The British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, has launched Igbo and Yoruba services, Tuesday, two of the three new languages to be launched by the Corporation for Nigeria and the West and Central Africa region.
A statement issued by the BBC and signed by Marina Forsythe said the new services are part of the largest investment in the BBC World Service since the 1940s and are funded by the UK government.
“The Igbo service is mainly for audiences in eastern and South-eastern Nigeria as well as the large Igbo speaking diaspora.
“The Yoruba service targets South-west Nigeria, Benin and Togo as well as other parts of the diaspora,” the statement said.
It also said the services are fully digital and will include “exciting short format audio, video, graphics and illustrations”.
It also said twice daily, the teams will produce an episode of BBC Minute – keeping people in touch with the world in 60 seconds.
“The editorial agenda will reflect not only balanced impartial news, but also a rich mix of trending topics, sports, entertainment, business, health, education and women.
“There will be original content through our network of reporters on variety of stories and issues that matter to local people and resonate across the region,” it said.
It added that digital content created daily for the website and social media platforms, will cover a broad agenda with a strong focus on audience interactivity.
This, the statement said, is in keeping with the BBC News editorial strategy of not only being news providers but also providing enriching analysis, explainers and features.
As Editorial Lead on the project, Peter Okwoche says “Both services will concentrate on original journalism from their target regions but will also feature stories from Africa and the main global stories. BBC Igbo & Yoruba will provide a platform for debate on the main issues of interest to audiences and give voices to a wide spectrum of people. There will also be a strong focus on women.”
Head of West Africa, Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye says, “Delivering content and engaging with the Igbo and Yoruba audiences in their mother tongues is authentic, exciting and refreshing. The BBC is passionate about original journalism that adds value and this is what we want to achieve with these services. These platforms will deliver independent, objective and original news to meet the needs of our audiences in Nigeria and West Africa.”
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