Thursday, February 17, 2011

BBC World may reinstate axed shortwave broadcast during major events

The BBC is considering plans to reinstate axed shortwave World Service radio broadcasts on a short-term basis to regions where major events are taking place, following the revolution in Egypt, reports The Guardian.

Shortwave radio broadcasts of the BBC Arabic service, which has around 400,000 listeners in Egypt, will be significantly reduced within weeks as part of plans to save £46m from the World Service budget, a 20% cut from its £253m annual budget. World Service broadcasts on shortwave are being cut back in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia as part of the cost saving drive.

An email sent to Bush House staff today by Peter Horrocks, the BBC’s global news director, revealed plans to respond to major events in particular regions by buying up shortwave radio capacity, against a backdrop of violent political uprising sweeping across the Middle East.

Additional story at The Guardian