BBC World Service's annual review indicates trust on a high

MUMBAI: BBC World Service has published its annual review. It notes that it managed to enhance its reputation as the world's leading international broadcaster throughout a "year of change, achievement and innovation."

Independent research evidence published in the Review indicates that BBC World Service's reputation for trust and objectivity is higher than for any other international broadcasters in virtually all markets surveyed – including India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and USA.

BBC World Service director Nigel Chapman says, "It was a year of major achievements and innovation: a record-breaking audience figure; a step change in our interactive services; and the biggest strategic shift in priorities in BBC World Service's 70-year history. These welcome developments took place against a backdrop of ever more rapid technological change and the emergence of powerful and often divisive global forces."

"It is particularly pleasing to see how our programmes command the highest scores for reputation, trust, and objectivity in most markets when compared to our international competitors."

The new weekly audience figure of 163 million, compiled from independent surveys around the globe, is an increase of 14 million on last year's figure of 149 million. This new figure breaks the previous BBC World Service record audience of 153 million in 2001. The new figure equates to around 50 per cent more listeners than any comparable international broadcaster.

BBC World Service is now available on high quality FM sound in a record 150 capital cities out of a total of around 190 – up from 145 last year. This higher quality of audibility is vital to retain audiences.

Online audiences to the BBC's international facing news sites have also shown significant rises. The sites attracted around 500 million page impressions a month in March 2006 compared to 324 million page impressions in March 2005.

This is a rise of over 50 per cent over the year. The site now attracts around 33 million unique users each month; up from around 21 million unique users a year ago. BBC World Service achieved efficiency savings of £7.1 million in 2005/06.

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