Theme: Society & Culture | Content Type: Journal article

The BBC World Service: is it Waving or Drowning?

Alban Webb



| 1 min read

‘Global Britain’ is as much a governing instinct as it is a statement of current policy: an idea that animates the United Kingdom's international relations. And for nine decades the BBC World Service, Britain's principal agent of public diplomacy, has been its exemplar. With a reputation as a trusted source of reliable news in over forty languages, the international BBC sustains a global capacity for intercultural dialogue founded on evidence-based journalism. At a time when digital media are rewriting the strategic communications playbook and reorganising our knowledge practices and behaviours, the BBC maintains a vital link between Britain and a transnational community of close to half a billion users. Yet, despite these evident strengths, recent confusion over the organisation and funding of the World Service means that its long-term future is in doubt. This article asks how and why it has come to this and what might be done to preserve the journalistic integrity and ‘soft power’ of the BBC World Service.

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    Alban Webb

    Alban Webb teaches and writes about modern British political, cultural, and international history at the University of Sussex.

    Articles by Alban Webb
Volume 95, Issue 1

Latest Journal Issue

Volume 95, Issue 1

Includes a collection on the Future of Public Service Broadcasting, edited by Suzanne Franks and Jean Seaton. This features articles such as 'The Governance of the BBC' by Diane Coyle; 'A Public Service Internet - Reclaiming the Public Service Mission' by Helen Jay; and 'BBC Funding: Much Ado about the Cost of a Coffee a Week' by Patrick Barwise. There are a wide range of other articles including 'Back to the Stone Age: Europe's Mainstream Right and Climate Change’ by Mitya Pearson and 'Labour, the Unions and Proportional Representation' by Cameron Rhys Herbert. Finally, there is a selection of book reviews such as Lyndsey Jenkins's review of Fighting For Life: The Twelve Battles that Made Our NHS and the Struggle for Its Future by Isabel Hardman, and Victoria Brittain's review of Three Worlds, Memoirs of an Arab-Jew by Avi Shlaim.

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