A brief note to alert readers to this week’s Radio column by Antonia Quirke, who warns of imminent cuts to the BBC’s World Service:
Already, the dedicated film programme and various religious programmes on the station are gone, the Proms are pencilled to go, and Wimbledon coverage, too (neither confirmed, but mooted at a recent meeting). Be warned, something terrible is happening: the World Service is being pared back to a rolling news channel.
In particular, her final paragraph reminds us just what is at stake:
On the few occasions I have presented programmes for the WS myself, and happened to spend time in the building, the station’s gobsmacking reach was never once in my hearing pushed to PRs – it was never stressed, for example, that the station attracts a weekly audience of 241 million people across the world. Two hundred and forty-one million. Or that it has more than 2,000 partner radio stations globally. That more people are listening to it in the United States, say, or Tanzania, than ever before.