Programs Select

BBC Select

Select is a daily collection of short-form news stories curated especially for U.S. listeners. This service to Newshour-carrying stations provides plug-and-play, customizable segments from the BBC World Service.

  • Short a.m. spots (typically 0:30)
  • Afternoon features (typically 3:00-4:00)
  • Trending topics for U.S. listeners, including health, business, and more

Explore the audio clips to sample a day of Select, and see our F.A.Q. for examples of how stations are using it.

"Everything is so connected these days - our economy, our political systems, environmental, humanitarian issues... I need to go outside just my local and national news sources..." – Monica, KUT listener

BBC Select F.A.Q.

BBC Select is a service that provides short-form, hand-picked, plug-and-play segments from the BBC World Service, targeted at U.S. interests. Formats include spots, packaged reports, interviews with newsmakers, explainers of major international issues customized for American listeners, and montages of the sounds of world events. It's international news coming straight from correspondents who are on the ground where it's happening, plus the best reporting from the World Service on science, health, business, the environment, and the arts.

Stories are chosen by a team of editors from BBC. Topics are influenced through discussions with select U.S. station editorial teams and are based on their relevancy to U.S. audiences. Some include suggestions on how to weave them into your regional/local programming.

All BBC Select stories are available for drive time or mid-day programming and can be found on ContentDepot.

To offer your audience a more complete service: Most public radio listeners consider themselves to be global citizens, and they say that international news is one of the main reasons they turn to public radio. BBC Select can complement the international news you currently get from NPR with on-the-ground reporting from the BBC with an emphasis on sound.

To catch more of your audience with the big story of the day: In many markets, your audience changes every 20 - 30 minutes. Some major international stories deserve more than a mention every hour - BBC Select gives you the option to incorporate up-to-the-minute spots on major international stories into your broadcast, at your discretion.

Stories have many dimensions: International news stories are often multi-dimensional with lots of angles that are pertinent to a clear understanding of the story. The BBC can expand on these dimensions and allow you to devote more air-time to a major story without sounding repetitive.

To reflect the world's connections: We live in a global economy. What happens in China may affect companies in your region. BBC Select content can bring the world to your listeners and allow them to see those connections.

To make your local stories bigger: If you're covering a big local story, there may be a BBC Select story that offers an international angle on the same subject that could complement it perfectly.

To set your station above the rest: Integrating carefully chosen BBC segments into your schedule distinguishes your station from the competition and gives you a worldly sound, targeted directly to your audience.

To bring other viewpoints: BBC coverage of American news stories can offer an outside perspective on how the world views the U.S.

Several stations that are already using BBC Select have found ways to use the service without a lot of added work. And the results are well worth it.

Audio examples of integration into local/midday programs:

WBEZ's Afternoon Shift turns a segment from BBC Select into an interview segment with a woman who experienced a historical event:

Michigan's governor was due to give a major speech, part of which would include an increase in spending on wind energy. Michigan Radio's Stateside paired a conversation with a local environmentalist with a report from the BBC correspondent in China who visits a factory that makes wind turbines - which is in direct competition with U.S business in thie area.

WBEZ uses a BBC segment from California on 'teaching entrepreneurialism' to young people, then goes straight to a live interview with a local school that does the same thing in Chicago.

Are you sure you're getting enough international news? The news cycle runs 24 hours and the world is more interconnected than ever. The BBC keeps pace with over 60 news bureaus around the world and hundreds of correspondents in every corner of the globe. This massive coverage is the perfect complement to your existing NPR news magazines.

The BBC is consistently rated as the most credible international news source among public radio listeners. If your listeners aren't hearing BBC coverage, they are missing the best and most important work. BBC Select gives you the ability to air the cream of the BBC that may otherwise go unheard.

BBC Select stories have ledes that are written for an American audience. And contrary to what you may have heard in the past, they report in dollars, not pounds. It also sounds much more conversational than in the past, and the reporting is more engaging than ever before.

Audio example of intros and extros:

KJZZ folds a BBC spot on the latest twist in an international story they've been following into a morning break:

Your audience has unprecedented access to news from around the world - and is probably more diverse than you think. If you offer the right mix of local, national, and international news, you've got their needs covered. But let any of those three lag, and you're giving people a reason to look elsewhere. That's where BBC Select comes in. Your hosts and producers can put their great work on local and regional stories next to reporting from the BBC, which will elevate your service and truly bring the world to your listeners.

Example of conversation kickoff:

KQED's Forum kicks off their discussion of the life of Nelson Mandela with a montage of Mandela in his own words, provided by BBC Select.

  • 5 - 7 stories will be offered each weekday
  • Your staff members who sign up will get a detailed email notification each time a story is available
  • Potential intros, complete descriptions and usage restrictions will be provided, along with the technical information you'll need
  • All stories will be uploaded to ContentDepot and can be previewed and downloaded

No. BBC Select is free with your BBC affiliation.

A notification will be emailed to you as soon as a story is released. Instructions for downloading the story from ContentDepot will be included in the email.

It all depends on how many stories you want to use. You'll need time to read the description on the email, preview and download the story, and determine how to incorporate it into your current programming. In many cases, the moment you see the subject line on the email, you'll know if it's something that you'll want to air. In other cases, you may need to spend some time deciding how and if a story will work for your audience.

Subscribe to BBC Select

Select is available to stations in ContentDepot. Emails accompanying each segment include context on relevancy to the U.S. audience, suggested host intro, and recommended air window. You choose when you want to use the segment.

* indicates required
Email Format