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The BBC is apparently too large. So much niche and dead weight has accumulated on the behemoth’s website that the license fee simply cannot afford to keep funding it. The large quantities that are needed to maintain quality in the BBC’s primary services, such as terrestrial channels and FM radio stations is becoming harder to obtain. The ridiculous answer is to axe some of its services, including the highly prolific BBC 6 Music.

The buzz slogan that is being thrown around by their office monkeys is the need for ‘quality, rather than quantity’. By narrowing the outlets of the BBC and ensuring that they are of the highest impeccable standard, they believe the company will keep its reputation as the flagship of British broadcasting. I can agree that there maybe some truth in the outlook that proving a few excellent services, rather a dozen poor ones, is a better path to strive for.

Yet I would argue that Mark Thompson, the current Director-General of the BBC has forgotten that his company should be the safe haven of public service broadcasting. That is, to provide a range of services to our society that meets every niche and minority audience’s needs. No group should be left neglected and no service should be cut in the economic hunt for larger audiences and listeners.

BBC 6 Music was set up eight years ago and has always brought in a steady audience that is respectable for its platform. It’s important to remember that 6 Music is digital and online only. Most house owners still don’t have a DAB radio in their kitchen and it’s even rarer to be able to pick it up in your car. Tucked away in one of the darkest recesses of the BBC’s website, this is a service that listeners have sought out time and time again from the comfort of their personal computers.

George Lamb, presenter for BBC 6 Music's weekend mornings

The presence of DJs such as Jarvis Cocker and Steve Lamacq has arguably raised the credibility of the station far above the naivety of Radio 1 alternatives Greg James and Westwood. The management team behind 6 Music are intelligent enough to put bands in their live lounge that are exciting and fresh, waiting to break through and utterly deserving of commercial success. In comparison, the Radio 1 Live Lounge has become a place for millionaire musicians to plug their record for the umpteenth time and guarantee that it loiters in the charts for another fortnight.

The 620,000 weekly viewers and 73,000+ Facebook protesters believe that BBC 6 Music is a public service worth saving. To put it into perspective, the tiny online radio station (that has only had one TV advertisement that I can remember) attracts a bigger community than The Times, a daily newspaper distributed in newsagents everywhere.


BBC Radio Asian Network
is also set to be slashed. When it was created, I’m sure BBC officials would have proclaimed it as a fundamental and crucial public service for the Asian community. What will their excuse be now? Something along the lines of: “Actually, we don’t feel they need it any more”?! The British Asian community has, if anything, probably grown in recent years and therefore needs the service more than ever.

If the BBC needs to save money, why not cut the ridiculously high celebrity staff wages? Quality need not be expensive. Talented presenters and DJs should stay at the BBC for the pride of working in one of the most dynamic broadcasting companies in the world. Those that are concerned only by their pay packet should be swapped for individuals who respect the position. That way maybe we could save a couple of radio stations that Britain has grown to love.

February 2010
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RSS Daniel – Last.fm

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