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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
From Our Own Correspondent: Your views
Italian pilgrims celebrate in Rhein Energie Stadion during World Youth Day August 17, 2005 in Cologne, Germany
What are your memories of the BBC programme From Our Own Correspondent as it reaches its 50th year on air?

Every week BBC reporters stationed all over the world tell the stories behind the news, adding context and personal experience to their reports.

Dispatches have included descriptions of swimming with sharks, mud wrestling in Turkey and ballroom dancing in Cameroon.

In 1996 foreign correspondent Fergal Keane wrote and read a letter to his new-born son, Daniel and received a massive public response.

What do you think of From Our Own Correspondent? Do you have any particularly memories of a report? What, if anything, does it add to BBC coverage?

From Our Own Correspondent is broadcast on BBC World Service on Saturdays/Sundays all year round and on BBC Radio 4 in the UK on Saturdays at 1130 BST and, for about 25 weeks of the year, on Thursdays at 1102 BST.


In general, BBC coverage does not allow too much personal reflection, hence listeners' questions quite often remained unanswered, but only till Saturdays. From Our Own Correspondent enables correspondents to go that extra mile. They have more than a couple of minutes at their disposal, which leads to magnificent in-depth reportages from a unique perspective. I remember Lyse Doucet's piece on bidding farewell to Jerusalem and could not forget Fergal Kean's, Letter to Daniel as well. I do hope that I could listen to the programme as long as I live. And I'm far from retiring age.
Mary McCannon, Budapest, Hungary

Thank you for the 50thanniversary and thank you for letting me hear my favourite voice of all time Michael Elkin where is he now? There was a report many years ago and he recalled his days as a child on the streets of Brooklyn - what a voice - how I would love to hear that story again. There have been so many fantastic reporters both past and present. Thank you once again for the trip down memory lane it was not long enough
Kathleen Cooke, UK

The programme brings into life memories of events that made the main headlines all over the world. When the BBC World Service started broadcasting on FM here in Mozambique, one of the programmes I got familiar with was From Our Own Correspondent. A learnt much about several places on earth.
Leonel Muchano, Maputo/Mozambique

From Our Own Correspondent is my favourite program on the BBC for a number of reasons. First and foremost is the vivid and almost uncanny powers of expression of the correspondents. You are almost literally transported into the scenes and events. I also appreciate the very frank revealing of their inner emotions and feelings, which has gone a long way towards making the BBC correspondents like members of my extended family. I do hope the program goes on and on.
Timilehin Abayomi, Lagos,Nigeria

For me the programme has been so fulfilling and very detailed. I started tuning in to this programme in the mid 1990s and that was the time the African continent was going through very hair rising conflicts. It was one way of getting the real details of how conflicts were eating through the values of Africa. I remember one particular programme by Jane Standley. She was describing the harrowing events and the suffering that the conflict in the DRC.I personally felt the impact since my town just neighbours the DRC. I would just wish that the programme continues to see its hundred years of existence.
Basiimire Yosam, Kasese, Uganda

Nothing sets 'FooC' a class apart than the gripping atmosphere in which the stories are told. It has always carried me all the way along for the past solid eight years-since I accidentally hooked it on BBC. And I will never forget that engaging piece as Lyse Doucet interviewed Yasser Arafat (RIP)! If there was only one wish Arafat could wish to be granted, its that blue sky over Jerusalem....(He truly died cherishing that wish)!
Samson Opus, Kampala, Uganda

Great format, don't change anything and keep it up for another 50 years
Stuart, Auckland, New Zealand
FOOC is a classic format for radio and makes for one of the best regular BBC programs of the week. It's interesting that the very tight format and restrictions on length force the correspondent to make the story compact, crisp and concise. But it's also interesting that the correspondents often choose to tell an off line story or observation from their area that is more local than the news of the moment would normally allow. It's surprising how well the format fits into the www site, I often read an article on the www site only to find it was a FOCC original. Great format, don't change anything and keep it up for another 50 years! Regards, Stuart
Stuart, Auckland, New Zealand

FOOC, 50th year. Having just listened to (I think) the first of the 50th year archived programs of FOOC could I mention my feeling that the reports, and the correspondents who filed them, can speak for themselves, and perhaps they don't need quite as much "introducing" and "contextualising" as I heard today. Some of them also demand a moment's pause for thought at the end, rather than the rush into the next part of the script from Lyse Doucet, who - I got the impression - was not actually listening to the reports that were played. Just a few thoughts - because these reports from the archives can be quite momentous, and deserve a little more time for reflection than they got today.
Denis Williamson, Hong Kong

Easily the best programme on radio and television. Long may it continue
John Linnard, Stroud, Gloucestershire

The only regular news column I've sought out for 17 years.
Chris Hayes, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Informative, Inspirational and Invaluable. Three words I would use to describe the radio gem that is BBC's From Our Own Correspondent. Over the years I have been educated and entertained by Angus Roxburgh, Fergal Keane, Allan Little, Misha Glenny and Frank Gardner to name but a few foreign correspondents. Each story relayed paints a colourful picture in my mind allowing me to contemplate the tragedy and triumph of the human race.
John D. Wheelan, London,UK

The BBC is to be congratulated for From Our Own Correspondent. It's a great way to find out about parts of the world or ways of life that otherwise we would know little about. You can always tell that the correspondents have a great love for their job and it's presented with a personal touch that is sometimes very moving. I can't wait for the next 50 years of this programme.
Ally Binns, Glasgow, Scotland

Just heard your first anniversary broadcast and thanks for the item on Poles arriving in Isfahan. My mother was one of them, and I have a passport of hers issued there. She died in 1983 before I could piece together the story of how she got from Antos, Eastern Poland (now Ukraine), not far from Lvov, to the Midlands in the UK, via Isfahan, Ahwas, Beirut and I believe several places ending with ...stan before that. Thanks for this fragment bearing witness to the war as told from the east.
Eva Kaluzynska, Brussels, Belgium

It's a 15 years long association and friendship with the BBC; then in 1990 when I first got hooked on to the world service it was the Gulf War time; I had my two-in-one; and it was a daily ritual that I started my day with the latest breaking news on the BBC; I still have vivid memories how I came to know of the demolition of the Babri Mosque through your 24hours news network; now I don't listen to the radio, but prefer watching it on TV and surfing the website for various programmes; It's been a source inspiration, learning and fun all these years; and this love-affair with the beeb is going to last forever. From our own Correspondent was one of the favourite programmes.
Nawal Thorat, Aurangabad, India

This is, quite simply, the best programme on the radio. There's nothing more to say.
Nick, Nottingham.UK

I love BBC our own correspondent because the people who report news around the world are well informed about the world and what they report about. Secondly, their reports always longer, brief to the point and clear to all listeners and thirdly,our own correspondent often comes with a "good time". Many BBC listeners listen to our own correspondent every Saturday while there is no much work around that can interrupt them when listen to a radio. I have begun to listen to our own correspondent in 1994 with my small Sony radio. Our own correspondent is my a favourite programme among all BBC programmes.
Peter Tuach, Mankato,Minnesota,USA

I would say that BBC have great reporters. They present a true picture of what they see without mincing words. I love the way the Katrina event is been covered in New Orleans. It shows not only BBC efficient news coverage but always at the forefront of events. The Tsunami's coverage was great too. Keep up the good work. Anytime, any day, BBC is the best news anchor.
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA

When I left Sierra Leone for Guinea my short wave radio was my only companion that I used to put very close to my ears when the From our own Correspondent was broadcasted by the BBC. What really made me to love this programme was first of all when Mark Doyle was reporting during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and Jane Standley too and not forgetting Barnaby Philips during his stay in Mozambique. Back in 1996 I used to listen to Alan Johnston in Kabul during the Taleban war with the Northern Alliance. Mohamed Areski Oumar and Fergal Keane and Allan Little. May I say thank you for your huge efforts to bring us the news.
Chernor Jalloh, Almeria,Spain






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