Tag Archives: BBC World Service

BBC World Service: new shortwave services to Ethiopia and Eritrea

Note that, in terms of press freedoms, Reporters Without Borders ranks Eritrea the second most repressive country in the world, next to North Korea.

(Source: BBC Media Centre)

BBC World Service continues expansion with new services for Ethiopia and Eritrea

Three new language services for Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the diaspora are being launched today by the BBC World Service as part of its biggest expansion since the 1940s.
BBC News in Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya will be available online and on Facebook. This will be followed later in the year with shortwave radio services in each language consisting of a 15-minute news and current affairs programme, followed by a 5-minute Learning English programme, from Monday to Friday.

The new BBC services will provide impartial news, current affairs and analysis of Ethiopia and Eritrea as well as regional and international news. Boosting the BBC’s operation in the Horn of Africa will also provide the rest of the BBC’s global audience with a better understanding of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Programmes will target a younger audience with social media playing a key role. In addition to news and current affairs, there will be extensive coverage of culture, entertainment, entrepreneurship, science & technology, health and sport – including the English Premier League.

These services will benefit from a growing network of journalists across the region and around the world.

Francesca Unsworth, BBC World Service Director, says: “The BBC World Service brings independent, impartial news to audiences around the world, especially in places where media freedom is limited. I’m delighted we’re extending our service to millions of people in Ethiopia, Eritrea and the diaspora worldwide.”

Will Ross, Editorial Lead for Africa, says: “We know that there is a great deal of hunger for audiences in Ethiopia and Eritrea to access a broad range of high quality content in Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya. It has been a privilege to work with Ethiopian and Eritrean journalists who are so keen to learn new skills and to ensure the new language services are a success.”

The Shipping Forecast celebrates 150 years

(Source: The Guardian)

Consternation, mourning and national soul-searching greeted the temporary silencing of Big Ben last week, but at least another favourite fixture of the nightly and early morning radio is to continue. The hymnal cadences of Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, through Shannon, Rockall, Malin all the way to south-east Iceland, will be heard as usual on Thursday, as the shipping forecast celebrates 150 years of uninterrupted service.

The shipping forecast, the longest continuous weather forecast ever made, has been a public service since 1867 when it was used to warn of storms. The warnings were first issued using the electric telegraph until radio became available. Storm warnings were sent over the telegraph wires to harbours, where signals were hoisted to warn ships at sea.

When the BBC was formed in the 1920s, the maritime forecast became a fixture of the daily wireless programme where it would remain with occasional modifications and a break during the war when the broadcast was discontinued for fear it would help the enemy. The forecast was still made, however, and disseminated to the Royal Navy.

Though today’s seafarers have access to many more sources of meteorological data, and many radio listeners famously use the late-night incantatory broadcast – never more than 380 words, and always following the same strict format – for soporific rather than navigational purposes, the broadcasts still fulfil a vital safety role.[…]

Continue reading the full article at The Guardian.

If you love The Shipping Forecast like I do, check out our archived posts.

I especially love these posts by SWLing Post contributors Dave Porter (G4OYX) and Kris Partridge (G8AUU) who have both inadvertently caused the shipping forecast to repeat!

Long live The Shipping Forecast!

BBC World Service launches first of 12 new language services

(Source: BBC Media Centre)

The BBC World Service today launched the first new language service in its biggest expansion since the 1940s.

A digital Pidgin service for West Africa is being launched today. It will shortly be followed by new online services in Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya, aimed at Ethiopia, Eritrea and diaspora audiences around the world. Further services, including Korean, are set to launch from this autumn. This expansion means BBC News will operate in more than 40 languages.

The BBC World Service expansion comes thanks to a funding boost of £289m from the UK Government.

Director-General of the BBC Tony Hall says: “Today marks the start of a new chapter for the BBC.

“The BBC World Service is one of the UK’s most important cultural exports. In a world of anxieties about ‘fake news’, where media freedom is being curtailed rather than expanded, the role of an independent, impartial news provider is more important than ever. The new services we’re launching will reach some of the most under-served audiences in the world.”

World Service Director Francesca Unsworth says: “For more than 80 years the BBC World Service has brought trusted news to people across the globe. I’m delighted that millions in West and then East Africa will be able to access the BBC in the languages they speak.

“The BBC World Service expansion will also bring benefits to audiences in the UK. Having more journalists on the ground will enrich our international reporting, bringing news from areas which are often under-reported.”

Pidgin is spoken by an estimated 75m people in Nigeria alone, with additional speakers in Cameroon, Ghana, and Equatorial Guinea.

The Pidgin service is fully digital featuring six daily editions of BBC Minute – a 60-second audio news update – followed by two daily news video bulletins in November. Two further services for West Africa – Yoruba and Igbo – will launch at the beginning of next year.

The Amharic, Afaan Oromo and Tigrinya services will launch online and on dedicated Facebook pages next month. This will be followed later in the year with shortwave radio services in each language, consisting of a 15-minute news and current affairs programme, followed by a 5-minute Learning English programme, from Monday-Friday.

Notes to Editors
The BBC World Service is launching in 12 new languages – Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Gujarati, Igbo, Korean, Marathi, Pidgin, Punjabi, Serbian, Telugu, Tigrinya, and Yoruba.

See: https://www.bbc.com/pidgin

Read this article at the BBC Media Centre website.

The Voyager twins: weak signals and discovery from the depths of space

Artist’s concept of Voyager I (Source: NASA)

Yesterday, while listening to the BBC World Service, I heard this fascinating documentary focusing on the Voyager I and II spacecraft. It absolutely blows my mind that both of these spacecraft have been operating for 40 years and continue to send signals back to Earth. Talk about weak signal DX!

Note that you will have to visit the BBC World Service website to listen to the documentary via their media player.

(Source: BBC World Service)

Voyager 1 and 2: Still operating after 40 years in the depths of space. Voyager 1 is currently some 20 billion kilometres from Earth travelling at 15.5 kilometres a second. It takes 19 hours for a signal from the spacecraft’s 20 watt transmitter to reach home. Voyager 2 is 17 billion kilometres away and will soon leave the Solar System.

Launched in 1977, the twin spacecrafts have explored the giant planets and their strange moons, investigated the boundary of the Solar System and changed how we see our place in the Universe. The probes even carry a message for aliens in the form of a golden record.

Retired NASA astronaut Ron Garan meets many of the original team still working on the mission, nursing the twin spacecraft through their final years.

Click here to listen to the documentary via the BBC World Service website.

BBC and Marketplace to launch new global business broadcast

(Source: Talking Biz News via Howard Bailen)

Marketplace and BBC World Service announced Tuesday a new daily global business broadcast, “Marketplace Morning Report” from BBC World Service.

The new broadcast launches Tuesday, Sept. 5 on U.S. public radio stations nationwide. The program will be hosted live from London by the BBC’s Anu Anand, who has more than two decades of experience as a global journalist.

“There are large scale shifts underway in the global economy, and our expanded relationship with the BBC will provide millions of public radio listeners in the U.S. with a fresh global perspective to start their day,” said Deborah Clark, senior vice president and general manager, “Marketplace,” in a statement. “We see this collaboration as an important element in realizing our goal to increase the economic intelligence of all Americans by applying global context and tying it together for U.S. audiences.”

Continue reading the full article at Talking Biz News…

Many thanks for the tip, Howard! Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal is one of my favorite radio broadcasts–I rarely miss it. I’m looking forward to the new Marketplace Morning Report collaboration.