BBC Urdu announces end of Sairbeen's radio broadcast

Updated December 21, 2019

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Aliya Nazki presenting Sairbeen on the BBC | Jeff Overs/BBC
Aliya Nazki presenting Sairbeen on the BBC | Jeff Overs/BBC

BBC Urdu has announced that it will end the radio broadcast of its famed news and current affairs programme Sairbeen by the year's end, saying its priority going forward will be digital media platforms and television, it emerged on Saturday.

The decision to end the media outlet's shortwave broadcasts was taken "to better serve the BBC's listeners, readers and viewers in Pakistan and to achieve the objective of proper utilisation of our resources", a BBC Urdu report said.

It said although broadcasts of Sairbeen on shortwave and mediumwave radio will end, those of Global Newsbeat and FM bulletins, which the BBC broadcasts in partnership with its FM partners, will continue.

An effort will also continue to "cast BBC Urdu's radio content according to the interests of the youth", the report added.

Sairbeen will continue to be aired via BBC Urdu television during weekdays and the programme will also be available on the outlet's digital platforms.

According to the report, a BBC public survey in 2018 revealed that the number of listeners of radio on shortwave had vastly fallen in Pakistan due to rapidly increasing TV audiences and widespread access to digital media.

BBC Urdu head Mehwish Hussain said it was currently their aim to reach young people and women with news as much as possible.

"We will continue to provide news on the subjects for which our listeners trust us and on which the local media is unable to report. However, this news will no longer be broadcast on shortwave and mediumwave," Hussain was quoted as saying.