Sunday, May 18, 2008

Broadcasters| US Radio-TV Tops 175m Weekly Audience Worldwide

United States Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Chairman, James Glassman said in Washington on May 15 that the government funded international broadcasting outlets reached a 175 million audience on a weekly basis. The figure is up from 155 million audience in 2007. Mr Glassman was addressing a meeting of the "Heritage Foundation". BBG's broadcasters include the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Martí). In his speech, Glassman pointed to recent events in Burma and Tibet. VOA and RFA warned the Burmese people of the potential severity of cyclone Nargis days before official Burmese media, and both broadcasters provided breaking news coverage of pro-democracy protests in Tibet in March and the subsequent Chinese crackdown. The BBG global audience estimate is based on measured audiences from independent surveys conducted worldwide in accordance with industry-standard research methods. Audience gains in Indonesia, Nigeria, and Syria, in particular, helped drive the increase. Weekly audience is one element in a wide range of quantitative and qualitative data scrutinized by BBG to ensure continued delivery of high-quality content. "Our research probes questions such as whether our audiences trust our news and whether our broadcasts are helping to improve their understanding of their world and America," Glassman said. "On those two counts - and on less tangible measures - the BBG is performing well." The BBG website carries the full text of Glassman's speech. Meanwhile BBG, the US government funded broadcasting effort is behind that of its main western rival,the BBC. Latest figures show that the combined global radio and TV audience outside of the United Kingdom reached 233 million, as per a BBC press statement of 21.05.2007.

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