The UK government has pledged to invest £85 million ($128 million) per year in the BBC World Service, which will help to “uphold global democracy through accurate, impartial and independent news reporting,” according to BBC Director-General Tony Hall.
The plans are for enhanced TV services for Africa, additional language offers via digital and TV in India and Nigeria, as well as more regionalized content for the BBC Arabic service. There are also plans for dedicated TV output for Somalia and a fully digital TV service for Thailand, enhanced digital and TV services for Russian speakers, new radio services for North Korea, and new radio and digital services for Ethiopia and Eritrea. BBC World Service is also eyeing a video-led digital transformation of Languages services and is looking to expand the impact and future-proof World Service English.
“I warmly welcome today’s announcement,” Hall said. “It’s fantastic news. This new funding is the single biggest increase in the World Service budget ever committed by any government.
“The millions announced today will help the BBC deliver on our commitment to uphold global democracy through accurate, impartial and independent news reporting.
“The World Service is one of the U.K.’s most important cultural exports and one of our best sources of global influence. We can now further build on that. The funding will also help speed us on to our target of reaching half a billion people globally.”