BBC Global News – which operates the BBC’s 24 hour international news channel, BBC World News, and BBC.com – today announced plans to support international and governmental organisations by replacing up to 20% of its advertising inventory with opportunities for them to communicate their public health messages relating to the coronavirus crisis at no charge. Major multilateral organisations and national health ministries whose aim is to communicate information to help protect citizens and stop the spread of the virus, should speak to BBC Global News’ advertising team about opportunities to broadcast their messages to the BBC’s TV and online audiences outside the UK.
Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News, said, “Our job is to report on the developing crisis around the world in a period when people need news they can genuinely trust. But if we can support public health agencies in doing their job in these unprecedented times I feel we have a responsibility to help.” In 2019 an average of 121 million people used BBC World News and BBC.com each week. Last week (16-22 March) a record number of people came to the BBC’s online news services – over 60 million (up by 50% on the average*) with more than 80% (49 million) consuming coronavirus coverage. As well as covering the unfolding crisis each day, the BBC is striving to slow the spread of misinformation. In recent weeks numerous fake news stories have been circulated, particularly on social media, and the BBC’s fact-checking team, Reality Check, has routinely identified and fact-checked unfounded claims, utilising expertise from its journalists around the world.
In addition, extra coronavirus-related content has been commissioned in response to growing audience demand around the world. New programmes includeCoronavirus: What You Need to Know – a new regular half hour programme presented by Victoria Derbyshire on BBC World News – which explains what the coronavirus is, how you can catch it, how to protect yourself and also features a group of experts answering questions sent in by viewers. Also new, Coronavirus Explained is a short daily update which will be broadcast on the channel across the day alongside the dedicated Coronavirus index on BBC.com and the daily Coronavirus Global Podcast.