28/06/2013 Newswatch


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Samira Ahmed. This week, the BBC's international news services come


under the spotlight. Hello and welcome to the programme. Later on


this programme - BBC News has record audiences abroad for its


international output, but from next year, that will be funded by British


licence fee payers. We will look at what effect that will have. And


also, it is that man again - is Russell Brand becoming the go to


commentator on political discussion programmes? And a problem that is


not going away - viewers tell us they are struggling to hear what


guests and reporters are saying. First, the big political story of


the week was Wednesday's government spending review. BBC News used a


helicopter shoe shown live pictures of the car taking George Osborne


from the Treasury to Parliament. South Africa have made it clear that


the condition of Nelson Mandela is critical. This week, his eldest


daughter criticised what she called the crass media frenzy around her


to the comedian Russell Brand appearing on question Time. So, who


should show up on The Andrew Marr Show, but the very same Russell


Brand? Now he is based in the US, his appearances are coinciding with


the start of his UK tour. I do not want the government looking at my


e-mails, some of them are very smutty. I am not sure we all want


to. I need to ask you one more question - Brazil dot stop dot I am


here to promote my tour, so even I am a bit sneaky. Follow me on


twitter! Thanks for having us on our news programme for the morning. You


are much better looking in real life, Andrew. Jeremy Bolton was one


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 48 seconds


interviewed the head of the British Medical Association, Dr Mark Porter.


This problem cannot be blamed on just one contract. I am very glad


the Secretary of State now recognises that. Thank you very much


indeed. The street was very noisy in the background, and one reviewer


Leslie, with 82-year-old years, and he clearly has a sense of irony. The


issue reared its head again this week, this time on the news channel.


This is Baldwin street in Bristol, linking the train station with the


city centre. Normally it is full of traffic, but not today. We have live


music and street performers. One of the performers joins me now... What


do you think of all of this case John Patterson did not love it, and


do you think there are? Full marks to those who said, more than a


quarter of a billion. That was the record audience this week for BBC


World News. But none of them are currently funded by the bees beat --


by the BBC licence fee payer. The BBC Arabic television channel is


paid for directly by the British Government, like all of the


corporation's services aimed at foreign audiences, who get a


combined total of more than 40 million TV viewers. That is right


the uranium authorities consistently jamming the satellites used and


intimidating BBC staff and their families, at least during Iran's


presidential election earlier this month. Undeterred by that, and by


further threats to its journalists in countries such as Turkey, during


the current protest there, the BBC would like to introduce services to


Afghanistan, Burma and North Korea. But from next April, and who have to


find all of these foreign services by itself, raising the question of


how the UK licence fee payer will feel about being for the global


transmissions. Thank you for coming in. Many viewers will be thinking,


how can you justify licence fee payers funding services from now on,


designed for foreign audiences, which we cannot see? I can


absolutely see where that question is coming from, and I understand it.


The British public is very supportive of the BBC World Service,


we know that, because we are doing a great deal of research, and talking


to a large number of people in the run-up to the World Service changing


its funding to the licence fee. What we hear is a range of things. We


hear people who respect the World Service for what it does for


Britain. We hear people who tell us about how they feel the World


Service enhances the reputation of this country, and more to the point,


helps it punch above its weight. That is because of the whole


concept. We hear that people trust what we do, and frankly, quite a few


people did not know that they were not paying for the World Service.


What difference will viewers in Britain notice? Well, hopefully they


should see a great deal of difference. We have already started,


now that we have moved in to New Broadcasting House, in one building,


we have already started to appear on network news, on World News, and


online. We are part and parcel of what World News produces. Our


bilingual journalist have been prominent in Brazil, in Turkey, in


Africa, in the Middle East, certainly. This is what the British


licence fee payer will be able to see. And of course, all of the Dyas


brewers will be able to access our online services. We have got 27


online services, in 27 different languages. One big new area for the


BBC has been these foreign language TV services, in countries like


Iran, and there are new ones being introduced all the time. In the case


of Iran, it has actually led to greater restrictions, harassment of


BBC staff, making it harder for the BBC's news operations? Iran is one


single example, and frankly, it was not just the BBC which was not


allowed into Iran, it was the BBC and a host of other news


organisations who could not go there. And those who could actually


were not terribly free to report the news that they wanted to report.


Whereas what we did from here, with our network of Lake correspondence


in Iran, we were able to project a very clear and impartial picture of


what is happening. -- with our lay correspondents. Some people are


saying we get a lot from certain areas, but virtually nothing out of


South America. What we are doing for the rest of the BBC, and for BBC


News, I think is extraordinary, in terms of the reach that we can get


hold of, and also in terms of how we can get the news. It is people from


language services who have their way into these countries. What the World


Service is about is plugging that gap of impartiality across the


world. And I think we do that well. Thank you very much. I give for all


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