As a long-time listener to the World Service, I am confident that the standards are not what they were. In Scotland we heard quantities of short, illuminating programmes, from experts presenting their information, to local stations worldwide providing snapshots of their immediate concerns. Science, the Arts, in depth analysis - Bridget --'s reports from Russia were memorable.
Now we hear the News, trailers for programmes, bits of atonal 'linking' music, more News, some interviews of dubious quality with people of dubious interest - and the whole in need of a firm, effective Editor.
Gone are the more recent Plays contributed by different countries; gone are the phone-ins from listeners putting questions to international figures; in other words - gone is the international dimension. Replaced by domestically produced programmes full of waffle; 'world music' programmes usually consisting of an entire CD played without comment [lazy presenter!] its merit presumed to lie in its authentically different sound - not in any musicality.
Gone too is 'Lilliebulero' the theme-tune of the World Service since time immemorial ... which I can remember listening to all over the world, in Doha, in Jakarta, in Malaya - played by the Band of the Coldstream Guards [I think] with all that represented to expatriates, of home - or Home.
The regret lies in the loss of a first-rate service; which also served as an encouragement to other countries [some with no other access to world news] and other individuals - eg Burma's brave protesters. A loss to liberty: as well as a cultural loss.