Professor Jieun Kiaer's Evidence Published in International Development Committee Inquiry

The Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies is proud to announce that Professor Jieun Kiaer, Young Bin Min-KF Professor of Korean Linguistics, has provided crucial evidence published as part of the House of Commons International Development Committee's inquiry into the future funding of the BBC World Service.

The BBC World Service is a vital institution providing trusted news to radio, TV, and digital audiences worldwide, broadcasting in 42 languages and reaching a global audience of 318 million. Primarily funded by the UK Licence Fee, it also receives a grant of £104.4 million from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for the fiscal years 2023/24 and 2024/25. Under the current agreement, no language services will be closed, but this condition is subject to review in 2025.

In his March 2024 speech, BBC Director General Tim Davie highlighted financial challenges, stating, "We cannot keep asking UK Licence Fee payers to invest in the World Service when we face cuts to UK services. We will need to discuss a long-term funding solution for the World Service that comes from central government budgets."

Given the BBC World Service's impact on the UK's development goals and its role in projecting UK values globally, the International Development Committee launched an inquiry to explore the case for increased Government support. The inquiry focused on the BBC’s contributions to Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligible countries and its influence on the UK's soft power.

Professor Kiaer’s submission emphasized the BBC World Service’s critical soft power advantages for the UK. She argued that the World Service promotes UK values of accurate, impartial, and independent journalism, particularly in regions where media freedom is under threat. Her evidence underscored the importance of the BBCWS in providing reliable information and upholding democratic values in a world increasingly troubled by authoritarianism and misinformation.

Read more about the inquiry here

Read Prof Kiaer's evidence here