United Kingdom’s national broadcaster BBC has announced plans to release nearly 400 of its employees as part of a cost-cutting programme while transitioning to digital platforms.
The UK broadcaster will halt radio services in Arabic, Persian, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Hindi, Bengali, Chinese, Indonesian, Tamil, and Urdu
“There is a compelling case for expanding our digital services across the World Service in order to better serve and connect with our audiences,” Director of BBC World Service, Liliane Lando, said.
“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added
The laying off is a cost-saving measure to prioritize cheaper online content over more expensive radio and television output for foreign language services.
This has already been implemented in language services such as Azerbaijani, Brasil, Marathi, Mundo, Punjabi, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.
The changes are being done in a wider plan to save up to Sh66 billion by the news corporation.
Language specific services in Gujarati, Igbo, Indonesian, Pidgin, Urdu, and Yoruba will be moved to a purely online basis to save on costs and deal with the funding challenge caused by the License Fee freeze.
According to the giant broadcaster, not all services will be downcast as others will be relocated, with the Thai service moving from London to Bangkok, the Korean service to Seoul, the Bangla service to Dhaka.
As a result of the implementation of these proposals, more than half of the 41 language services provided by BBC will become digital.