Role of BBC and VOA in Ending the Cold War

Write : 2016-09-14 13:00:00 Update : 2016-09-14 12:51:40

Role of BBC and VOA in Ending the Cold War

Anchor: The spread of outside information played a major role in expediting the fall of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War era. The U.S. State Department earlier this month sent a report to Congress detailing methods for increasing the flow of outside information into North Korea. In the first installment of our three-part series on global efforts to boost outside information access in North Korea, our Park Jong-hong wraps up the BBC and VOA’s roles in opening Eastern Europe during the Cold War era.
Report: In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down, heralding the end of a chapter in world history.

Since then, the democratic movement in Eastern Europe including Czechoslovakia and Romania brought about the fall of communism.

The end of the Cold War was made possible in no small part thanks to Western radio services like the BBC.

[Sound bite: BBC radio audio footage in the late 1980s]

The broadcasts made their way to the people suppressed by ideology, thereby sparking a burning desire for democracy.

In the late 1980s, figures show that 30 percent of Polish adults listened to BBC Radio and more than 40 percent listened to the Voice of America, or VOA.

In 1990, John Tusa, the BBC’s former managing director, proudly noted that the BBC was broadcast in the local language and was very accessible.

[Sound bite: Former BBC World Service managing director John Tusa, 1990]
"...that we kept hope alive in Eastern Europe in the socialist block in those years and we provided evidence that the wall...”

The BBC also provided technical support to help establish a democratic press in the respective countries after the fall of communism.
To this day, the BBC is broadcast around the world in 32 languages and plans to soon launch a service for North Korean residents.
Park Jong-hong KBS World Radio News 

Anchor: The next installment of the series on our Thursday edition will focus on the current international broadcasting efforts for North Korean information access.

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