BBC websites claim 180 m. impressions due to Iraq conflict

LONDON: News organisations are seeing a spurt in the take up of services offered not just on air, but also online on account of the ongoing Iraq conflict. A case in point is the BBC World Service which claims that its international sites have attracted 180 million page impressions this month - more than 80 million of them in the last eight days.

Its programme Talking Point, through which listeners can quiz world leaders, has received more than 160,000 emails commenting on the war. The BBC Hindi version of Talking Point, Aapki Baat BBC Ke Saath, invited listeners to question the former Indian Prime Minister I K Gurjal on 23 March. The programme received over 100 requests from people wanting to participate and 40 emails, six of them from the Gulf region.

In order to gain further perspective from the Arab world, BBC Arabic launched its own version of the show Nuqtat Hewar. The first programme took 93 calls in the first hour.

With mobile talk gaining rapidly across the globe, it is not surprising that text messaging from mobile phones have increased substantially over the course of the past few days. BBC World Service editors and producers are using the feedback to inform programme making and to create new programme opportunities for people to interact.

Text messages to the English service have gone up ten-fold since 18 March with around 6,000 messages sent to date. A few days ago, BBC Somali launched a text messaging facility and claims to have received nearly 800 views on the war in Iraq.

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