11 March 2011
[Français plus bas]
Save the BBC World Service, Says IFJ
Today the International Federation of Journalists and its regional group the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) called on journalists in Europe and around the world to join hands in defending the iconic BBC World Service, one of the world's major independent media sources which has been an international inspiration for people fighting for free expression. The world service is in a fight for its survival says the IFJ affiliated National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK which is taking its campaign to defend the service to the British Parliament in London next week.
"The BBC has been a symbol for decades of the struggle for quality and independence," said EFJ General Secretary Aidan White. "But savage spending cuts and the removal of the BBC in medium wave across Europe are a brutal attack on public service". The EFJ says a spending review will see several language services removed from the world service network, while countries such as Russia, China and Iran with a record of political interference in journalism are investing heavily in boosting their own foreign-language media.
On 25 February, radio news programmes in Portuguese for Africa, Serbian, Albanian, and Spanish for Latin America were already removed. On 4 March the Macedonian language service disappeared and at the end of the month Russian, Chinese, Azeri, Vietnamese, Hindi, Indonesian, Kyrgyz, Nepali and Swahili services will go. From 27 March, the BBC will stop transmitting its medium wave English language service on 648 kHz and will only be available in Europe by satellite, cable and online.
"The BBC World Service is needed more than ever. These services provide independent and quality news from areas where profound political changes are taking place," said White. "in a global media environment the market cannot provide people with the information they need. That is why a public service is vital."
The NUJ has organised a public meeting in parliament on Tuesday 15 March in the House of Commons at 6.30pm and is encouraging supporters to come to Parliament. Everyone is welcome to come along to show support for the BBC World Service and BBC Monitoring.
Members of the EFJ and IFJ are being urged to:
- sign an online petition to stop the cuts. Please ask your friends, family and colleagues to sign:http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/savews.
- send messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org
- get involved by contacting the nearest British Embassy and inform them of the support for the campaign (http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/find-an-embassy/ ).