BBC World Service receives millions to increase Arabic broadcasts, save Hindi broadcasts

The BBC World Service is getting a funding increase to the tune of £2.2 million ($3.6 million) per year over the next three years.

This comes after the government broadcaster’s funds were slashed last year, forcing it to announce the cancellation of 5 of its 32 language broadcasts and reduced service on others.

The money will go to boost the Arabic language programs. An additional £9 million ($14.6 million) is being reallocated to save the Hindi shortwave service, which was slated to be shut down.

The Arabic language service is getting more attention both from the UK government and people in the region because of the ongoing unrest there. The Hindi service also has a huge number of listeners.

The BBC World Service broadcasts on TV, mobile, and online, but in many regions its shortwave broadcasts are still crucial. While listening to shortwave may seem old fashioned, in many Middle Eastern countries the Internet is censored or gets shut off completely during times of unrest. Also, many people in the developing world have a shortwave radio, but little access to the Internet.