UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG

Partnership signed between VoW and BBC

By Vivienne Rowland

4 July 2011

Less than a year after its return to the airwaves, the Voice of Wits radio station has partnered with BBC World Service in a cooperative arrangement set to change the way the station communicates with its 11 000-strong listenership.

This agreement will enable Johannesburg residents to hear BBC news and sports bulletins every day on FM for the first time.

“It is fantastic to be afforded the opportunity to partner with the BBC and we are looking forward to growing our relationship,” says Mike Smurthwaite, Voice of Wits (VoW) station manager.

BBC World Service is among the world’s leading international broadcasters, providing programmes and content for radio, television, online and mobile phones in English and 27 other languages.

The BBC’s network of more than 2000 correspondents brings impartial news reports, documentaries and analysis from around the globe.

“We are pleased to be working with Vow FM to help listeners hear BBC news and sport bulletins on FM radio for the first time. Around the globe, students turn to the BBC to help them learn about our changing world. That journey of discovery is now one step closer thanks to Vow FM,” says Steve Martin, Business Development Manager at BBC World Service.

The undertaking between VoW FM and BBC World News will ensure a cross-fertilisation of skills, knowledge and workmanship in news, sport and current affairs adding to the professional enrichment of the journalistic skills and information sharing abilities of the VoW reporters. International exposure and training is also set to form part of the agreement at a later stage.

“We are extremely happy about this partnership, which will enable us to further improve the quality of programming available on VoW and opens many exciting further opportunities,” says Prof. Franz Krüger, Director of the Wits Radio Academy and Deputy Chairperson of the VoW FM board.

Vow FM is the first university-based radio station in South Africa with which the BBC has formed a partnership. It joins the BBC’s global network of partners which includes successful university radio stations in the United States.