The BBC World News channel is popping the champagne today as it celebrates its 25th anniversary on air.
The English language channel originally launched with a half hour news bulletin as World Service Television (WSTV) on Monday 11th March 1991, when it replaced BBC TV Europe. At the time it inherited 700,000 subscribers but nowadays the channel is available in 433 million households across the world.
“The world has changed dramatically for all of us in the past 25 years and so has the way we get news from the field to our viewers,” said BBC Global News CEO Jim Egan on the anniversary.
“But our commitment to providing accurate, impartial news of the highest quality to international audiences is unwavering. We’re proud that, in a world of great uncertainty and in a news industry which is every bit as volatile, BBC World News continues to grow and is the most trusted source of global television news available anywhere.”
Eight months later, WSTV became a 24 hour news operation and launched in Asia – the start of its rapid growth which would eventually see it become available in more than 200 countries and territories.
In 1995 it relaunched as BBC World before changing its name to BBC World News in 2008 and moving to a new 24/7 multi-platform building dubbed ‘the world’s news room’ in 2013.
The original news team comprised of six journalists from the World Service team and six from television news. Today, BBC World News has access to the expertise of thousands of journalists based in over a hundred cities and state-of-the-art studios across the world.