Can you believe, it’s been 80 years that the BBC World Service has been on the air, broadcasting stories about and across the globe? With the age of the internet, and podcasts, internet radio, mobile apps, and ticker alerts for your desktop, we may take for granted the lengths at which journalists and the broadcaster itself has taken to make the provided information so readily obtainable.
From the Second World War to 9/11, BBC correspondents have always been among the first at the sites of breaking stories and have, more importantly, done them justice by providing well rounded and in depth reports. They are adept in taking listeners through the often highly visual and distressing scenes that would no doubt deeply effect one’s psyche, in as impartial a manner as possible while still retaining the quintessential humanistic character innate to so many of the quality reporters found at the BBC.
The photos in the above gallery are a timeline of notable events that have either taken place at the BBC or have been covered by them. The first photo is on then Director-General John Reith delivering the 12-minute address on opening day in 1932 which he repeated 4 more times throughout the day, totaling over 15-and-a-half hours, in order to coincide with time zones from Australia to Canada.
Here’s serious looking King George V, with his naval bicorne hat. It was 6 days following the opening of the broadcasting service that he addressed the empire in the first, of what would become a tradition, Royal Christmas Message.
What’s been in the news lately is the move from Bush House, the home of BBC World Service for over 70 years, to its original site, Broadcasting House. A staff member is shown gathering documents in preparation to relocate from Broadcasting House in 1940, which was severely damaged by a fired caused by an explosion during the course of the war, to Bush House.
The gallery also shows the progression of technology used in broadcasting. Portable disc cutters were used on the frontlines in the 40s and then packed and carried back to London for transmission. The BBC’s engineers were actually responsible for developing the lighter weight “Midget Recorder” (pictured above) in 1944, just in time for D-Day. And, more recently, in light of the 2011 Arab Spring, the BBC (who’d already been using social media as one of its primary methods of information gathering and distributing) took it to a new height by setting an example for other broadcasters by placing the audience at the heart the news.
Here’s our homage to the British Broadcasting Corporation. If you’d like to continue reflecting on key moments in BBC history, watch BBC World News TV today for a day of special live programmes.
Information for this article was taken from the BBC.