Implications of BBC World Service Cuts - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

Written evidence from Patrick Xavier

I attended the meeting in the House's Grand Committee Room last night, hosted by Views of the Listener and Viewer (VLV) with guest speaker Jeremy Hunt MP, Minister for Culture, Media and Sport.

My concern is threefold:

(1)  The Burmese Service. (My late parents grew up there and stayed until the Japanese invasion in 1942 forced them to walk out over the Himalayas.) That country is going through a series of trials which could be more bearable with accurate information/news from overseas.

(2)  I find it galling that three Balkan languages are to be deleted from the Service! That part of Europe, though quieter than heretofore, still is not at peace with itself.

(3)  Most importantly, I think that the Shortwave Service to the USA should be restarted, having ceased—with, I feel, spectacularly bad timing—in 2001. Granted that some big cities have BBC FM, and that ownership of a computer and internet access will allow access to BBCi etc, but that ownership isn't always affordable and can (perish the thought!) be cut off either locally or by a satellite problem. I can't think that it would be jammed, except by another power not wishing its own citizens access. Voice of America for Europe is by the way transmitted from, I believe, Lithuania. The Rt Hon William Hague, Foreign Secretary, might be glad of a further media outlet in the USA in view of his timely stand on the Israel/Palestine issue consequent upon the Egyptian political drama unfolding on our TV screens.

9 February 2011

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2011
Prepared 13 April 2011