BBC Arabic goes off air after 85 years


Published: 2023-01-27 15:09

Last Updated: 2023-11-17 10:08

BBC Arabic goes off air after 85 years
BBC Arabic goes off air after 85 years

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) announced that BBC Arabic radio will go off air on Friday after a service that lasted nearly 85 years.

BBC Arabic radio’s editor-in-chief, Adel Soliman, told Middle East Eye that Friday is going to be an “emotional day,” as journalists, presenters, and editors had prepared a week-long program to highlight the station's past as well as snippets from interviews with significant Arab figures.

“The broadcast will end at 1 pm London time,” Soliman said. “But we have prepared special content since Monday, with key interviews and contributions from our audience about how the BBC played a role in their lives, and talks with ex-BBC staff, highlighting their career.”

The BBC said that the decision was based on the fact that more people are accessing news online, which means moving the BBC to this “digital first” format makes financial sense, especially given the high operating costs.

“There is a compelling case for expanding our digital services across the World Service in order to better serve and connect with our audiences,” the Director of BBC World Service, Liliane Lando, said.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing.”

BBC will no longer produce radio output in 10 languages, including Arabic, Persian, Chinese and Hindi.

International services will be aired online, rather than on TV and radio, thus making £28 million in savings.