Sunday, February 11, 2007

India tells BBC their more than a news broadcaster

Your World, Your Voice:
Indians tell BBC it is more than just a newsbroadcaster
Category: World ServiceDate: 08.02.2007BBC Hindi's six-week Your World, Your Voice campaign in Northern India, during November to December last year, has been a major success, connectingwith over 73,000 people.

Your World, Your Voice toured 14 towns across the states of Bihar, Jharkhandand Uttar Pradesh, debating issues of importance to the local residents -from jobs, education, pollution and crime to water supply, land reform andNaxalism.At least 45,000 people engaged with the BBC via audience-participationevents including debates, quizzes and street theatre. The BBC also reachedaround 28,000 people with promotional activities in the states of MadhyaPradesh, Rajasthan and Uttaranchal.

The entire agenda for Your World, Your Voice was shaped up by a special BBC-commissioned research project which identified the main concerns oflisteners in Northern India. This was supplemented with questionnaires onthe ground distributed during the events.Head of BBC Hindi, Achala Sharma, said: "Wherever we went, we were humbledby the level of engagement people showed us. While thousands came to eachdebate, nearly 11,000 local residents had their say via the questionnairesand around 13,500 people subscribed to our newsletter,

BBC Hindi Samvad."BBC Hindi is the most popular international broadcaster among our coreaudiences in India's heartland, but the feedback Your World, Your Voice received shows we are much more than that."Those who came to meet with us appreciated the BBC's engagement with theissues that affect their everyday lives."They said that they felt 'the BBC is not only concerned with news, it isalso concerned about the people, that the BBC belongs to the people...' or,as someone put it, 'commoners became VIPs at the BBC events'."This is what BBC Hindi means to millions of our listeners - and we willkeep it front of mind as we plan our future programming."Through the questionnaires, the local residents expressed demand forincreased air-time of BBC Hindi's Hum Se Poochiye (Ask Us) and Career KyaKaroon (Career Advice). They also want more content on health, science andarts as well as entertainment.(BBC Press Release/Alokesh Gupta, India)