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> Local Radio and the Today Programme
Simon Kirby
post Feb 26 2013, 11:18 AM
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I've become quite a fan of Radio4's Today Programme. I didn't always appreciate the apparent hostility of the presenters to their interviewees, but more and more I'm seeing it as an essential balance to the unaccountability of politicians.

But we have nothing whatsoever like that in local politics. The Newbury Weekly doesn't do investigative journalism, and while it might report with a fair degree of impartiality, that simply gives the establishment a platform to present their case without any real challenge. You might get some occasional handbagging between the Lib Dems and Tories in the letters page, but that's just superficial posturing, the establishment is never questioned or held to account.

Turning up to council meetings or trying to engage directly with the establishment just simply doesn't work. You're fobbed off, and if you demur you're "vexatious".

There's the forum of course, but the quality of debate isn't always high, and while our reach is so limited there's nothing to compel the establishment engage.

What would be good is something like the Today Programme, but on local radio about local politics. I can't see that happening on Radio Left-Hook, but I can now see a role for local community radio, and start-up costs for an internet radio station aren't high so I'm actually wondering if a grass-roots local internet station might be a possibility.

Any budding Humphrys, Montagues, or Naughties out there?


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On the edge
post Feb 26 2013, 07:07 PM
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OMG!!! You mean real community radio. That would certainly enliven things. I strongly believe that the 'talk' element of radio is an oft forgotten jewel, It looses commercially simply because music is so easy to serve up. This could actually run, and there are other elements that might make a substantial business case; i.e. the ability to showcase local comedy, etc.


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Blake
post Feb 27 2013, 12:22 PM
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It sounds like a good idea to me, provided you can find people of the correct calibre and articulacy.
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Simon Kirby
post Feb 27 2013, 12:39 PM
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QUOTE (Blake @ Feb 27 2013, 12:22 PM) *
It sounds like a good idea to me, provided you can find people of the correct calibre and articulacy.

That's the challenge really. For me the Today Programme works because, as a rule, the presenters are well informed and not easily deterred from asking the difficult questions. In practice that's a difficult skill - to be probing whilst remaining listenable.


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On the edge
post Feb 27 2013, 02:46 PM
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You are quite right, but its an acquired skill. If I have a criticism of the BBC its the maintenance of elderly talent, its important that we see this grow and develop, In my view, there will be a good few in the community who could develop, after all, we even have a 'dramatic arts' college.


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Simon Kirby
post Feb 27 2013, 04:11 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Feb 27 2013, 02:46 PM) *
You are quite right, but its an acquired skill. If I have a criticism of the BBC its the maintenance of elderly talent, its important that we see this grow and develop, In my view, there will be a good few in the community who could develop, after all, we even have a 'dramatic arts' college.

It would be good to give it a go anyroad, like you say there must be some aspiring presenters that would welcome the opportunity to develop their skills.


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