It’s been a long time since I’ve done any non-microblogging, but then it’s increasingly rare I’ve got anything I want to discuss. Except, today I have, because someone is trying to take 6Music away from me, and frankly, that cannot stand. I will now do my small part in trying to keep 6Music/Asian Network going, by telling you how you can do the same.
Most importantly, we must all take part in the consultation process. This is the very reason the consultation process exists – to get the public’s opinion, not to simply rubber-stamp the proposals. The full consultation review details can be read on the BBC site.
Things to consider:
DO e-mail the BBC trust. Unlike voting for the government (SATIRE!) your voice matters.
DO encourage others to do the same. A massive response is what’s needed.
DO emphasise that these stations cannot/do not compete with commercial broadcasters.
DO mention that you think the stations justify the license fee.
DO Listen to the stations. Preferably on iPlayer, where I imagine the BBC can see the stats themselves.
DON’T make pointless threats about boycotting the BBC – it isn’t going to happen.
DON’T try and suggest that they cut something more expensive instead. As much as we’d all love to see the back of BBC3, this decision isn’t being made by the accountants.
DON’T swear, use too many exclaimation marks or generally make yourself look like a tool. Your e-mail will presumably be read by a grown-up.
DON’T just cut and paste the e-mail below. Add some of your own thoughts and reasoning.
DON’T accuse the BBC of bowing to political pressure. It’s probably true, but it won’t help.
Here’s a template e-mail, based off the one posted by my good friend Seb Patrick. You should download the cover note from the BBC site, fill it in, and attach that to your e-mail, which should be sent to: email@example.com
(NOTE: the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org is also going around on Twitter – this appears to be a general contact address, whereas email@example.com is specifically given on the consultation page, so I’d use the latter.)
To whom it may concern,
I am writing to address proposals announced this morning which suggest the possible closure of BBC 6music and the BBC Asian Network.
As a loyal supporter of the BBC and the licence fee, it is my belief that, contrary to the stated aim of closing these stations, they each fulfil a remit that commercial broadcasting cannot, and indeed, one that it has repeatedly shown no interest in fulfilling.
I understand that these proposals have to be considered and approved by the BBC Trust before any cuts are made, and so would like to add my voice to those requesting that the Trust strongly consider rejecting the call to close these stations. Their very existence proves the validity and necessity of both the license fee and the BBC, especially in an age when commercial pressure on broadcast media is stronger than ever.
Feel free to customise and repost this however and whereever you like. The more people that send e-mails, the better. Note: Early support is vital, but don’t think it’s too late to e-mail just because it’s been a few days. The consultation period lasts until 25th May.
For a start, you can also fill out the consultation questionnaire.
You can also try signing the petitions at 38 Degrees and Petition.fm
Jeanette also suggests below that “it may also be good for as many people as possible to contact Radio 4′s Feedback this week as it covers listeners’ views on BBC radio programmes and policy, so may reach a wider audience of avid radio fans.” You can do so here
If you want to discuss this situation with like-minded individuals, there’s a Save 6Music Facebook Group.
Finally, if you’re so inclined, Twitter Hashtags you can use when discussing the matter include:
I think that’s everything. If there are any other suggestions/ideas or if you think I’ve got any of this wrong, please let me know in the comments.