The BBC warned the UK government in its Future of News report that it might soon be unable to compete with state-supported foreign rivals, including Russia’s RT, China's CCTV and Qatar's Al-Jazeera, in terms of global news presence, if its huge budget cuts are not reversed.
The BBC World Service is being financially outgunned by Russian and Chinese state-owned news channels, its former director Peter Horrocks has warned, amid high-level concerns that Britain and the US are losing a global “information war” with the Kremlin.
So much World Service discussion habitually worries about cuts to inherited structures, but here was a bracing counter-blast: never mind soft power; now let’s make all the hard choices that help us, not Whitehall.
Washington would do well to incorporate the business approaches of the BBC and other successful models that mix entertainment, education and news with a massive stock pile of programs for the foreign audience to consume.
It’s a shame that not enough people back in the UK realise the value this 82-year-old institution has for Britons travelling overseas, whether they’re doing business or seeing the sights.
An edited transcript of the October 2, CPD-BBC Forum: "Does Soft Power Really Matter?" held at the University of Southern California
Rwanda on Friday partially suspended BBC broadcasts over a controversial documentary on the central African country's leadership and the 1994 genocide.
An edited transcript of the CPD-BBC Forum held at USC, asking the hard questions about soft power.