The BBC is present in 43 languages. Incredible I would say. What is more incredible are the naguages that are missing, more than the languages that are present. In particular for Europe we have:
Russian, Uckrainian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Slovene, Slovak, Albanian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Greek, and Turkish.
Impressive, isn’t it? And yet don’t you feel that we are missing something? I mean… what about French, German, Spanish, and Italian? Well, French is there. Just not in the European list but in the African one. As well as Portuguese and Spanish (which is called Mundo just to make things more interesting, but the url recites ‘/spanish/’) for Latin America. But there is not just a difference of language but of focus. So, for example, there are two edition in Portugese: Portuguese (focused on South America) Portugueseafrica (focused on Africa).
Still French, German, Spanish, and Italian are missing as BBC pages focused on Europe, while German and Italian are just missing, fullstop (Japanese is also missing from the Asia languages, but I am sure it is a coincidence!).
The question remains, why is it so? And I suppose that from a strictly economical point of view it makes sense for BBC to invest in opening up to nations where they will not find a big competition with local media. Also the people who would
choose BBC in those countries are generally people from a highly educated background that surf often on the Internet. In short people who have little problems in reading their news in English.
Yet it would bve so good to have this other possible source of news for media-controlled-Italy. In the meantime Euronews offers news in 7 european languages. A message that it might seem a small niche for the BBC but the request for european news in Italian, German, Spanish, and French is there.