BBC WS: please tune in to reality

Closing down BBC World Service MW 648 will hit communications and information

The official reasons given by the BBC to close down 648 don't stack up. How is an MW antenna costly and how can switching it off save money? This is not clear; expert friends point out that MW is not costly to run.

BBC says it is withdrawing from Europe because of declining listenership. Two things to ask here: isn't Britain in Europe, so what do they mean? Oh, I see, the Continent is being cut off, and all that. Well, Brits, other Anglophones and lots of people that speak and understand English listen to the BBC, from Poland to Portugal and from Finland to France. What declining listenership is it talking about? Is the current listenership that small? I don't believe it.

Finally, the BBC says the World Service is available online, by digital radio and via other digital channels such as satellite. This may be true, except for, I believe, digital radio which only applies to the UK. Anyway, what about those who listen on the radio, normal people, old folk, people at work, or me in the garden; how can I listen to the World Service when weeding? Or when driving the car? No, only radio is handy and reliable in these cases.

Also, are all shows, such as the football commentary by Alan Green, streamed online? Or are matches "rights controlled", like on Radio 5's online service, which is unable to bring live commentary to listeners online? Probably.

Clearly, the decision to close down 648 MW this month of March will lead to a further decline in listeners. Real listeners. BBC WS could have launched an appeal, asked us to contribute, rather than taking a crass decision.

Sign the petition via the link below, maybe it can be overturned. Or write to your MP, if you are in the UK.

Rory de Paris 2011

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