Tuesday, 7 October 2008

BBC World News In America...1 Year Old

Last week the BBC World News in America celebrated it's first birthday. What is the difference between British and American broadcasting that mean the US needs a British style news?

Having studied at an American university for 6 months in 2005, and being a broadcast journalism student, this is a topic that I have a lot of interest in.

Rome Hartman wrote on his blog about the celebration, and gave a brief history of the service. He suggests that the BBC covered news events that the rest of the American press wasn't touching on.

I spent a lot of time watching the TV while in America, and watching the news every night has become part of my daily routine, after sitting with my family every evening for 23 years.

Apart from what was going on in America, I was on the look out for news from the UK and Europe. It didn't take me long to realise that global news events were hardly ever covered.

Two major news stories happened during my time studying in the States. Firstly, Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, where friends were living at the time, and I was anxious to hear everything I could on the event.

The American news channels covered this admirably, though I still managed to find out additional information by checking the BBC News websites.

Secondly was the Buncefield Depot explosion, which I had a vested interest in as it was only a few miles from my home in the UK.

I didn't even hear of the story until almost two days after the event, when a friend from the UK rang and told me about it. Once again I reverted to the BBC News web pages to find out the full story.

It turned out to be quite a major event, with most of the European press being interested int he story, and it was covered by French, Spanish and German news.

The American press however, didn't even mention the story.

This experience leads me to believe that the BBC World News service is indeed a service that the US is in need of.

No comments: