happy 75th birthday!

to the BBC World Service!

the World Service began in 1932 as a shortwave service to connect the far-flung corners of the Empire (and later the Commonwealth) ; as King George V stated in the first Royal Christmas Message, it was to connect the “men and women, so cut off by the snow, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them.”

today the World Service reaches 183 million weekly listeners in 33 languages (the majority of whom listen in English).

its programmes are often the only unbiased news source listeners in some countries have, and the Service certainly fulfills it’s aim to “be the world’s best-known and most-respected voice in international broadcasting, thereby bringing benefit to Britain.”

quote of the day:

“Don’t expect too much in the early days; for some time we shall transmit comparatively simple programs, to give the best chance of intelligible reception and provide evidence as to the type of material most suitable for the service in each zone. The programmes will neither be very interesting nor very good.” – John Charles Walsham Reith, 1st Baron Reith, first Director-General of the BBC, during the Empire Service’s inaugural broadcast on December 19, 1932

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