Implications of the BBC World Service Cuts

Written evidence from Mrs Rosie Kaynak

RE: World Service Cuts

I am a journalism lecturer at a State University in Ankara Turkey, a country which houses an incredibly biased press and where a subtle and menacing Islamisation of the press is taking place. We rely on objective and impartial press, which I teach to my students. Two of my students are currently imprisoned without trial. There is very little right to protest here.

I argue that the BBC World Service, through its online and tailored, specific news offers clarity, understanding and accurate news to those whose lives are affected by the direct consequences of bias, corruption and partiality.

I have also worked training international embassy staff here, who value and credit the BBC World Service for its accuracy and impartial reporting. The BBC is a huge global brand, which adds enormous value to the country. Is it really that difficult to spend 0.5% of the annual budget to enhance and develop this brand internationally? Without the BBC World Service, the BBC global brand will diminish, and with it British status overseas. The BBC World Service acts as an invaluable soft diplomacy tool, that surely should continue to be funded by the Foreign Office.

Al Jazeera has recently expanded its operations here in Turkey – albeit a privately funded company, but one that spreads news and influences with its standpoint. It is important that the BBC brand of impartial news should not decrease globally.

I strongly believe to preserve the BBC’s global brand and influence internationally, that World Service newsgathering with a new, online and interactive output should continue to be funded by the Foreign Office.

The move to license fee funding is very shortsighted in both a business and democratic sense.

I welcome the answer to my points.

2 February 2011