Radio This year I began listening to the BBC's World Service in earnest and it is for no other reason than because of Radio 4's You and Yours and The Archers, but I'm very pleased that I did. Not really being a fan of music radio, I've had Radio 4 turned in on the pod stereo in the kitchen for years and throughout those years I've sighed because I've known that at some of the times I've tended to be in the kitchen, at lunchtime heating soup or making a sandwich or after dinner when washing the dishes, that I'd end up listening to You and Yours or The Archers, both acquired tastes which I haven't acquired, or an eerie silence punctuated by the ping of the microwave or the splosh of the dishwater. Finally, in June I ordered a digital radio, and in ironic mood but entirely cognizant of the implications, this horrendously kitch union jack Pure radio and it's been tuned to the BBC's World Service ever since. As you might expect, there's a sense of looking over a garden wall onto someone else's lawn, but in this case the wall is an ocean and the garden another continent. Now You and Yours has been replaced by Outlook which gathers amazing stories and interviews from across the globe (for example this extraordinary tale about how a man, lost on a train in Mumbai and separated from his family at the age of six was able to track down his mum 20 years later thanks to the faded tattoo on his arm). Instead of The Archers, I now have The Newsroom, which given its subject matter, humanity, also has a storyline of some longevity, but takes time to present some context and covers stories on a much grander scale than Ambridge, wars and revolutions and diplomacy. The service calls itself "the world's radio station" and that's no more true than World Have Your Say in which people from all over the globe in its various worlds all chime in on a topic by phone or social media, or else a correspondent takes to the streets with a microphone and speaks to the people at the centre of a story live, which in the aftermath of the Philippine typhoon included areas which hadn't yet been touched by aid and allowed families to voice appeals from inside and outside the effected areas for help and comfort. Which sounds voyeuristic, but this is mostly about reminding me that it's all happening out there, right now.
BBC Red Amber Green HD Mpeg 4 from Ratchet Films on Vimeo.
BBC World News: The World's Newsroom Launch from Ratchet Films on Vimeo.
BBC Global News Ltd: Live The Story from Ratchet Films on Vimeo.