BBC World News TV channel must be improved, according to Govt




The BBC's international TV news channel will need to be reformed in order to improve the quality of its output, according to the Government.

BBC World News, the commercially funded global news channel from the BBC, does not have the same reputation of quality as the World Service does, according to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, in an assessment of the channel found deep in last week's Charter Renewal paperwork.

Despite successive governments refusing to allow the TV channel, which launched in 1991 as BBC World Service Television, to gain funding from the Foreign Office or the licence fee, as has been the case with BBC World Service radio, the Government has indicated it's not happy with the service, implying that current funding levels aren't helping.

BBC Global News, the commercial subsidiary that operates the service, had revenues in 2014/15 of just £94 million, less than 10 per cent of the revenues of BBC Worldwide, and a staff of just 120, according to the BBC Charter Renewal White Paper.

BBC World News recently celebrated 25 years of broadcasting under its various guises. There have been persistant rumours* that the BBC's domestic TV news service, the BBC News Channel will have to combine more of its output with BBC World News in the future due to further cutbacks.

The Government has meanwhile ordered the BBC that it must ensure "all of its prominent international services have a reputation for delivering high quality, distinctive output".

The new unitary board that will replace the BBC Trust will be tasked with considering what reforms are needed to improve the quality of BBC World News in the years to come.


*and since this article was first published, it's been confirmed that a merger of the two channels is being considered by the BBC.


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