BBC World Service has finally completed the restructuring process that it had begun over a year back to shift the base of its Hindi Services to India. As is known, BBC Hindi Service has significant presence in the radio and online mediums. BBC has roped in Hindustan Times’ Foreign Editor, Amit Baruah, , to head the Hindi Services.
In a conversation with exchange4media, Nazes Afroz, Executive Editor, South Asia, BBC World Service, explained, “BBC Hindi has been operating from London for almost 60 years now, and so far this post was based in London. We have been working on gradually shifting the base of the Hindi Services to India. We had taken some big steps in that direction in the last year, and we have finally put this in place.”
Baruah will join the organisation on August 1, 2009, and would be reporting to Afroz. This position was held by Achala Sharma previously. Sharma resigned from the post following BBC’s decision to shift base to India.
It is understood that BBC World Services had initiated the process of shifting the bases of its 23 languages to the relevant markets in 2005. The Hindi Services saw a significant part of the move last year, wherein various officials based in the London offices of BBC World Services, including the likes of Salma Zaidi, Editor, Hindi Online, BBC World Service, moved to India.
Elaborating further on this, Afroz said, “The intention is to be closer to the market, the action and the audience. From an India standpoint, the economic and political importance that India exudes at present is well known, and important from the BBC point of view as well. In the last two years, some very crucial steps, including placing the Business Development person in India or setting up the marketing team such that India is the hub for South Asia, have been taken. You can now expect more from BBC World Service Hindi in India.”