BBC has warned of an 'unprecedented global threat to impartial
and independent news' and called on relevant authorities worldwide
to protect the rights of journalists to report freely.
call follows news from the International Press Institute last week,
which has said this year is shaping up to be the most deadly ever
for international reporters with 72 journalists killed so far in
his speech in Moscow, BBC World Service director Peter Horrocks
highlighted a number of deaths including those of Russian journalists.
said, "We have seen an unprecedented threat to impartial and
independent news from around the world. Journalists have faced threats
to their lives, censorship through intimidation or faced terror
charges in their search for alternative voices.
challenges have never been so severe or varied, as the shocking
deaths of Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik in Syria have shown. Here
Russia, who can forget the killing of Anna Politkovskaya or other
journalists from Novaya Gazeta and other publications who were also
killed in the pursuit of their work? Last year we lost BBC reporter
Afghanistan who died doing his job."
added that it was not just physical intimidation and danger that
journalism faces highlighting jamming of satellites
in Iran and China.
said, "Technological interference also prevents free journalism
reaching its audiences. As a global community of broadcasters and
journalists, we should strongly condemn these acts of censorship
and harassment and urge the abandonment of these restrictive practices.
all countries should open their airwaves to allow citizens to hear
the views from other countries. In the UK channels such as RT (Russia
Today) and CCTV from China are available. That freedom should be
also talked about changing face of journalism worldwide and
the digital transformation of the BBCs international news
said, "The international news media is going through a revolution
that puts the audience in charge. It is a convulsion that is testing
every news organisation. With the web, social interactivity and
globalisation, news brands are in a battle for attention and trust.
Despite being the longest established global broadcaster, the BBC
believes it can succeed just as well in this new world, because
of its long-lasting values and its readiness to modernise."
BBC World Service has recently undergone a process of major
reorganisation. It has brought the BBC World Service fully into
digital age. Language services such as BBC Russian, BBC Mundo and
Chinese became online only operations. At the same time we remain
totally committed to serving the substantial audiences receiving
traditional shortwave radio.
example, the BBC Russian Service's website has more than doubled
in size in the last year to 1.9 million. Already our investments
new platforms have led to an increase in our audience figures
million around the world, up from 225million last year.
increase has been driven primarily by our coverage of the Arab spring.
BBC Persian TV has doubled its reach in Iran to 6 million, despite
facing a campaign of intimidation and censorship by the Iranian
authorities. This is the kind of censorship and intimidation that
a Media Summit such as this should unite to deplore."