BBC Arabic .. End of Traditional Broadcasting Era
All of a sudden the BBC has announced that it will close BBC Arabic radio after 84 years among other radio due to cost, inflation and licensing fees.
The corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital first” made financial sense.
The proposals entail a net total of around 382 pose closures, eleven language services are already digital only.
No language services will close, the broadcaster insisted, although some production will move out of London and schedules would change.
Many Arabic media professional reacted with sadness to the news. Some journalists expressed concern that favoring online news over radio broadcasts could restrict some people’s accession the BBC in the Middle East.
People rely on these radio language services for fair and balanced news they can’t get elsewhere, especially in countries where governments may cut the internet so ‘digital only’ means that at critical moments the service is unavailable.
Radio broadcasts can also be blocked via a process called jamming, however.
Part of BBC’s appeal is that it is relatively independent, and does not shy away from reporting on anti-government protests in Middle East, for example. Much of the media in the region is controlled by government or political actors.
Internet cuts are also a problem in parts of the region.
It goes without saying that radio stations increasingly fade into oblivion in a media market crowded with many mediums and platforms.
Over eight decades the BBC Arabic played a vital role in the Arab World.
Nowadays the airing via internet avails the media article when needed instead of listening or watching in the traditional outlets which require the personal attendance of the viewer at the time of airing the programme.
It is apparent that BBC step is a start point for a transforming stage in the traditional media outlets to the digital era especially within the nearing or the direct internet through satellite.
The issue now is how to make the content which will be the major playground in the modern media competition.