BBC staff members launch new company to serve audiences with BBC Indian language services

BBC staff members launch new company to serve audiences with BBC Indian language services

The four staff members leaving the BBC to lead Collective Newsroom


Mumbai: Four BBC staff members have today (12 December) announced plans to leave the organisation and form a new entity in India which will provide audiences with a breadth of services across India, as commissioned by the BBC.  

The establishment of Collective Newsroom Pvt Ltd ensures the BBC and Collective Newsroom can meet their shared commitment to Indian audiences and cover stories on India that matter to global audiences. It complies with the Indian foreign direct investment law.

Collective Newsroom has been established as an Indian company, wholly owned by Indian citizens, with four existing staff members leaving the BBC to lead Collective Newsroom. These senior leaders have a wealth of editorial and programme-making experience. The BBC will commission Collective Newsroom to produce its six Indian language services as well as Indian digital output and an Indian YouTube channel in English for audiences globally.

The BBC has a long-held and deep-rooted place in India’s media landscape, having first launched the Hindi language service in 1940. Since then it has developed a range of BBC output, expanding the number of Indian language services and growing audience figures from decade to decade with its agenda-setting and high-impact journalism.

BBC India senior news editor Rupa Jha and founding shareholder of Collective Newsroom, said, “Audiences in India can be assured that the BBC’s Indian language services and unique range of quality output will inform, educate and entertain audiences across our diverse and highly engaged country under the agreement between the BBC and Collective Newsroom. We launch Collective Newsroom with big ambitions for audiences in India and beyond.”

BBC News deputy CEO said Jonathan Munro, “The BBC’s presence in India is steeped in a rich history that has always put audiences first, so we warmly welcome the formation of Collective Newsroom which continues that progression. The BBC will get first-class content from Collective Newsroom that will be rooted in India and in line with the editorial standards audiences expect from the BBC. We look forward to working with them.”

BBC News International Services senior controller Liliane Landor said, “Two of the BBC’s critical strengths are its truly global output for audiences and our reputation as a trusted source of news. We are deeply committed to excellence in journalism for and from India, and this agreement ensures the continued production of independent, international and impartial journalism that the BBC News brand is renowned for in India and around the world.”

Activity for BBC monitoring and the BBC’s English language newsgathering operation for global output will remain with the BBC.

Notes to editors:

1.    The four staff members leaving the BBC to lead Collective Newsroom are; Rupa Jha, Mukesh Sharma, Sanjoy Majumder and Sara Hassan

2.    The BBC provides content in six Indian languages (BBC News Hindi, BBC News Marathi, BBC News Gujarati, BBC News Punjabi, BBC News Tamil, BBC News Telugu) as well as in English, to 82 million people around the country on average each week

3.    BBC News Hindi is the BBC’s language service with the largest audience and in 2023, across all platforms, its weekly reach figure grew 27 per cent year-on-year

4.    The BBC World Service reaches 318 million people on average every week globally and operates 42 different language services