New Forest East

DCMS – BBC WORLD SERVICE REDUCTIONS [69478] - 24 October 2022

DCMS – BBC WORLD SERVICE REDUCTIONS [69478] - 24 October 2022

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential effect on people living under repressive regimes of losing the option of listening to the BBC World Service via radio, with particular reference to the ability of such regimes to (a) impede the availability of online broadcast services and (b) discover and arrest those listening illegally online; and how many (i) full-time and (ii) part-time posts in each country where BBC World Service radio broadcasts are ending (A) have been, and (B) are scheduled to be lost.  [69478]

[Due for Answer on 27 October]


The Minister of State for Development and Africa (Andrew Mitchell): The BBC recently announced plans to move certain language services to digital-only, whilst maintaining access to the full range of 42 language services, and providing assurance that the World Service will continue to serve audiences in need, ensuring continued access to vital news services. The FCDO strongly supports the BBC's role in bringing high-quality, impartial news to audiences around the world, including where internet restrictions are a tool of repression. We recognise that in the current fiscal context, the BBC, like other organisations, is facing difficult financial decisions. The BBC is operationally and editorially independent from Government, and it is for the BBC to comment on matters relating to staffing and service delivery.