Save the BBC World Service, stop the cuts
Please help fight to save the World Service as you did with 6music. It is by far the most important public information network available around the world, and the only one that prides itself on filtering through unbiased and uncensored information to its listeners. It's possibly the only new service available that has the most direct means of saving peoples' lives and that affects their welfare.
We should be thinking about saving the BBC in general. The slow death by a thousand cuts that the Tories have planned will leave me with no TV or radio at all as I refuse to suffer the appaling fare of the commercial broadcasters and their insipid advertising.
Successive governments have eroded the BBC and the public are starting to buy the Murdoch assertions that the BBC is unecessary and the licence fee unfair.
We need to make everyone realise just what an asset the BBC is to the country as once it's gone, it will be gone for good and we'll be in the same boat as most other countries: wishing we had a BBC.
Pab Roberts commented
Dear Mr Lazarowicz,
> I note that you have failed to sign John McDonnell's EDM concerning BBC World Service funding and I wonder why this is the case? Apart from the huge benefit to countless millions around the world provided by the Service I am particularly concerned that more than 270 employees of the Service in the UK rely on their employment for their residency and more than half that number risk being repatriated to hostile nation states if they lose their employment.
> A link to the motion can be found at: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-11/1356
> Pab Roberts
"The reason I have not signed the EDM is that as I am now a Shadow Minister I am restricted in the EDMs I can sign.
However, I am certainly very much concerned about the cuts to the World Service and in fact have already raised these concerns both with the BBC and the government.
Mark Lazarowicz MP"
martin plaut commented
BBC World Service does what it says on the tin - provides news to the world, including many of the most vulnerable people. Please help!
Anu Anand commented
We're supposed to be living in an information age, and yet where I live - India - the majority of the population is deprived of even the most basic information. From where most of my fellow citizens are sitting - the internet is a figment of someone's imagination; electricity is unaffordable - much less a computer; and even most 'educated' people are only semi-literate so can't read newspapers even if they wanted to. The mainstream media is obsessed with the splashy wealth of a tiny minority or with the bizarre and useless angst of movie stars.
There isn't just a wealth gap in this world, there is a serious information gap. The BBC World Service - on shortwave, as well as FM and online - provides what no one else does -- objective international news in a language millions can understand.
Where else do you always, no matter what time of day or night, get accurate news without hysteria, hearsay or smug, self-congratulating personalities? This is the only outlet that delivers truly global coverage - no commercials - and it's always brilliant!
It would be a disservice to humanity to leave the world's poorest listeners - most of whom are already being left behind in the knowledge economy - without access to the BBC.
Tom Ang commented
Fighting to save the BBC World Service is not just about the World Service itself but about preserving the highest levels of journalism. The BBC is not only a broadcast service, it's a vital training centre that supports high journalistic standards throughout the world. Their stringers go on to be the voice of freedom in many parts of the world - precisely the reason many would love to see the World Service crippled if not silenced. If we don't save the World Service from further cuts, we give enemies of free speech their day. If the UK wishes to be a world power, it does so more effectively by supporting truth and fine journalism than by building tanks and fighter planes.
Wendy Gray commented
It is a pity that few people in Great Britain really understand how important the BBC World Service is to a peaceful and informed world. It is a travesty that the current Minister of Culture is so in thrall with the Murdoch corporation which has been waging a campaign to deconstruct the BBC for many years. Now Murdoch has the Minister in his pocket to do his bidding for him.
Instead of trying to get rid of a cost centre to his department the least that the Foreign Affairs Minister William Hague could have done was to actually do some homework about the World Service to at least understand what he was destroying by his actions. He should have proposed that World Service be funded by the Department for Overseas Development as that is so much of the work that it does but he typically did not do his homework and just tried to get rid of the cost centre. Once it is gone it will not be able to be reconstructed these people are unique and they work long hours for love not money. What they create is extraordinary with the demise of even more of the World Service the island of Great Britain is less great. In my view the only thing left in that island that is Great is the BBC sadly the boyz who are in control now don't understand the jewel they are destroying.
Fernando Arenas commented
I have been a listener of the BBC in Portuguese for Africa for more than 20 years. I am well aware of how important this service has been in the formation of the five countries where Portuguese is spoken on the African continent, but also for larger universe of Portuguese speakers around the world who are also interested in Africa. The cancellation of this service would be a huge loss for the world!
Claire Williams commented
Save the World Service! Those in the UK don't realise how many people around the world rely on it.
CAHEN Michel commented
I am french and I think the imooverishment of linguistic pluralism is a very sad thing!
David Clamp commented
Save the World Service as it provides such an excellent service to many many parts of the world that would otherwise be either kept in the dark or worst still, only hear local, biased information. Its a part of our heritage - save it.
Adrienne White commented
The World Service is such a valuable lifeline to so many people around the world, it's heartbreaking that it's being destroyed by such short term thinking. Britain will lose one of its greatest assets when it is cut, which it can ill afford to do. Save the World Service!
For many millions of people around the world 'Britain' is represented by the BBC World Service. For the majority of those millions, the broadcaster is their only contact with Britain. There is no way that the FCO can have the same footprint as the BBC. Every listener, whether an opinion-former or not, is just a switch away from Britain at any time, day or night. Diplomats do not offer the same availability. Nor the same credibility.
The World Service does not cost the same as the diplomatic service. Even in the days when the World Service was broadcast in over forty languages, it only cost a fifth of the FCO budget. The cuts now proposed are excused under the rubric 'savings to pay for the deficit'. For the next three years the FCO has to find those savings. The FCO pays for the WS.
Then in 2014, when the 'savings' have reduced the WS to a shadow of its former self, the greatly reduced costs and an emaciated WS will be handed over to a domestically-orientated BBC management and to a Trust with no representative to put the case of the WS or of its audiences.
The gradual absorption of WS within the management structure of the domestic BBC means that its special value will no longer be recognised. Even its present management has no sense of 'mission'. They are career BBC managers, not career WS managers. The difference was always marked; today that difference has assumed the proportions of an unbridgeable gulf. With a BBC management running scared of Government and with a freeze on licence fee income for six years, WS interests and those of domestic broadcasters are fast diverging.
In the long term the cost to Britain will be far greater than may appear on a spread-sheet in a Treasury computer.
jackie chambers commented
It makes no sense to unravel the BBC World Service. To trash an organisation that does so much with so few resources is political vandalism.
It's part of history and history-making being deleted... The loss will be huge on the part of listeners.
Joanne Edwards commented
Save the World Service! Cutting it saves almost nothing, and is a huge loss to those who rely on it every day.
Chris Marshall commented
The World Service is virtually unknown to the UK's public but is responsible for building and maintaining the UK's reputation overseas - the most important diplomatic tool the UK has, according to many foreign policy experts. Cutting it back is lazy and cynical: a cut that no taxpayer will notice and few will care about, but a cut that will cause untold damage not just to the World Service's audience but also to the reputation and standing of the UK.
June Hart commented
Save this great service which serves the world
FLORA BOTSFORD commented
Please help prevent cuts to this invaluable public service. With everything happening in the world today, it's the only reliable news service around and something which Britain can be truly proud of.
Carolyn Dempster commented
It is what the name states - a service to the world. Save it from these savage cuts.
Robin Warren commented
The World Service is simply the most trusted and most worthy ambassador for the UK and these cuts are going to be a huge loss not just to the millions worldwide who rely on it for impartial news but also to our standing as a nation and the goodwill towards us that the World Service generates. It is catastrophically short-sighted of the government to try and reduce it so drastically.