cj#548> re: Death Knell of BBC Radio

1996-06-24

Richard Moore

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Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1996
Sender: "Sally Edsall" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#545> Death Knell of BBC Radio

Richard,

I heartily concur with your analysis of BBC Radio and in particular
the worth of Radio 4. I lived in England for 2 years and had the dial
practically glued to that frequency.

Here in Australia the ABC Radio (and TV, but particularly radio) is
under similar threat.

The initials ABC USED to stand for Australian Broadcasting
Commission. It is wholly government owned. Licence fees used to fund
it, as in Britain, but since 1972 or so when those were abolished it
has relied on direct government funding. ABC NOW stands for
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - a significant difference. As we
have witnessed with public entities the world over, corporatisation
is so often the precursor of privatisation.

The ABC has several radio stations - city metropolitan with a mix of
light entertainment, talk, middle of the road music, a FM Rock
ststion that is one of the only places you can hear contemporary
Australian rock and alternative music, not always global pop ;
Classic FM, regional stations broadcasting in country areas, and the
jewel in the crown, Radio National, which braodcasts the kind of
serious material very much like Radio 4.

Since March we have had a new conservative coalition government, who
have magically "discovered", or rather manufactured, a budgetary debt
crisis. Of course one prime target of conservatives is public
broadcasting, so guess what? - after years of shortfalls and
penny-pinching, the ABC is to be cut again, and guess what, one of
the prime targets is Radio National. It's the only place in our
foreign ownership dominated media you can get thoughful and
provocative debate and ex[position of issues that isn't rampant
raving far right loony talkback rubbish or wall to wall pop bland.

Dangerous stuff, the airwaves. Thanks for your piece.

Sally


Sally Edsall
Research Officer
NSW Teachers Federation
•••@••.•••
Fax (from overseas) 61-2-267 5221

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Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1996
Sender: Arun Mehta <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#546> re: BBC demise

>         I still dispute that BBC needs to fear "going under".  I
> haven't seen any case made, other than "things will be changing".
> I'd still tune into Radio 4 just as it is, no matter how much video
> on demand is flying around...

Hear, hear...

I'd say, from a long-distance perspective, that the BBC is coping rather
well with the information revolution. Since we started gettting BBC TV via
satellite (which only became popular as a result of CNN coverage of the
Gulf War), it has more than given CNN a run for its money. It doesn't
just provide news -- its current affairs programming is excellent, for
instance the Panorama on the beef scandal.

Arun Mehta, B-69 Lajpat Nagar-I, New Delhi-24, India. Phone 6841172,6849103
•••@••.••• •••@••.••• •••@••.•••
http://mahavir.doe.ernet.in/~pinaward/arun.htm
"I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be
stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house
as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any."--Gandhi

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Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1996
To: •••@••.•••
-From: "Douglas A. Boyd" <•••@••.•••>

Dear Mr. Moore,

        A friend forwarded me your Cyberjournal 125 that featured the essay
abougt the BBC.  This was passed to me because I have had a long interest in
the Beeb and spent a sabbatical leave with the World Service Audience
Research Unit in 1985.  I have many friends in domestic radio, especially
Radio 2.

        I thought your piece was most thoughtful and accurate.  You have
captured what is happening to the BBC, especially in light of government
pressure to change.  The British electronic media system is unfortunately
becoming rather like that of the U.S.

        Just two comments that you might consider.  First, the BBC license
fee--collected by the HM Post Office--is only paid by those with television
sets, not radio sets.  Of course, there was a time that radio only and when
TV came along TV separately had a fee.  After darn near everyone in the U.K.
got a TV set, they eliminated radio fees because they were too difficult to
collect from those with portable ones.

        Second, unless things have changed quite recently, the World Service
English transmissions late at night and early in the morning on Radio 4 are
from Bush House.  English from the World Service and the other 30 odd
languages are not funded by the license fees, but rather by the Foreign
Office.  As you correctly stated in your piece, the Beeb is quite
independent as founding Director John Reith so arranged.  For the World
Service, however, the FA does mandate which services the World Service will use.

Doug



Douglas A. Boyd, Dean                   Phone:   606-257-3874
College of Communications and           Fax:     606-257-7818
Information Studies                     E-mail:  •••@••.•••
105 Grehan Building
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0042

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Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1996
-From: Simon Bromberger <•••@••.•••>
To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: cj#546> re: BBC demise (fwd)

> World Service operates as a separate channel; it uses  R4 material
> though, and the two broadcast the same material overnight (i.e. midnight
> to around 400 GMT). Apart from SE England which "eavesdrops", it's not
> receivable in most parts of the UK.

The World service is, as far as I am aware, available in most parts of the
UK. It is broadcast on VHF(FM) in Scotland over-night and the MW(AM)
broadcasts are been audible in all parts of the UK (W/E Scotland, NW/NE
England) I have lived in, to various degrees - esp. after dark , and 100% on
Radio4 LW frequency overnight.

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    Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
     Cyberlib:  www | ftp --> ftp://ftp.iol.ie/users/rkmoore/cyberlib
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