BBC invests in new Asia Pacific news HQ in Singapore

The evolution of the Singapore bureau has been central to our plan to reinforce the BBC’s position as a major player in the Asia-Pacific media market.Jim Egan, CEO, BBC Global News Ltd
Date: 08.07.2015     Last updated: 08.07.2015 at 10.00
Category: BBC World News

Changes include new studio, refresh of Newsday and Asia Business Report and appointment of Karishma Vaswani as Asia Business Correspondent

BBC News is opening a new state-of-the-art digital newsroom and studio in Singapore. The facilities, which will be the main hub for BBC World News and in Asia, are located on the outskirts of Singapore’s CBD and will bring the BBC’s news, business and digital teams together. From 3 August, the building will be the new home of BBC World News’ primetime Asia programmes including a revamped Newsday and Asia Business Report, the weekly show Talking Business and the Asia edition of the award-winning site.

The bureau will be equipped to deliver news across television, radio and all digital services, and will allow the BBC's journalists to respond quickly and effectively to news stories, offering audiences the news as it breaks in the format they want.

The opening of the new newsroom will mark 15 years of live BBC World News programmes from Singapore and will see all its broadcasts switch to HD. A brand-new television studio will greatly enhance the BBC’s ability to tell news stories from Asia with much greater visual impact. And as a result the editorial team behind Newsday and Asia Business Report is refreshing the Monday to Friday breakfast shows. The new-look programmes will launch on 3 August just as Singapore gears up to celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence.

Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News Ltd, says: “The evolution of the Singapore bureau has been central to our plan to reinforce the BBC’s position as a major player in the Asia-Pacific media market. Over the past 15 years, we have built up a strong team of world-class journalists in Singapore and, as the country celebrates a landmark moment, I can’t think of a better time to further demonstrate our commitment by investing in state-of-the art facilities that make us fit for purpose for many more years to come.”

This exciting move comes as the BBC announces that it has appointed Karishma Vaswani as its new Asia Business Correspondent, based in Singapore.

Karishma says: “Needless to say, this is going to be a very exciting opportunity for me, not just as a Singaporean to be moving back home, but as a journalist to be taking on this role. I will bring stories on the global economy to our audience in an objective, interesting and comprehensible way. It is also such an honour to be part of an unrivalled team of business journalists that is committed to understanding the outlook for the economy and the financial choices that govern our lives.”

Karishma was most recently the Indonesia Editor for the BBC World Service in Jakarta and, prior to this, held the position of the BBC’s Indonesia correspondent from 2009 to 2014. As the Indonesia correspondent, she covered daily news stories including the July 2009 Jakarta bombings and the five-year anniversary of the Aceh tsunami. Prior to taking up her posting in Jakarta, Karishma was the first presenter of India Business Report, BBC World News’ business programme dedicated to examining the issues of trade, business and economics in India. She was also the first Mumbai-based business correspondent to report for BBC World News, and covered the Mumbai bombings in 2006 and 2008. Karishma joined the BBC in 2003 as a producer and reporter for Asia Business Report and World Business Report, working out of Singapore. Prior to working for BBC World News, she worked at CNBC Asia.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of Singapore, BBC World News will offer a host of special programming.

  • 1 and 2 August: Singapore At 50 - A documentary hosted by Singaporean presenter Sharanjit Leyl who explores Singapore’s history through her own family’s experiences.
  • 3-7 August: Special reports and interviews on Singapore’s jubilee year on Newsday and Asia Business Report. From architecture to Singlish, how a country develops a unique identity in just half a century.
  • 7-9 August: Special edition of Talking Business with Karishma Vaswani will focus on what Singapore has to do in order to continue to thrive over the next 50 years.

Also, a series of six vignettes – Singapore Stories – featuring Singaporeans from a broad cross-section of society, including a third-generation tattoo artist and a 92-year-old body-building great-grandmother - will run throughout the channel from late July.

While the bureau makes its move, Newsday and Asia Business Report will be hosted from London from Monday, 20 July to Friday 31 July.