BBC to launch World News Today for South Asians

MUMBAI: BBC World is eyeing the South Asian and Indian audiences. The channel is launching a South Asia-focused edition of World News Today as part of its plan to establish a regular branded hour-long news programme.

Slated to kick off on 23 July, the prime time show at 9.30 pm will be an 'addition to the local news, which needs global attention.' It will leverage the resources that BBC has in all the South Asian countries especially India.

Presented by the reputed BBC World news presenter Nik Gowing, the show slotted for all week days will have a mix of politics, business, entertainment, sports, crime, art and culture in its content.

"India is an extra-ordinary place with unexpected events happening at all the time. India and Indians are currently making news across the globe in areas as diverse as business, finances, arts and cinema. World News Today strives to bring BBC World viewers across South Asia the latest international headlines with impartial analysis, insights and global perspectives on news stories that are of relevance to them," Gowing said while addressing the press in Mumbai.

BBC World head of news Richard Porter said, "World News Today will be compulsory viewing for anyone who wants to keep on top of global news and current affairs in India. It continues to support the strap line 'What effects the world effects you'."

Gowing said that the common man on the street is real observer of what is happening in the society. They provide the journalist with the basic facts and real reports of incidents. The journalists only verify the facts and present it to the world. This is based on the basic principles of connecting with the people, which 'shortens the time'.

However Gowing seemed apprehensive about using blogs as the programme content. He said, "Definitely blogs provide valuable source and information. But they are too personalised and partial in nature."

Commenting on the present stature of 'sensationalising and dramatising' news by the Indian TV news channels, Nik said, "Any important news irrespective of being good or bad is broadcast. News is about getting the basic facts without dramatising the event or the incidents."

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