Deutsche Welle (DW), the German international broadcaster, has decided to shut its Bengali language services as part of a global restructuring under which English will gain prominence as the preferred language for news dissemination.
The German pubcaster also said that it will absorb some of the employees from the Bengali department into the English-language TV and online offerings for Asia. DW’s Bengali offerings for Bangladesh and India include a Bengali news portal and a weekly TV programme.
DW has also decided to wind up its Hindi news website.
The Urdu language radio offerings via shortwaves and the website will also be shut down. Radio offerings in Urdu, though, will focus on the educational Learning by Ear program, and Urdu-language evening radio broadcasts will be preserved for the time being.
DW said it will address its target groups in India and Pakistan primarily in English.
“The strategy is to focus on changes to its language offerings and TV magazines as well as the introduction of dialogue- and comment-based formats,” DW director general Peter Limbourg said.
“In order to reach our goals for the coming four years, we have to create the right conditions in our departments now,” he said. “They will create the framework in which we can realize our concept of creative and modern journalism and position ourselves as a global information provider based in Germany.”
The plans are designed to strengthen DW’s English content within the international media landscape, with a renewed regional focus on Afghanistan, China and Iran in Asia, as well as Africa, the Arab World, Russia, Latin America, Turkey and the crisis zones within Europe.
DW’s TV news coverage is set to increase significantly, and the news will be broadcast more frequently. DW will reduce the number of shows it produces, while elevating the quality of the remaining formats.