Maintaining high standards

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 July, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 July, 1996, 12:00am

The likelihood of the BBC World Service abandoning its international news agenda (your leader 'World disservice', July 6) is about as likely as the South China Morning Post scrapping its coverage of Hong Kong.

Our listeners in Hong Kong and throughout the world can rest assured that whatever management changes may occur at the BBC, the World Service will continue to commission news specifically for them.

They will hear the same voices and the same programmes, made to the same exacting standards.

The strength of the World Service by comparison with other international broadcasters has always been that it forms part of the BBC and shares its global resources.

Many (indeed, most) of the correspondents heard on the World Service have always been primarily domestic BBC correspondents. Some of our programmes have always been made for us by the domestic BBC. No one has ever suggested those correspondents or programmes were somehow inferior.

The current reorganisation of the BBC takes this process a stage further for our English programmes and news resources, but we shall retain complete control over the commissioning and scheduling of all programmes.

In the long term, the World Service should benefit from economies of scale and shared expertise. That will help secure the future of the World Service so that it can continue to provide a reliable source of information for future generations of listeners.

SAM YOUNGER Managing Director BBC World Service, London