Why it matters

Forewarned is forearmed: the BBC World Service carries out research across the globe and has experience of all the various issues that have the potential to derail a project – and useful advice on how to prepare accordingly.


  • Understanding the local context is vital – in terms of culture, politics, infrastructure.
  • Finding the right moderators for qual research is essential to ensuring “openness and comfort” across a range of languages, religions and ethnicities.
  • The quality of insight depends hugely on the quality of interview transcripts – and the ability to understand what is not being said (context again) as much as what is being said.

The BBC is perhaps the best-known British brand in the world, thanks in part to its news gathering operation which is one of the largest anywhere.  The BBC World Service, in particular, reaches 390 million people on average every week in 42 languages across TV, radio and, increasingly, digital channels like YouTube and Facebook, in its role to educate and inform. So when it comes to audience research, its small team of 15 people faces a daunting task to cover 70 markets, some of which are “challenging”.