Asian Network Reports Specialswill be bringing listeners a range of 30 minute documentaries on various Mondays from 6pm. However the station starts the season early, with a programme specially commissioned to investigate the catastrophic floods in Pakistan, which will be broadcast tonight at 6pm.
Investigating some of the most relevant issues to the UK’s Asian communities, the specials will cover a range of topics, from the slums in India, to the Commonwealth Games and radicalism. They will challenge current issues and offer an in-depth investigation into many of the subject areas that are of interest to the target audience.
Husain Husaini, Head of Programmes, BBC Asian Network says: ‘We are very proud of our Asian Network Reports Specials. We aim to produce the best original journalism about British Asian communities and this season we have some fascinating new stories that we believe will be of interest to the Asian Network audience but also to many other media outlets.’
In light of the current devastation,Pakistan’s Floods: A Community Fights Back(Wednesday 18 August)looks at how the disaster has affected one street of families in Birmingham, as they deal with the aftermath of the tragedy, waiting to hear news of friends and relatives back home.
Trading their western lifestyles,A Week in the Slums (23 August) takes three British 17 year-oldsout of their comfort zones to the slums of Chennai. While most would be getting on with a summer of fun, these young adults have spent a week of their holidays in one of India’s most disadvantaged areas, learning the life of the locals and experiencing the struggles that they endure without life’s basic amenities.
Mind Your Language(6 September) presented Konnie Huq,investigates the changes and progression in Asian languages. While some in the Asian community have lost their mother tongue, new research about to be published, shows that children who are encouraged to speak multiple languages, could academically be at an advantage. The programme explores how certain communities have been working hard to ensure their languages keep flourishing amongst the younger generations while others have lost their mother tongue. With this new research, it is hopeful that the benefits and value of learning your mother tongue will become transparent.
India and the Commonwealth Games(13 September) examines what India needs to do to make itself a major player in world sports events, as well as establishing itself as an emerging economic superpower. This is only the second time that a South Asian country has played host to the event and will be the biggest sporting event in India since the Asian Games in 1982. The programme questions whether the country will be ready to enter the race to host the Olympics in the future and looks at the countdown to Delhi’s Commonwealth Games in October.
Following the 2001 race riots in Bradford, Leeds and Oldham, new schools were proposed to encourage greater cohesion between the local white and South Asian population, by assembling an equal mix of students from different communities. TheOldham School Engineering Project(27 September) puts a spotlight on the opening of these schools and questions whether racial barriers will eventually be broken down by this endeavour.
October sees the compelling report onRadicalism in Pakistan(date TBC), which focuses on the fear of British Pakistani tourists being ‘radicalised’ to join those wanting to fight the West. This Asian Network Reports Special visits the clubs and workshops in Mirpur that have been set up by British Muslims to act as a buffer between these tourists and training camps.
In November, Asian Network Reports Specials explores the untold stories of South Asian soldiers that dedicated their lives to serving during both World Wars.Invisible Soldiers (date TBC) investigates the historian Jahan’s contribution in highlighting these individuals and in the wake of a new charity that’s being launched to recognise these efforts, helps to keep the memory of these men alive.
The Spring Asian Network Reports Specials will be announced at the end of this year.
BBC Asian Network provides a distinctive mix of music, alongside a variety of British Asian, Bollywood, Bhangra news, debate, languages, entertainment and live events with a real focus on promoting and highlighting British Asian talent. It plays host to the best in Asian talent including presenters Tommy Sandhu, Sonia Deol, Nihal, Noreen Khan, Gagan Grewal, Bobby Friction, Raj & Pablo.
BBC Asian Network Reports brings listeners the latest daily news and the documentary strand is committed to exploring relevant topics from all areas including arts, news, health and business. The station supports a range of new music and supports emerging artists – especially those from the UK. The station is multi-platform, enabling young audiences to connect through the web and interactive services – offering new ways to listen, watch and find great content from the station.
BBC Asian Network was recognised at this year’s Sony Radio Academy Awards, winning Best Speech Programme for Nihal’s afternoon show and the Bronze Award for the Asian Network Reports: Passport to Murder News Special.
You can listen to Asian Network on bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork / DAB and on Digital TV: Sky 0119 / Freeview 709 / Freesat 709 / Virgin 912.
BBC Asian Network Reports Special was launched in 2007 and has created over 50 documentaries.