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Global economic crisis reverberates in BBC World News’ ‘Aftershock’

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Global economic crisis reverberates in BBC World News’ ‘Aftershock’

It has been a year since the global recession first caught the media’s eye and BBC World News has chosen this landmark to embark on one its most extensive programming initiatives – ‘Aftershock’. BBC World News has collaborated with BBC World Service and for this project with the intention to delve further on the impact of this crisis on various aspects of life.

‘Aftershock’ would be present in the various BBC markets, across TV, radio and online. In an exclusive conversation with exchange4media, BBC World News’ Director – News Content Richard Porter speaks more on the significance of this initiative.

The global recession had in a sense become official on September 15, 2008, when New York-based Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection. It was the largest bankruptcy filed in the US corporate history. As the name suggests, ‘Aftershock’ would be focussed on the reverberations of this economic crisis.

Elaborating on this, Porter observed, “There was a lot of thought that had gone behind the name ‘Aftershock’. We believe that the impact of the global recession would be felt for many years to come. The way banking is being done in markets like the US, for instance, has completely changed. There is a lot more that has been impacted, but not enough has been said or written about on it.”

BBC has planned a wide array of content offerings on BBC World News, and BBC World Service. Porter informed, “It is very important for us to do this right, and the content cannot be identical across these services. We have worked together to ensure content relevance across platforms and markets.”

Markets like India and China that have not experienced recession but only slowdown would also be given appropriate attention, Porter said. ‘Aftershock’ breaks on September 7, 2009 and would culminate with the G-20 Conference on September 24-25, 2009 in the US.

A three-fold plan

The programming initiatives on BBC World News include ‘How a Busted Bank Changed the World’, where BBC’s Business Editor Robert Peston will examine what happened and what is learnt since the day the money stopped. BBC World News would begin extensive news coverage with reports across the globe, including Shanghai, Mumbai, New York and Japan, in the week. ‘India Business Report’ would be devoted to business news from Mumbai on Indian conglomerates that took advantage of the credit crunch by buying Western companies.

BBC World News will broadcast a series of live reports from the channel’s expert presenters across the world on September 15, including Mishal Husain (Singapore), Nik Gowing (Mumbai), Matt Frei (New York), and Jonathan Charles, Lucy Hockings, George Alagiah and Tanya Beckett (in London).

The BBC World Service Hindi Radio will examine how the financial crisis began and issues on how the recession year shifted the global power away from traditional Western nations to Asian countries and how Indian banks survived the recession. BBC Hindi will also analyse if the world GDP was exaggerated; the team will revisit two people who lost their jobs, and how the economic activities of a 700-million strong rural population helped India’s economy to stay afloat; a special edition of the regular programme ‘Parikrama’ will include if the state of global economy has started to recover and so on.

There are similar programming initiatives marked for BBC Swahili; BBC Arabic; BBC Azeri, BBC Kyrgyz and BBC Uzbek; BBC Russian and BBC Hausa.

During September, the ‘Aftershock’ website – – will feature interactive graphics, charting the impact of the financial crisis around the world, including graphics tracking the spend of governments’ money on bank bailouts. The website will offer audiences the opportunity to share their own personal experiences of the past year via a global interactive mood map.


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