BBC World Service 'too valuable' to be cut

13th Apr 2011 | 02:30

BBC World Service 'too valuable' to be cut

Government watchdog says UK's reputation could be damaged by cut

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The BBC World Service is too valuable to the UK's interests abroad for its budget to be cut, according to a government watchdog.

The Foreign Affairs Select Committee says that the planned 16 per cent budget cut, which would see BBC cut at least five of its language services, should not go through.

The Committee says that the World Service, which provides global broadcasts in a host of languages on satellite radio, online or through podcasts and mobile apps, gives the UK a vital diplomatic edge.

"The value of the World Service in promoting the UK across the globe, by providing a widely-respected and trusted news service, far outweighs its relatively small cost," FASC chairman Richard Ottaway said.

Soft power

"The recent dramatic events in North Africa and the Middle East have shown the 'soft power' wielded through the World Service could bring even more benefits to the UK in the future than it has in the past."

The government has been very forthright with its stance that the BBC must fall in-line with other publicly-funded bodies in doing its bit to reduce the UK's whopping deficit.

It was also announced in January that the Beeb's online budget will shrink by 25 per cent, which will see 200 websites disappear from its portfolio.

Trimming superfluous websites is one thing, but the cherished broadcasting institution that is the BBC World Service is another thing all together.

BBC
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