Defend the BBC, Save 6 Music
I need to start by saying I am a huge fan of BBC 6 Music. It is definitely my favourite music based radio station and one which I feel responds to a particular niche. So in writing this blog I am speaking as a fan and I am possibly not the impartial writer.
But I am totally dismayed to hear that the BBC trust is considering, as part of its review of BBC out put, the removal of amongst other things 6 Music*. I think this would be such a negative and retrograde step.
Whatever the threats of a Tory government in the pocket of Rupert Murdoch, the simple truth is that the BBC necessarily has to be a national institution. It has to cater for everyone. Now of course that does includes the middle class establishment who like Radio 4…
But it also includes young people, people who like new and different music. And it represents the most awful snobbishness on the part of those for whom BBC3 television and 6 Music are not intended to appeal to; to say:-
“I don’t like this, therefore the BBC should not do it”.
I support the licence fee, and I support public service broadcasting. And it is for this reason that I fear the BBC narrowing its target audience to a smaller demographic that News International and the Daily Mail approve of.
Because ultimately if the BBC does not cater for people outside that group, then it will undermine its reason for existence. The BBC charter, in its first sentence proudly proclaims:-
“To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.”
That for me sums up the BBC, that is why I love it, and that is why I support it. 6 Music is part of that ethos, providing a radio station I want to listen to is part of the BBC’s job.
So please, don’t buy into Rupert Murdoch’s self interested corporate agenda of attacking the BBC. We need to keep 6 Music, the BBC Internet output, BBC3, iPlayer. We need to defend the right of the BBC to exist. And as Trade Union activists we have a role to play in this.
And if you need more convincing about why we need to defend the BBC (and see what it really is Murdoch and the right want) then check out “Fox News” in America.
We have something great, and my view is lets keep it that way.
* Since writing this blog I have seen the report the BBC trust have done it is here http://bit.ly/cF5wll Whilst it does not call for the closure the neccesity to appeal to older listerners kinda misses the point. The BBC should be prepared to have unique output that appeals to certain demographics.