The merger of the BBC News Channel and BBC World News is expected to have a soft launch on 6th March.
But regular viewers will by now be used to seeing programmes in the evenings and weekends which are designed for viewers around the globe as well as those at home.
It poses huge editorial dilemmas. Stories of vital importance and relevance to UK viewers may be of little interest or significance abroad. Stories of global importance may seem detached from the lives of most people in the UK.
Saturday’s combined output gave a good example. The Nigerian election led the afternoon output.
Obviously the main BBC One bulletin included a piece from Nigeria but well down the running order. A good example of how to bring this kind of foreign story to a mainstream audience.
It is the kind of story a domestic BBC outlet might cover to demonstrate the width of its international coverage and because it is worthy of highlighting – not because of its importance or direct interest to home viewers.
It is important for a public service broadcaster to cover these stories and take foreign affairs seriously. There are concerns that Africa is reported all too rarely except in the context of tragedy.
But a lead story? It is not a foreign story of direct concern to UK viewers like the war in Ukraine. Sky News must have been delighted.
Perhaps though there is a niche for a channel focused on solid foreign reporting. Nobody who cares about serious international journalism or world affairs would say these stories should not be covered.
The context in which they appear matters though. Imagine the risk of looking aloof and detached from the stories so important to licence holders.
It is unfair to judge the new News Channel in advance. Yet again, I stress international news matters and not just the foreign news likely to resonate directly with a UK audience.
But there must surely be real worries over whether the new look channel will still cover a full range of domestic stories properly.
The jury will be out for several weeks.
PICTURED: BBC News opening titles. COPYRIGHT: BBC.