In the run-up to Election Day, BBC World Service's 32 language and regional services have mounted extensive programming, making the connection between the UK's key political event on the one hand and the lives of people around the world on the other. The international broadcaster is placing UK Election 2010 in the context of the issues relevant and important to its audience – across platforms, across languages and across regions.
BBC World Service's journalists examine why the decision made by the British electorate matters to people in places as diverse as China and the Arab world, Ukraine and Burma, India and Albania, Indonesia and Russia, Iran and Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Bangladesh. They will follow and report the campaign trail, analysing the effects of the possible outcome on countries and regions.
Peter Horrocks, Director, BBC Global News, says: "The British General Election is of huge interest to audiences around the world who want to discuss and debate the impact the UK votes may have on their lives. The BBC's international multimedia services have gathered the thoughts, hopes and fears of other countries, while reflecting the excitement of this race to a global audience."BBC Persian TV has embarked on the Great British Election Road Trip 2010 – a series of short films in which the presenter, Pooneh Ghoddoosi, and her team hit the road to discover the issues that really matter to the British people and look at themes that are often bypassed by standard daily news coverage.BBC Arabic correspondents, too, are travelling across the UK. On the campaign trail with the three party leaders, they are gauging opinions of the UK's Arab and Islamic communities.
On Election Day, presenter Tony El Khoury will be anchoring a major multimedia broadcast talking to the main parties and audiences, with young British Arabs sharing their views via webcam. The day after the election, the BBC Arabic flagship multimedia interactive programme, Nuqtat Hewar, will feature a studio audience of British Arabs discussing the election result and the impact it will have on their lives.Representatives of the leading parties were quizzed by Russian-speaking online users on BBC Russian. While, on the BBC Afghanistan service in Pashto and Dari, MPs are answering the questions from UK's ethnic Afghans, journalists from the BBC Uzbek for Afghanistan team broadcast from Wootton Bassett – talking about the UK as a military power, asking how people in the UK see Britain's place in the world and the role Afghanistan plays in the UK election. A panel of four ethnic Albanians – a Conservative council candidate in London, an advisor to a Labour MP, a political activist and a business expert – talk about economy, emigration and foreign policy on BBC Albanian.
BBC Indonesia discusses these issues with UK-based Indonesians, while BBC Ukrainian explores the party policies with regard to an issue of utmost interest to its audience – the EU expansion. The educational aspect of the election is an important focus of the coverage by the Central Asian and Caucasus services – BBC Azeri, BBC Kyrgyz and BBC Uzbek. They look at how the elections work in a Western democracy, how the opposition functions, what are the forces influencing UK politics and politicians and what's the role of the British media.
BBC Azeri is reporting from Belfast as the city's conflict-resolution background is relevant to Azerbaijan's conflict with Armenia.As the Burmese government is planning to hold a general election for the first time in 20 years, the BBC Burmese programming specifically targets Burma's young people who have never voted.
The BBC Burmese journalists report on the UK parliamentary system, the relationship between the UK government and the opposition parties, why people vote – and whether they vote for the personality or for electoral platform. The Head of African News & Current Affairs, Joseph Warungu, is doing a series of reports for BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend on how the British "do" elections – from canvassing to party leaders' meetings, and the issues the voters are talking about such as sleaze. Using his experience in covering elections in Africa and the US, Warungu takes a personal look at what marks out British elections from other democracies.
BBC Swahili puts under the spotlight UK nationals of African descent who are campaigning for parliamentary and civic seats – or simply playing an active role in the election. All key Swahili programmes will bring live updates reporting the vote on the Election Day, and will analyse the outcome on the next day.
BBC Hausa is looking at a range of issues, from funding of political parties to ideology to vote count, and talking to the UK's Hausa-speaking diaspora about their views of the elections. This general election sees a growing number of candidates from ethnic minorities.
The BBC Chinese online forum offered the audiences an opportunity to question a panel of the UK's ethnic Chinese candidates. And as five parties are fielding ethnic Bangladeshis in a London constituency, the BBC Bangla multimedia programming explores the attitudes of the non-Bangladeshi electorate to these candidates, how UK citizens of Bangladeshi descent see their role in mainstream UK politics, and the influence of Islamists within this community.The stake and clout of the Indian diaspora in certain constituencies is in the focus of BBC Hindi. The service also explores similarities and differences between elections in India and the UK, compares the representation of women in the UK and Indian parliaments and profiles female candidates of Indian descent and their campaigns. Another theme is the role of "Indian" money – financial contributions to political parties from businesses such as Mittals, Pauls, Noons. Teaming up with BBC Tamil and BBC Sinhala, BBC Hindi also explores the constituencies with sizeable Tamil populations in the aftermath of the fall of the Tamil Tigers.
On UK election night, BBC World Service English will broadcast a seven-hour election night special. The programme will offer global audiences bespoke analysis and regular updates throughout the night. Presenter Robin Lustig will be joined by leading politicians and political pundits as they bring the results to the world.For details of programmes and more information, go to bbcworldservice.com.
BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster delivering 32 language and regional services, including: Albanian, Arabic, Azeri, Bengali, Burmese, Cantonese, English, English for Africa, English for the Caribbean, French for Africa, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Kinyarwanda/Kirundi, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Mandarin, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Portuguese for Africa, Portuguese for Brazil, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Somali, Spanish for Latin America, Swahili, Tamil, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, and Vietnamese. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 188 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. Its news sites, which received 4.7 million weekly visitors in September 2009, include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate. It has around 2,000 partner radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying content to mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices. For more information, visit bbcworldservice.com. For a weekly alert about BBC World Service programmes, sign up for the BBC World Agenda e-guide at bbcworldservice.com/eguide.
(BBC World Service International Publicity)