After providing Pakistan’s people with radio news bulletins for over 20 years, the BBC Urdu service announced on Saturday that it will stop doing so.
On Saturday night, the BBC Urdu service broadcast its final radio newscast, signaling the end of the service.
BBC transmissions won’t be available on the radio any longer, according to Asif Farooqi, editor of the BBC Urdu service, but it doesn’t mean the broadcaster is losing its “connection with audio.”
In a video posted to BBC Urdu’s website, Farooqi remarked, “The Urdu service is entering a new era… this infrastructure you see will remain here and we will use this infrastructure to send audio to you in a digital way.”
Other BBC employees were featured in the video, and they spoke about these briefings and their discontinuation.
A BBC Urdu service staffer named Mehwish Hussain said her employment with the Pakistan regional service began at the same time as FM bulletins.
“It was a very exciting thing when we launched these bulletins in 2004. It was such a novelty and such a successful product, which became popular very quickly,” she said.
“I feel a real sense of pride that I was one of the people who launched the bulletins.”
Another BBC employee, Saad Sohail, claimed that every time they stood in front of the microphone for these broadcasts, they were aware of their responsibilities.
“This journey was also more significant because when people wrote letters to us from Balochistan and other remote locations and said they could recognize our voice, one feels that joy that we were able to spread information that they could not have received through the mainstream media,” Sohail said.
Farooqi stated that the broadcaster was developing a plan for the launch of podcasts and audio stories in the future.