LAHORE - The social media has significantly changed and revolutionised the way information is gathered, disseminated and consumed today, making a great impact on the news and media outlets all over the world, BBC Urdu editor Aamer Ahmed Khan has said.

“Social media has become very influential as a news-breaking tool; both journalists and media outlets must adjust and adapt to this change,” Khan said during a conversation with a group of journalists via Skype.

He believed that social media could be used by media outlets to more effectively connect with news-seekers across the globe.

“Our online and social-media presence is rapidly growing, connecting us with new, younger audiences. This is underpinned by trust in BBC’s output. Our target is to reach out to maximum audience without compromising our credibility and integrity. We would much rather guard our credibility than attract additional audience,” he added.

According to a new survey, BBC Urdu’s online presence has also seen a significant growth the last year, with peaks during major local and international stories. The number of users coming to bbcurdu.com via social media has grown threefold over the last year. With over 2.9 million followers, the BBC Urdu page on Facebook has nearly tripled over the same period.

BBC’s Urdu TV programme, Sairbeen, has built a weekly TV audience of 5.6 million since it re-launched on a Pakistani channel, the survey has found.

The global broadcaster also has the highest reach on radio among international broadcasters in Pakistan. “Sairbeen has reinforced the broadcaster’s reputation for trust,” Khan said, adding that as many as 94 per cent of the surveyed viewers said it was trustworthy. The programme is also seen by 80 per cent viewers as relevant and good at providing a Pakistani perspective on big global events. Streamed live and available on demand online via bbcurdu.com, Sairbeen TV programme can also be watched on BBC Urdu channel on YouTube.

The dramatic, tenfold increase in views on this channel over the past year is largely due to the programme’s popularity while exclusive interviews and a dedicated mobile offering have also contributed. Although YouTube is blocked in Pakistan, a large proportion of BBC Urdu viewers are still watching in that country.

On radio, the survey found that more people tune in to the BBC Urdu radio in Pakistan than to any other international radio broadcaster.

The survey also found that the BBC continued to be considered the most trusted, relevant and objective international broadcaster in Pakistan.–Contributed