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BBC launches Hausa TV for Muslim communities



Muslim communities in West Africa will be able to watch and listening to news and programmes in Hausa language on BBC.

According to the BBC Hausa Editor, Mansur Liman’s BBC always studies the media landscape and audience behaviour in all its markets and builds its strategy accordingly, so that it can better serve its audiences.

“Use of TV as platform of choice is on the increase in Hausa-speaking areas of West Africa. As parts of a wider BBC strategy, the Hausa television bulletins were launched to complement BBC Hausa’s already existing radio and mobile/online content. We are really proud to be the first among international broadcasters to launch TV content in Hausa,” said Liman.

In an interview African Media Initiative (AMI) Liman stated that since the launch of regular radio programming in 1957, BBC Hausa has gone from strength to strength, becoming a household name for millions of Hausa-speakers. 

“Today BBC Hausa has a weekly reach of around 19.9 million every week on radio (shortwave and FM), online and via mobile phones. BBC World Service is committed to providing unbiased and objective news to as many people as possible around the world, on their platforms of choice. We hope that that the new BBC Hausa television bulletins will further expand and diversify our audience base, whether they watch us on bbchausa.com or via rebroadcasting TV channels in West Africa,” he added. 

He explained that BBC is unrivalled in the number of countries they report from, bringing news from more places than any other international broadcaster. Through its correspondents, the BBC brings international and regional news to its audience wherever they are in the world, adding that the BBC Hausa television bulletins with their presenters Aichatou Moussa and Elhadji Diori Coulibaly will do just that, while also placing regional events in the global context.

Touching on covering Boko Haram bombing campaign in Nigeria, Liman said BBC coverage events on their merit. Whenever a big a story happens, the BBC Hausa television bulletin, just as any other BBC news outlet will do its best to bring it to its audience.

He believes that the media landscape in sub-Saharan Africa is rapidly changing, often outpacing reforms by governments in the region. The availability of mobile phones and the growth of connectivity have given the audience alternative ways of accessing and consuming news. News providers are therefore evolving ways to meet these news demands.

“In fact, broadcast media in Africa cannot be lumped under one heading.  While the broadcast media in some African countries has advanced immensely, in other countries there is still much to be done. There are still countries that have not made the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting. Media legislation in some African countries is still too stringent. In many places, there is also a need for capacity building for practitioners,” said BBC Hausa Editor.

He noted that the West African regional market has been ready for BBC Hausa television content, and judging by the initial feedback, the programme has been very well received.

He said BBC will continue to watch the developments in the market to make sure they quickly respond to the needs of Hausa-speaking news seekers.

Credit: AMI

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