TWO Nigerian languages, Igbo and Yoruba, will join Hausa among the country’s local languages to be broadcast on the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC. Before this development, Hausa was the only Nigerian language that enjoyed the services of the world’s foremost radio services. According to the corporation, the development is part of the initiative of the BBC World Service which will launch 11 new language services as part of its biggest expansion “since the 1940s.” The expansion is a result of the funding boost announced by the UK government last year. The new languages, apart from the Nigeria’s two main languages, will be Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Gujarati,
Korean, Marathi, Pidgin, Punjabi, Telugu, and Tigrinya; the first new services are expected to launch in 2017. “This is a historic day for the BBC, as we announce the biggest expansion of the World Service since the 1940s,” said BBC director general Tony Hall. “The BBC World Service is a jewel in the crown – for the BBC and for Britain. “As we move towards our centenary, my vision is of a confident, outward-looking BBC which brings the best of our independent, impartial journalism and world- class entertainment to half a billion people around the world. “Today is a key step towards that aim.” The plans include the expansion of digital services to offer more mobile and video content and a greater social media presence. Yesterday, the BBC launched a full digital service in Thai, following the success of a Facebook-only ‘pop-up’ service launched in 2014. Other expansion plans include extended news bulletins in Russian, with regionalised versions for surrounding countries enhanced television services across Africa, including more than 30 new TV programmes for partner broadcasters across sub-Saharan Africa new regional programming from BBC Arabic short-wave and medium-wave radio programmes aimed at audiences in the Korean peninsula, plus online and social media content investment in World Service English, with new programmes, more original journalism, and a broader agenda Fran Unsworth, BBC’s World Service director, said: “Through war, revolution and global change, people around the world have relied on the World Service for independent, trusted, impartial news. “As an independent broadcaster, we remain as relevant as ever in the 21st Century, when in many places there is not more free expression, but less. “Today’s announcement is about transforming the World Service by investing for the future. “We must follow our audience, who consume the news in changing ways; an increasing number of people are watching the World Service on TV, and many services are now digital-only. “We will be able to speed up our digital transformation, especially for younger audiences, and we will continue to invest in video news bulletins.

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