Are Americans Really Hungry For Foreign News? BBC World Will Find Out.
The lack of coverage of foreign news by U.S. news outlets is a criticism that often comes up around here. When we ask "10 Plus 1" subjects what they'd like to see more of on CBS News, many have mentioned foreign coverage. Our "Outside Voices" subjects, including Charles Bierbauer this week, have often shared that sentiment.
Well, seek and ye shall find. BBC World launched a 24-hour cable news channel in the U.S. yesterday, and it is "aiming to capture audiences hungry for international news." Chief executive at BBC World in London Richard Sambrook, told The New York Times that the U.S. "'is the only region in the world where we're not available on a 24-hour basis.' Until now, he added, the only exposure Americans have had to BBC news was a daily, 30-minute program carried by local PBS stations."
The channel's lineup is set to include a morning news program that will launch in July. "What we're not setting out to do is carve a niche that reflects America back to the Americans," said the program's anchor, George Alagiah. "What we're trying to do is reflect the world back to Americans."
Often one of the arguments against including more foreign coverage is that the audience simply isn't interested. With that in mind, BBC World's success in the U.S. cable market should be particularly telling.