World Service Presents: BBC World Service reveals for the first time that 310 of its journalists are working in exile

The figure was announced at World Service Presents, a three-day series of events highlighting the courageous work of journalists around the world, and the state of media freedom globally


Ahead of World Press Freedom Day on Friday 3 May, the BBC is announcing for the first time that over 300 World Service journalists – around 15% – are working in exile.

Recent crackdowns on press freedom in Russia, Afghanistan and Ethiopia have pushed more BBC teams to relocate for their own safety, many leaving family and friends behind.

This new figure was announced at World Service Presents, a three-day series of events highlighting the courageous work of journalists around the world, and the state of media freedom globally.

Journalists are facing increasing pressure, including state interference, harassment, and criminal charges, which are consistently used to attempt to undermine their work. Staff at BBC News Persian have been working in exile for over a decade and continue to face harassment and persecution. Last month, the BBC World Service filed an urgent appeal to the UN over abuse of national security and counter-terrorism laws against BBC News Persian journalists.

Following the invasion of Ukraine, BBC News Russian journalists and their families were moved out of Moscow to the Latvian capital of Riga. Now, 39 BBC staff remain in Riga, continuing the work of reporting independent and impartial news to audiences around the world in Russian. They also play an active part in countering disinformation about the war.

On 12 April, BBC Russian correspondent Ilya Barabanov was labelled as a foreign agent by the Russian justice ministry. Barabanov has written extensively about Russias war in Ukraine. The foreign agent label has been used by the government to marginalise journalists and critics of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ilya and the BBC reject the decision, which they are disputing in court.

Ilya Barabanov, says: The most difficult part about exile is the lack of direct contact with people. We lost the opportunity to talk to our contributors. The inability to travel around Russia, report from the field, talk to real people thats the hardest part about being a journalist in exile.

In early April, the Russian authorities designated me a foreign agent. This affected my status and ability to talk to people. I now must warn my contributors about this new, unpleasant status.

Liliane Landor, Director, BBC World Service says: Press freedom is under increasingly intense pressure at a time when millions, voting in elections around the world, need to be well-informed of the choices ahead of them. The BBCs news services are blocked or difficult to access in many countries including China, Russia and Afghanistan.

Our journalists face ongoing harassment and persecution from countries such as Iran and Russia to name but two. World Press Freedom Day is a stark reminder of the gravity of the situation underscoring the urgent need for journalists everywhere to be able to do their job unhindered.

About BBC World Service Presents

BBC World Service Presents showcases the breadth of journalism provided by the BBC World Service to 318m people weekly around the globe across 42 language services including English. For three days from Monday 29 April, screenings, live programme recordings, speeches and panel discussions will examine the key issues facing journalism and highlight the BBCs unique position as the worlds most trusted international news broadcaster.

BBC World Service announce new presenters for The Conversation, the series that celebrates extraordinary women around the world

Explorer and palaeoanthropologist, Ella Al-Shamahi, and investigative journalist and broadcaster, Datshiane Navanayagam, front the new line up


The Conversation has grown a trusted reputation for bringing listeners the voices of inspiring women doing extraordinary things in different parts of the world. The series continues with this fantastic presenting duo, we are so pleased to have Ella and Datshiane on board.

Gwenan Roberts, BBC World Service Commissioning Editor

Ella Al-Shamahi and Datshiane Navanayagam are the new hosts of The Conversation, the BBC World Service English programme dedicated to highlighting and discussing incredible women and their experiences.

The Conversation hears from women in different counties across the globe as they share first-hand their personal experiences and some of their most intimate insights, from what its like to be a woman in the music industry, to promoting womens rights through sport, or working with local communities to fight climate change.

In the upcoming series of The Conversation, Ella meets two women taking part in the legendary Dakar race, a gruelling off-road endurance rally, which since its inception in 1978 only one woman has won. Meanwhile, Datshiane speaks to two women from East Timor and Finland who are fighting to eradicate homelessness.

Ella Al-Shamahi is an explorer, palaeoanthropologist, evolutionary biologist and stand-up comic who has fronted science and archaeology programmes on the BBC and beyond, including BBC Twos Neanderthals: Meet Your Ancestors, Horizon: Body Clock – What Makes Your Body Tick, and Waterhole: Africas Animal Oasis. Ella has also been announced to present Human, a 5-part BBC Studios and PBS series airing in 2025, which tells the story of how modern humans came into being. Her debut book The Handshake: A Gripping History is a Times and Sunday Times Book of the Year and covers the history and anthropology of the handshake.

Datshiane Navanayagam is an award-winning investigative journalist and broadcaster, who reports for BBC Ones Countryfile and has fronted investigations for BBC Panorama, ITVs Tonight, and Channel 4s Dispatches and Unreported World. Datshiane is also no stranger to radio broadcasting, regularly reporting for Radio 4s File on 4, and guest-presenting Weekend Breakfast on BBC Radio 5 Live, and BBC Radio 4s The Media Show. She has also presented Outlook on the BBC World Service, as well as CrowdScience, a programme that takes listener questions about life, Earth and the universe to scholars at the forefront of the research.

Datshiane Navanayagam, says: Its a delight and a privilege to present The Conversation. Every woman has a story to tell and The Conversation is a real gem on the World Service, celebrating the experiences, achievements and wisdom of women. Where else do you have the space for women, from around the world, to talk intimately and candidly to one another about the hurdles and barriers that many of us face in all their nuances?

While the world is still a hostile and volatile place for many women and girls, The Conversation champions womens stories, proving that no woman has an ordinary life and that all of us have something to learn from each other.

Ella Al-Shamahi, says: Every week on this show the listeners get to meet two exceptional women, often strangers, but who share an expertise from malaria specialists, to race car drivers and everything in between and we get to listen in on them having a conversation.

To be asked to host and facilitate these conversations is incredible and to be around so many amazing women – what a dream. For over 20 years Ive been fascinated with this interview style and now, to be doing The Conversation with the one and only BBC World Service – pinch me.

Gwenan Roberts, BBC World Service Commissioning Editor, says: “The Conversation has grown a trusted reputation for bringing listeners the voices of inspiring women doing extraordinary things in different parts of the world. The series continues with this fantastic presenting duo, we are so pleased to have Ella and Datshiane on board.

The Conversation airs every Monday and is available on BBC World Service radio, online, and on BBC Sounds or wherever you get your BBC podcasts.

Japan – JCB and AEON Credit Service Indonesia Launch the AEON JCB Precious Card

TOKYO & JAKARTA, Mar 22, 2024 – (JCN Newswire) – PT JCB International Indonesia, a subsidiary of JCB International Co., Ltd. (JCB), and PT AEON Credit Service Indonesia have launched the AEON JCB Precious Card, targeting the premium segment and focusing on family needs. The credit card is designed to help Indonesian families meet their basic daily needs and still enjoy a life with the card’s dining and travel benefits.

AEON JCB Precious Card consistently prioritizes customer satisfaction and remains committed to providing the maximum benefits to ensure an exceptional customer experience. In line with the upcoming Eid Al-Fitr shopping and Indonesian holiday season, AEON JCB Precious Card has launched a special loyalty program. With a minimum transaction of IDR 10 million within the first 2 months of card approval, the first 100 cardmembers will receive a travel e-voucher worth IDR 1 million. On top of that, the first 500 approved applicants will receive an IDR 50k AEON Store discount voucher. Customers can easily apply for the AEON JCB Precious Card and approved applicants receive the card within one hour at the AEON Service Counter at all AEON Malls in Indonesia.

There are three special days for AEON JCB Precious cardmembers. We begin with Thanksgiving Day, on the 20th and 30th of every month, AEON JCB Precious cardmembers who make purchases at AEON stores in Indonesia will receive 10% cashback. Continuing with Precious Day, on the first Sunday of each month, cardmember will receive 10% cashback on the transactions made at AEON stores. And Your Special Day, where cardmembers can choose one day each month to earn 10% cashback on every transaction at AEON stores.

Not only at the AEON stores in Indonesia, AEON JCB cardmembers will get the added benefit of 3% cashback on the daily dining and gasoline transactions. In addition to the 3% cashback, AEON JCB cardmembers can also enjoy discounts of up to 25% at more than 100 Japanese restaurants participating in the JCB Japan Dining Festival.

As well as the program in Indonesia, cardmembers can also enjoy benefit from the JCB Platinum Concierge Desk, a one-call service for all the services cardmembers want and need, anytime, anywhere. Cardmembers are entitled to enjoy JCB Platinum Airport Lounge services worldwide at lounges selected by JCB. Cardmembers can sit back and relax until departure time.

Takumi Takahashi, President Director, PT JCB International Indonesia, said, “JCB is proud to partner with AEON Credit Service Indonesia and launch the AEON JCB Precious Card, offering its cardmembers benefits for daily needs, shopping, dining, domestic and international travel. We hope that the AEON JCB Precious cardmembers can enjoy the experience of a complete journey with the AEON JCB Precious Card.”

About AEON Credit Service Indonesia

PT AEON Credit Service Indonesia is a subsidiary of AEON Financial Service Co., Ltd Japan operating under AEON Co., Ltd. The Company established in Indonesia on 2006, with focused it business in consumer financing. Started 2013, the Company obtained a credit card issuer licensed from Bank Indonesia then issued its first credit card following the track of its sister companies in Japan and Overseas.

AEON Co., Ltd. itself is Japan’s largest retail business conglomerate, comprising more than 300 companies, as well as overseas operations in 13 countries. In synergy with the growth of AEON Family in Japan, AEON Financial Service Co., Ltd. (AFSJ) offers financial solutions such as credit servicing, banking, e-money and financial consulting services to benefit customers’ lifestyles and their futures. AFSJ is one of the leading credit-card issuers and consumer credit providers in Japan.

Ray Christian Sugeng
Corporate Planning
Tel: +62-252 3331

About JCB

JCB is a major global payment brand and a leading credit card issuer and acquirer in Japan. JCB launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding worldwide in 1981. Its acceptance network includes about 46 million merchants around the world. JCB Cards are now issued mainly in Asian countries and territories, with more than 156 million card members. As part of its international growth strategy, JCB has formed alliances with hundreds of leading banks and financial institutions globally to increase its merchant coverage and cardmember base. As a comprehensive payment solution provider, JCB commits to providing responsive and high-quality service and products to all customers worldwide. For more information, please visit:

Ayaka Nakajima
Corporate Communications
Tel: +81-3-5778-8353

Copyright ©2024 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

Hong Kong – Civil service volunteers introduce children to horse riding fun (with photos)

Civil service volunteers introduce children to horse riding fun (with photos)


     About 20 children from grassroots families today (January 20) visited the Tuen Mun Public Riding School in the company of civil service volunteers to sample the fun of horse riding and learn about the environment of horses at the stables.
     The volunteers today came from different grades of the Water Supplies Department (WSD), including Engineers, Waterworks Inspectors and Technical Officers. The Secretary for the Civil Service, Mrs Ingrid Yeung, and the Director of Water Supplies, Mr Tony Yau, also participated to express support for the event.
     Mrs Yeung said, “The children taking part in the event today have never been around horses. They were very excited to be able to have close contact with the horses under the good care of the volunteers and the patient guidance from staff. Seeing the bright smiles and excitement of the children riding on the back of the horses is the best reward for the volunteers.”
     This marks the first volunteer activity fostered by the Civil Service Bureau (CSB) and jointly organised by civil service volunteer teams, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and district organisations. It also received sponsorship from the HKJC. The CSB will continue to work with the HKJC to enable more civil service volunteer teams to actively promote volunteer services and serve the community through liaison and collaboration with social welfare organisations in different districts.
     Mrs Yeung said, “The CSB has been encouraging civil servants to participate in volunteer services. Apart from showing civil servants’ care for those in need, volunteerism can bolster the solidarity of the civil service and deepen colleagues’ understanding of public needs. In this way, they can provide public service in their respective posts which are more targeted and can better meet the needs of the people. We will continue to support volunteer teams of various bureaux/departments (B/Ds) in organising volunteer activities and providing more diversified volunteer services by joining hands with the community so that their co-operation can achieve greater synergy.”
     At present, 70 volunteer teams have been formed by different B/Ds to provide volunteer services of diversified categories and formats from time to time. Among them, the WSD volunteer team established in 2002 has been consistently participating in community services.

Hong Kong – LCSD public service arrangements during Lunar New Year holidays

LCSD public service arrangements during Lunar New Year holidays


     The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) announced today (January 19) the department’s public service arrangements during the Lunar New Year holidays. Parks, playgrounds, and facilities at Queen Elizabeth Stadium under the LCSD will remain open during the Lunar New Year holidays. The SmartPLAY Internet booking service will also operate as usual throughout the holidays.

     After the closure during the first two days of the Lunar New Year, some recreation and sports facilities will reopen and operate as usual (please refer to Annex 1 for details) on the third day of the Lunar New Year (February 12), including sports centres, squash courts, tennis courts, turf pitches, bowling greens, Tuen Mun Recreation and Sports Centre and the archery range at Ngau Chi Wan Park. 

     Apart from the above facilities, some sports centres, various fee-charging land-based facilities, swimming pools and water sports centres will be closed during the first three days of the Lunar New Year (February 10 to 12). Services at gazetted beaches will also be suspended. Stadia and all sports grounds will be closed unless advance bookings have been made.
     Holiday camps will be closed during the first three days of the Lunar New Year and lodging will not be provided on Lunar New Year’s Eve (February 9).
     SmartPLAY service counters at venues will not operate when the venues are closed. For venues scheduled to reopen on February 12, their SmartPLAY service counters will also resume operation on the same day. 
     Details of the opening arrangements for LCSD recreation and sports venues during the Lunar New Year holidays have been posted at all venues and uploaded to the department’s website (

     Regarding cultural venues, the opening hours of performance venues and URBTIX outlets during the Lunar New Year holidays are listed in Annex 2. From February 9 to 13 (Lunar New Year’s Eve to the fourth day of the Lunar New Year), the URBTIX Internet booking ( and the mobile ticketing app URBTIX will maintain normal services, and both the telephone booking hotline 3166 1288 and the ticketing enquiries and customer service hotline 3166 1100 will provide normal services from 10am to 8pm daily.

     The opening hours of the 15 museums and two visual art centres (see Annex 3) under the LCSD during the Lunar New Year holidays are as follow:

  • Lunar New Year’s Eve (February 9): All venues will be closed at 5pm.
  • The first two days of the Lunar New Year (February 10 and 11): All closed.
  • The third day of the Lunar New Year (February 12): Except for the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, all venues will open as usual.
  • The fourth day of the Lunar New Year (February 13): All venues will resume normal opening hours.

     All Hong Kong public libraries, mobile libraries and students’ study rooms will be closed from 5pm on Lunar New Year’s Eve (February 9) to the third day of the Lunar New Year (February 12). The opening hours of all public libraries on the fourth day of the Lunar New Year (February 13) will be the same as those for public holidays.
     Moreover, system maintenance work of public libraries will be carried out from 5.30pm on February 9 to 8am on February 13, during which the following services will be suspended:

  • library mobile app services and Internet and telephone renewal services;
  • other online library services, including the library catalogue, borrowers’ record enquiries, reservation of library materials and Internet and Digital Service Workstations and electronic resources (e-books and e-databases); and
  • self-service library stations (readers may still return books to the stations before the due date, and the loan record will be updated within two working days).