E-mail to the Clerk from Mr Charles Morrill,
To the foreign affairs committee, hello, my
name is Charles Morrill from Virginia over here in the United
States. I'm writing to make the foreign affairs committee aware
of the recent decision by the BBC world service to end most shortwave
radio transmissions to North America. I think this is a big mistake.
Thousands of us over here, probably millions, have relied on the
BBC for years to give us a view of the world other than our own,
which you might have noticed, tends to be pretty self-involved.
As our own news sources have become essentially fewer (mergers
etc.) I believe an increasing number of us have begun looking
to shortwave and European news sources for not just a different
view of the world, but often the one that makes the most sense.
This past July 1, BBC world service stopped broadcasting to North
America. While I understand that the money saved will allow world
service to reach other parts of the globe who most need shortwave,
I argue that BBC's timing is nuts. The world service director
says that we can now receive world service over the internet.
While this is true, it's only true sometimes (web congestion).
Also, most of us over here listen at night and I'll be damned
if I'm going to sleep with my computer. The world service director
also says we can get BBC over satellite radio. Turns out such
services and such radios do not yet exist. Perhaps it would have
been prudent to make sure we can get world service over here in
some other way before pulling the plug. Sure, I enjoyed following
Manchester United, "Brain of Britain," and all the other
fun stuff, however, the BBC's coverage of world affairs in English
for North Americans was some of the best money you folks ever
spent. I'm sorry to see it end. Our two countries can only understand
each other less and less.
Mr Charles Morrill