sometimes these bulletins are separated from the programmes being transmitted, whilst at other times they are integral to the programme (such as with World Briefing
World Briefing
World Briefing is BBC World Service's standard news strand. Along with The World Today, Newshour, World Update and World: Have Your Say, it makes up a core part of the schedule's broadcast material. It is broadcast on the hour for a half hour programme whenever other news strands are not on air...

, Newshour
Newshour
Newshour is BBC World Service's flagship international news and current affairs programme, which broadcasts twice daily: at 1400 and 2100 each edition lasting one hour. It consists of news bulletins on the hour and half hour, international interviews and in-depth reports of world news...

or The World Today
The World Today (BBC World Service)
The World Today is BBC World Service's high profile, Sony Radio Academy Award winning, early morning news and current affairs programme, which as of the 27th March 2011 will be broadcast from 0300 to 0830 daily. It consists of news bulletins on the hour and half hour, serious international...

).

Announcers and newsreaders


The BBC World Service employs a team of 11 announcer/newsreaders. As of April 2010, following restructuring in the Presentation department, those who regularly read the news are:
  • David Austin
  • Julie Candler
  • Gaenor Howells
  • Jonathan Izard
  • David Legge
  • Stewart Macintosh
  • Marion Marshall
  • Sue Montgomery
  • Michael Powles
  • Iain Purdon
  • Jerry Smit

Also heard are
  • Kathy Clugston
    Kathy Clugston
    Kathy Clugston is a newsreader and continuity announcer on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. She is known to BBC Radio 1 listeners as "The Posh Radio Four Lady" or PR4L for short....

  • Mike Cooper
  • Zoe Diamond
  • Bleri Goga
  • John Jason
  • Nick Kelly
  • Fiona MacDonald
  • Victoria Meakin
  • Neil Nunes
  • Jonathan Wheatley
    Jonathan Wheatley
    Jonathan Wheatley is a British television and radio news presenter, actor and voice-over born in London.His early career included presenting for Seattle's Public Broadcasting Service Public television station KCTS and writing reports and narrating documentaries for Worldwide Television News...



BBC breaking news policy


BBC policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

 for breaking news has a priority list. With domestic news, the correspondent
Correspondent
A correspondent or on-the-scene reporter is a journalist or commentator, or more general speaking, an agent who contributes reports to a newspaper, or radio or television news, or another type of company, from a remote, often distant, location. A foreign correspondent is stationed in a foreign...

 first records a "generic minute" summary (for use by all stations and channels
Communication
Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. Communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast...

) and then priority is to report on Radio 5 Live, then on the domestic BBC News Channel and onto any other programmes that are on air. For foreign news, first a "generic minute" is recorded, then reports are to World Service radio, then the correspondent talks to any other programmes that are on air at the time.

Range of languages


History of BBC World Service Language Broadcasting Services (sorted by language)
>
Language Start Date Close Date Restart Date
Afrikaans 14 May 1939 8 September 1957 -
Albanian
Albanian language
Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by approximately 7.6 million people, primarily in Albania and Kosovo but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an Albanian population, including western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, southern Serbia and northwestern Greece...

12 November 1940 BBC Albanian 20 January 1967, 28 February 2011 20 February 1993
Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

3 January 1938 BBC Arabic - -
Azeri
Azerbaijani language
Azerbaijani or Azeri or Torki is a language belonging to the Turkic language family, spoken in southwestern Asia by the Azerbaijani people, primarily in Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran...

30 November 1994 BBC Azeri - -
Belgian French
Belgian French
Belgian French is the variety of French spoken mainly in the French Community of Belgium, alongside related minority regional languages such as Walloon, Picard, Champenois and Gaumais. The French spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi, which were formerly Belgian...

 & Belgian Dutch
Flemish
Flemish can refer to anything related to Flanders, and may refer directly to the following articles:*Flemish, an informal, though linguistically incorrect, name of any kind of the Dutch language as spoken in Belgium....

28 September 1940 30 March 1952 -
Bengali
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

 (BBC Bengali)
11 October 1941 BBC Bangla - -
Bulgarian
Bulgarian language
Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group.Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language, demonstrates several linguistic characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages such as the elimination of case declension, the...

7 February 1940 BBC Bulgarian 23 December 2005 -
Burmese
Burmese language
The Burmese language is the official language of Burma. Although the constitution officially recognizes it as the Myanmar language, most English speakers continue to refer to the language as Burmese. Burmese is the native language of the Bamar and related sub-ethnic groups of the Bamar, as well as...

2 September 1940 BBC Burmese - -
Croatian
Croatian language
Croatian is the collective name for the standard language and dialects spoken by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina and other neighbouring countries...

29 September 1991 BBC Croatian Archive 31 January 2006 -
Chinese-Cantonese
Standard Cantonese
Cantonese, or Standard Cantonese, is a language that originated in the vicinity of Canton in southern China, and is often regarded as the prestige dialect of Yue Chinese....

5 May 1941 BBC Chinese - -
Chinese-Hokkien
Min Nan
The Southern Min languages, or Min Nan , are a family of Chinese languages spoken in southern Fujian, eastern Guangdong, Hainan, Taiwan, and southern Zhejiang provinces of China, and by descendants of emigrants from these areas in diaspora....

1 October 1942 7 February 1948 -
Chinese-Mandarin 19 May 1941 BBC Chinese 25 March 2011 -
Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

31 December 1939 BBC Czech Archive 28 February 2006 -
Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

9 April 1940 10 August 1957 -
Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

11 April 1940 10 August 1957 -
Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 for Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

28 August 1944 2 April 1945, 13 May 1951 25 May 1946
English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

25 December 1936 BBC World Service - -
English (Caribbean)
Caribbean English
Caribbean English is a broad term for the dialects of the English language spoken in the Caribbean, most countries on the Caribbean coast of Central America, and Guyana. Caribbean English is influenced by the English-based Creole varieties spoken in the region, but they are not the same. In the...

25 December 1976 BBC Caribbean 25 March 2011 -
Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

18 March 1940 31 March 1997 -
French for Africa
African French
African French is the generic name of the varieties of French spoken by an estimated 115 million African people spread across 31 francophone African countries...

20 June 1960 BBC French - -
French for Canada 2 November 1942 8 May 1980 -
French for Europe
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

27 September 1938 31 March 1995 -
French for South-East Asia 28 August 1944 3 April 1955 -
German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

27 September 1938 30 March 1999 -
German for Austria
Austrian German
Austrian German , or Austrian Standard German, is the national standard variety of the German language spoken in Austria and in the autonomous Province of South Tyrol...

29 March 1943 15 September 1957 -
Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

30 September 1939 BBC Greek Archive 31 December 2005 -
Greek for Cyprus
Cypriot Greek
The Cypriot dialect of Modern Greek, known as Kypriaka , Cypriot Greek is spoken by 750,000 people in Cyprus and diaspora Greek Cypriots.Cypriot Greek is distinct enough that it can be classified as a distinct dialect of the Standard Greek....

16 September 1940 3 June 1951 -
Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

1 March 1942 3 September 1944 -
Hausa
Hausa language
Hausa is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers, spoken as a first language by about 25 million people, and as a second language by about 18 million more, an approximate total of 43 million people...

13 March 1957 BBC Hausa - -
Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

30 October 1949 28 October 1968 -
Hindi 11 May 1940 BBC Hindi - -
Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

5 September 1939 BBC Hungarian Archive 31 December 2005 -
Icelandic
Icelandic language
Icelandic is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the...

1 December 1940 26 June 1944 -
Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

27 September 1938 31 December 1981 -
Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

30 October 1949 BBC Indonesian - -
Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

4 July 1943 31 March 1991 -
Kazakh
Kazakh language
Kazakh is a Turkic language which belongs to the Kipchak branch of the Turkic languages, closely related to Nogai and Karakalpak....

1 April 1995 BBC Kazakh Archive 16 December 2005 -
Kinyarwanda
Kinyarwanda language
Kinyarwanda , is a dialect of the Rwanda-Rundi language spoken by some 12 million people in Rwanda, where it is the official language, and adjacent parts of southern Uganda...

8 September 1994 BBC Kinyarwanda - -
Kyrgyz
Kyrgyz language
Kyrgyz or Kirgiz, also Kirghiz, Kyrghiz, Qyrghiz is a Turkic language and, together with Russian, an official language of Kyrgyzstan...

1 April 1995 BBC Kyrgyz - -
Luxembourgish 29 May 1943 30 May 1952 -
Macedonian
Macedonian language
Macedonian is a South Slavic language spoken as a first language by approximately 2–3 million people principally in the region of Macedonia but also in the Macedonian diaspora...

6 January 1996 BBC Macedonian 4 March 2011 -
Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

2 May 1941 31 March 1991 -
Maltese
Maltese language
Maltese is the national language of Malta, and a co-official language of the country alongside English,while also serving as an official language of the European Union, the only Semitic language so distinguished. Maltese is descended from Siculo-Arabic...

10 August 1940 31 December 1981 -
Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

1 March 1942 3 September 1944, 25 December 1958 31 December 1944
Nepali
Nepali language
Nepali or Nepalese is a language in the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family.It is the official language and de facto lingua franca of Nepal and is also spoken in Bhutan, parts of India and parts of Myanmar...

7 June 1969 BBC Nepali - -
Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

9 April 1940 10 August 1957 -
Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

15 August 1981 BBC Pashto - -
Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

28 December 1940 BBC Persian - -
Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

7 September 1939 BBC Polish Archive 23 December 2005 -
Portuguese for Africa
African Portuguese
Portuguese is spoken in five African states: Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, and Mozambique. Like English and French, Portuguese has become a post-colonial language in Africa and one of the working languages of the African Union and the Southern African Development Community...

4 June 1939 BBC para Africa 25 February 2011 -
Portuguese-Brasil
Brazilian Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese is a group of Portuguese dialects written and spoken by most of the 190 million inhabitants of Brazil and by a few million Brazilian emigrants, mainly in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Japan and Paraguay....

14 March 1938 BBC Brasil - -
Portuguese for Europe
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

4 June 1939 10 August 1957 -
Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

15 September 1939 BBC Romanian Archive 1 August 2008 -
Russian language
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 (BBC Russian Service
BBC Russian Service
The BBC Russian Service was part of the BBC World Service's foreign language output, one of 33 languages it provided.-History:The BBC Russian Service began broadcasting on 26 March 1946....

)
7 October 1942 BBC Russian 26 May 1943, 26 March 2011 24 March 1946
Serbian
Serbian language
Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

29 September 1991 BBC Serbian 25 February 2011 -
Sinhala 10 March 1942 BBC Sinhala 30 March 1976 11 March 1990
Slovak
Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

31 December 1941 BBC Slovak Archive 31 December 2005 -
Slovene 22 April 1941 BBC Slovene Archive 23 December 2005 -
Somali
Somali language
The Somali language is a member of the East Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Its nearest relatives are Afar and Oromo. Somali is the best documented of the Cushitic languages, with academic studies beginning before 1900....

18 July 1957 BBC Somali - -
Spanish for the Americas 14 March 1938 BBC Mundo - -
Swahili
Swahili language
Swahili or Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoro Islands. It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups in Somalia...

27 June 1957 BBC Swahili - -
Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

1941 4 March 1961 -
Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

3 May 1941 BBC Tamil - -
Thai
Thai language
Thai , also known as Central Thai and Siamese, is the national and official language of Thailand and the native language of the Thai people, Thailand's dominant ethnic group. Thai is a member of the Tai group of the Tai–Kadai language family. Historical linguists have been unable to definitively...

27 April 1941 BBC Thai Archive 5 March 1960, 13 January 2006 3 June 1962
Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

20 November 1939 BBC Turkish 27 May 2011 -
Ukrainian
Ukrainian language
Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

1 June 1992 BBC Ukrainian - -
Urdu 3 April 1949 BBC Urdu - -
Uzbek
Uzbek language
Uzbek is a Turkic language and the official language of Uzbekistan. It has about 25.5 million native speakers, and it is spoken by the Uzbeks in Uzbekistan and elsewhere in Central Asia...

30 November 1994 BBC Uzbek - -
Vietnamese
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

6 February 1952 BBC Vietnamese - -
Welsh (to Patagonia) 1945 1946 -
Yugoslav (Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian
Serbo-Croatian or Serbo-Croat, less commonly Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian , is a South Slavic language with multiple standards and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro...

)
15 September 1939 28 September 1991 -

Magazine publishing


At various times in its history, the BBC World Service has published magazines and programme guides:
  • London Calling
    London Calling (The Overseas Journal of the BBC)
    London Calling was a magazine that contained program listings for the BBC World Service shortwave radio broadcasting service...

    : listings
  • BBC Worldwide: included features of interest to an international audience (included London Calling as an insert)
  • BBC On Air: mainly listings
  • BBC Focus on Africa
    BBC Focus on Africa
    BBC Focus on Africa is a quarterly magazine established in 1990, based in the UK, and available widely in Africa and in English-speaking countries globally. The magazine covers news, politics, economics, social events, culture and sport, and has access to correspondents based across Africa.-...

    : current affairs

Of these, only BBC Focus on Africa is still being published.

See also


  • BBC World Service Television
    BBC World Service Television
    BBC World Service Television, often abbreviated to WSTV, was the name given to two of the BBC's international satellite television channels between 1991 and 1995. It was the BBC's first foray into worldwide television broadcasting...

  • BBC Persian
    BBC Persian Television
    BBC Persian Television is the BBC's Persian language news channel that was launched on 14 January 2009. The service can be accessed through satellite television, and is aimed at the 100 million Persian speakers in Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan....

  • BBC Russian Service
    BBC Russian Service
    The BBC Russian Service was part of the BBC World Service's foreign language output, one of 33 languages it provided.-History:The BBC Russian Service began broadcasting on 26 March 1946....

  • BBC Arabic
    BBC Arabic
    BBC Arabic may refer to the Arabic-language radio station run by the BBC World Service, as well as the BBC’s Arabic-language satellite TV channel, and the website that serves as an Arabic language news portal and provides online access to both the TV and radio broadcasts.The radio service is...

  • BBC Bangla
    BBC Bangla
    -History:BBC Bangla was launched on October 11, 1941 with a 15-minute programme under BBC World Service. It attained a vast popularity among the Bengali community in Bangladesh and India especially in Bangladesh for trustworthy news broadcast...

  • BBC Nepali
    BBC Nepali
    BBC Nepali is one of the 33 language services provided under the BBC World Service's foreign language output. It broadcasts in the Nepali language.on GM, mediumwave, shortwave, and over the internet.-History:...


External links

  • BBC World Service live streaming - WMA 1, WMA 2
    • English News live streaming - WMA