The BBC World Service and British Soft Power in perspective

Event Date: 25 June 2011
Clore Management Centre
Birkbeck College Torrington Sq  
London WC1E 7HX.


The BBC World Service and British Soft Power in perspective

Session One

Introduction by Dr David Styan (Department of Politics, Birkbeck College).

The Political Economy of Soft Power

How does the BBC World Service balance the challenges of funding cuts with rapid changes in both international broadcasting and new social media? How does the British government value and perceive the World Service within its projection of Britain’s ‘Soft Power’?

Peter Horrocks (Director, BBC World Service), in discussion with;

Jean Seaton (Official historian of the BBC, Professor of Media History at Westminster University)


Session Two

Digital Diplomacy and the Arab Spring

Satellite broadcasters and internet media are playing key roles in changes in the Middle East. Is the BBC World Service successfully negotiating the move from radio to TV and interactive internet media? As audiences and agenda shift, can the BBC compete with Al Jazeera and others?

Roger Hardy, (former Middle East and Islamic affairs analyst, BBC World Service; author of The Muslim Revolt: A Journey through Political Islam (Hurst, 2010); and currently a visiting fellow at LSE, working on US ‘soft power’ and the Muslim world since 9/11.)

Marie Gillespie (Professor of Sociology, the Open University, author of numerous reports on both Arab media and ‘digital diplomacy’)


Both sessions will be followed by an audience debate.

share this entry: