Implications of BBC World Service Cuts - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

Written evidence from E. Geraldine Timlin MA

I am a teacher of English and literacy in an inner London college of further education, with students from war zones and countries where political oppression robs people of their basic human rights - especially freedom of speech. The economic and humanitarian case for World Service Drama's continued existence is overwhelming. The BBC World Service Drama provides a voice for those who need to believe there is hope of change and that there are others who share their situation. Much is made of the term "globalization" but rather than emphasizing the global community, it is linked with marketplace economics, filtered through multinational channels with profit as its aim.

I submit that:

  • axing BBC World Service Drama will destroy the opportunity to share in the international literary landscape;
  • the loss will create a major gap between those literary works deemed suitable for Radio 3 or Radio 4's target audience and those deemed for an international audience only (e.g. productions labelled "world-centric");
  • cultural diversity is poorly represented in mainstream radio drama;
  • drama provides the possibility to express ideas that are politically subversive, that may be socially taboo, and enable communication between different life experiences and realities;
  • the BBC World Service Drama is an iconic world heritage;
  • there is no viable substitute for the BBC World Service Drama if it is axed;
  • as a displaced person myself, and a traveller to many countries, the BBC World Service Drama has always been my link to a sense of a global family; and
  • I implore all concerned not to axe this service and passionately concur that the "BBC World Service Drama has such an international strategic role in the advancement of the literary work from more culturally diversified experiences that its existence should be ensured and ring fenced by the British Government".

11 February 2011

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