Thursday, September 02, 2010

BBC Burmese At 70 – roadshow in Thailand launches newsletter for Burmese migrants

BBC Burmese marks 70 years on air with a roadshow in Mae Sot, Thailand – home to tens of thousands of Burmese economic and political migrants.

As part of special events and programming today, on the eve of the anniversary, in the border town between Burma and Thailand, BBC Burmese has launched its new monthly newsletter tailored for Mae Sot-based Burmese expats.

The first newsletter opens up with a message from BBC Global News Director, Peter Horrocks, who praises the role of BBC Burmese broadcasts in keeping Burmese people informed.

BBC Burmese launched on 2 September 1940 and has since reported all key events in Burma. According to surveys, the service has a weekly audience of 8.4 million listeners in Burma, reaching 22.9 per cent of the country's population.

Independent surveys also show that BBC Burmese has established itself as the most trusted international broadcaster in Burma.

In his message opening up the first issue of the BBC Burmese Newsletter, Peter Horrocks highlights the fact that BBC Burmese broadcasts have helped to keep the Burmese people informed – and empowered.

He says: "Long before the advent of the internet, the service has been a connecting and coordinating link between Burmese people and the rest of the region and the world.

"I hope very much that this newsletter will serve as an excellent medium to further reinforce those links, extending the outreach of BBC Burmese among its audiences and helping to create even closer ties with them."

The BBC Burmese special from Mae Sot includes a live interactive programme with Burmese schoolchildren there and other audience participation events.

Head of BBC Burmese, Tin Htar Swe, comments: "This is our first ever roadshow in Thailand, and it's going to be an exciting opportunity for us to engage with our audiences directly, listen to them and report their issues and their lives to the Burmese-speakers, wherever they are.

"We are also thrilled to be launching our brand-new newsletter during this roadshow – it's another way for us to connect with our audiences in this region."

BBC Burmese broadcasts for half an hour in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening. The programmes are presented from the London and Bangkok studios of the BBC.

The radio programming is broadcast on shortwave and on PAS10 and Palapa satellite television channels and streamed online via the website

(BBC World Service International Publicity )

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