Television

BBC ups presence with first South Asia editor

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NEW DELHI: BBC News has apppointed its first ever South Asia editor. The British broadcaster's newsgathering division has appointed Paul Danahar to the newly created role of South Asia Editor.

He recently took up his new position and is based in New Delhi. Danahar has now assumed editorial responsibility for the BBC's entire news operation for India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan. The South Asia appointment completes the BBC worldwide plan to place seven senior news editors in the field to oversee the organisation's huge newsgathering operation. The others are placed in Washington, Jerusalem, Russia, Singapore, Johannesburg, and Brussels, according to a press statement from BBC.

Danahar has several years experience in the region, having worked as a senior world affairs producer for the BBC, based in Delhi between 1996-2000. During that time he covered all the major news in the region, from the Kargil conflict, the coup in Pakistan to the Orrissa cyclone and the Bangladesh floods. He also travelled extensively in Afghanistan during the Taliban era and returned there last year after 9/11 to work with BBC correspondents - Rageh Omaar and John Simpson, in the run up to the fall of Kabul to American-led forces.

Much of his last two years have been spent in Africa helping run the BBC news operation there. Danahar was quoted in the release as saying about his new appointment: "It's fantastic to be back in South Asia and I'm thrilled to take on what is a huge job at such an important time for the BBC. This region is now firmly under the international spotlight, not only because of regional tensions but because it has the potential to have such a major impact on the rest of the world both politically and economically. The BBC has huge audiences here and continues to be well ahead of CNN and CNBC in the market place. That's a strong foundation that I intend to build on."

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