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BBC News relaunches flagship shows in Africa with renewed editorial vision

BBC World Service today (5 June) announced a series of new programming changes designed to bring BBC journalism and analysis closer to audiences in Africa. The changes include:

  • BBC Africa’s flagship shows, Dira ya Dunia and Focus on Africa TV, are returning with a new look and feel and will be presented from Africa – a statement of BBC’s commitment to get closer to audiences and invest in journalism on the continent.
  • The launch of Focus on Africa podcast, hosted by renowned BBC journalist Audrey Brown.

New episodes of Dira ya Dunia, Focus on Africa TV and Focus on Africa podcast will air from 5 June 2023 on BBC News TV channel, BBC World Service radio and media partner channels. Focus on Africa TV, presented by Waihiga Mwaura, and Dira ya Dunia, with Roncliffe Odit, will build on the use of digital storytelling methods in the programmes, including the introduction of explainers, to help break down complex news topics with in-depth analysis, context and insight.

The new Focus on Africa podcast will continue to diversify the range of opinions coming out of Africa, and offering more context behind African news and current affairs. From 5 June, the podcast will replace Focus on Africa radio.

BBC News Africa will continue to hold power to account, and amplify African voices and a wide range of perspectives across its programming.

The changes support the BBC World Service’s plan to create a modern, digital-led and streamlined organisation that drives the most value and delivers more for audiences.

Mehvish Hussain, Executive Editor, BBC News: “The way audiences are seeking news is evolving and so are we. With the BBC’s trusted brand and our deep understanding of Africa, we are uniquely positioned to provide audiences with the independent news and analysis they need to make informed decisions about their lives. These changes mean they will be able to watch and listen when and where it suits them.” 

Alice Muthengi, Editor, Focus on Africa: “We are thrilled to unveil the refreshed Focus on Africa TV and podcast to audiences. Our incredible production teams have worked hard to create new and engaging content that will provide our audiences with more value than ever before. Focus on Africa will be closer to our audiences,  providing more than just headlines, and putting African voices at the heart of our programmes.”

Athuman Mtulya, Editor, Dira ya Dunia: “For decades, Dira ya Dunia has been a trusted source of news for millions of listeners in East and Central Africa, as well as diaspora audiences. We have brought quality news to audiences in Swahili, evidence of BBC News’ unique multilingual broadcasting offer globally. As the new editor, I look forward to bringing our audiences a more in-depth, more engaging, and more relevant show than ever before. We want to ensure that we focus on stories that are representative of our audiences.”

BBC News current digital weekly reach in Sub-Saharan Africa is 15 million people, and has been a trusted source of news for millions in the region and the diaspora. It has a strong digital offer on multiple platforms which the programming refresh will build on.

Viewers and listeners will be able to access the programmes through BBC News TV channel, BBC World Service radio and via media partner channels across Africa.  BCS Bureau

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