BBC Bangla to celebrate anniversary through Facebook Live, radio

MUMBAI: BBC Bangla will present a series of programmes and events with audiences in Bangladesh and India to mark 75 years of broadcasting. A part of BBC World Service, BBC Bangla will engage with audiences via Facebook Lives and radio to discuss the global and national issues that are of special relevance to them. The theme of The BBC and Bangladesh will be discussed at a seminar at Dhaka University, with a panel and students, and will also be the focus of new programmes commissioned to mark the anniversary.

BBC Bangla editor Sabir Mustafa, said: “Since the very first transmission on 11 October 1941, the BBC’s broadcasts in Bangla have delivered to its audiences much-needed accurate and impartial news and information. It has earned the trust of Bangla-speakers, wherever they were over the tempestuous decades - and wherever they are today. This anniversary is a great opportunity for us to check how in tune we are with what they expect and need from us.”

Between 7 and 14 October, BBC Bangla will hold broadcast events in Bangladesh - in Sylhet, Rajshahi and Khulna - and in Kolkata, the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal from where a significant proportion of the BBC Bangla digital audiences come. Starting as informal discussions with the BBC Bangla audiences, these events will transform into Facebook Lives on the BBC Bangla Facebook page. The focus of the conversations will be how the BBC can engage with younger audiences and meet their news and information needs.

Throughout October, BBC Bangla journalists will travel to various parts of Bangladesh to debate critical issues with local residents. The following topics will be debated in these locations:

• Khulna – the survival of mangrove forests
• Sirajganj – the safety of migrants
• Rangpur – revival of the rural economy
• Sylhet – the role of expatriates in the country’s development
• Rajshahi - the plight of rivers
• Barisal - the threat of river erosion
• Chittagong – how to preserve the country’s ethnic diversity.

The conversations will be broadcast live on radio with simultaneous discussion for those who connect with BBC Bangla on social media.

On 19 October, the conference, The BBC and Bangladesh, co-hosted by BBC Bangla and Dhaka University’s Department for Journalism and Mass Communications, will look at the role of the BBC in covering Bangladesh and the region, asking the panel and the audience of over 100 students how they want to engage with the BBC in the digital age.

To celebrate the anniversary in October, the weekly TV programme, BBC Probaho, will feature audience members looking back at their own special BBC Bangla moments. An event page on Facebook, Hirok Joyonti (Diamond Jubilee), will display archive photos and comments from fans. BBC Live! will showcase contributions from the BBC Bangla teams – past and present - looking back at key moments during their time at the BBC, and will be available for download at BBC Bangla radio will also broadcast selected extracts from some of the key programmes from its archives.

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