Just heard Nick Clegg say on BBC Radio Sheffield that local radio is very important and he can’t imagine it being closed down. Nick Higham (I think it wad him) said to Radio5Live that after talking to the BBC he didn’t think it was an idea that was very high on their agenda.
As far as I can tell this is one of many proposals being put forward to Mark Thompson as the BBC struggles to save money.
In my area the BBC is experimenting with a shared afternoon show. The presenter is excellent and they are doing their best to gather content from around the entire Yorkshire region. But however competent it may be it doesn’t feel like a programme for me and my city – it comes from somewhere else.
Merging Local Radio and 5Live is a bit incongruous and probably wouldn’t work – or even happen. But it’s not far from a national sustaining service which local stations can opt in and out of at will. It’s a dangerous step for local communities. Their local BBC station gives a voice to people who would otherwise be unable to influence opinion or express their views. As soon as the airtime is narrowed to two news slots a day – other broadcasting goes out of the window. Community action wouldn’t get a look in.
The BBC should squash this idea as soon as it’s presented at the DG’s desk. You either have local radio or you don’t – there are no half measures. No one will own it and it will swerve to rot in no time at all.
My friend Emma Gilliam, now a lecturer at The School of Journalism in Cardiff – (we were both BBC local radio Editors) – is updating her blog on this subject. Emma refers to Bill Rogers’ blog
More here on Radio TodayLets start the campaign now to save BBC Local Radio …….