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Casting a Wider Net: Delivering News on the Censored Internet

Date & Time:
14:00:00 - 15:30:00,
Friday 10 February, 2012


An international research team based at the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs (University of Toronto) has conducted a detailed study that tracks and analyses the difficulties of broadcasting news into jurisdictions that censor the Internet. The results of this study are documented in ‘Casting a Wider Net: Lessons Learned in Delivering BBC Content on the Censored Internet’, which reports on a series of real-world tests to deliver BBC websites into Iran and China, where they are regularly blocked by authorities.

This talk will consider the challenges facing news broadcasters as they shift their focus from traditional media delivery methods to online delivery. It will cover the BBC’s case studies as detailed in the published report, and will look at how the different propagation strategies helped to reach an audience that was otherwise unable to access the broadcaster’s content.

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  • Name: Karl Kathuria
  • Affiliation: Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
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  • Bio: With a professional background in technology management and an honours degree in Business Studies, Karl Kathuria joined the BBC World Service online team when its web presence was first established. He took ownership of the online distribution strategies, with the aim of ensuring the BBC’s international multi-lingual content was reaching its global audience. As some languages grew into 24-hour multimedia news operations, his responsibilities extended to managing strategies for multiple Content Delivery Networks and supporting the provision of an in-house platform for content production systems. Some of the BBC’s language websites are aimed at audiences in censored countries. Working within his remit for online distribution, Karl led the BBC team responsible for trying to deliver online content into these areas. As a result of these efforts, he was invited to the Munk School of Global Affairs in Toronto to work with the Citizen Lab team in 2011 on an independent research project. During this period, Karl studied the effects of the BBC’s content distribution strategies in China and Iran, and made recommendations for the propagation of circumvention software into these markets.