Susan Stranks, presses for public service children’s radio network …

Susan Stranks, presses for public service children’s radio network …

An event hosted by the Media Society at the Royal Commonwealth Society, last night [12/09/2012] “What Next For Radio?” focused on ways to attract the generation of tech-savvy teenagers to the medium.

Chair: Tim Collins – senior producer, The Jeremy Vine Show BBC Radio 2

Panel: Matthew Bannister – presenter ‘Last Word’ Radio 4 and ‘Outlook’, BBC World Service;

Jumoké Fashola – presenter ‘Inspirit’, BBC London & Ronnie Scott’s Radio Show on Jazz Fm;

Mark Goodier –broadcaster for Smooth Radio and owner of Wise Buddah;

John Myers ­– CEO The Radio Academy, chair of Sony Radio Awards committee.

During questions, Susan Stranks, who leads the National Campaign for Children’s Radio, raised the plight of the youngest listeners, slamming the BBC’s Strategy for Children’s Audio” for axing a core remit to provide licence-funded radio for children and handing 75% of their airtime and 50% of their budget to adults – leaving the young audience with less radio than ‘Children’s Hour’ provided in the 1940s when the Home service was the only available platform. Protesters claim that the instant cuts contrast unfairly with general BBC savings of 11% – 16%, amortised over five years.

John Myers agreed it was the responsibility of the BBC rather than the commercial sector to provide children with radio, and Jumoké Fashola said she and other broadcasters would be interested in such an initiative, which she thought a very good idea.  Matthew Bannister argued that the BBC had tried over many years to schedule children’s content on various adult speech networks but had only succeeded in attracting fifty year olds.

The Baroness Warnock, who chairs the Sound Start Group of peers, parents and educators lobbying for a PSB children’s radio network has called on Lord Patten, Chair of the BBC Trust, to review the strategy, which has also relegated the under-sevens to podcasts. This, she says, disadvantages families in homes without internet access. “Increasing numbers of children are arriving at school unable to express their needs and understand what is asked of them, which can severely damage their social, educational and working lives. To talk we must first learn to listen and daily radio of songs, stories, rhymes and games can be of immense help.” , says Lady Warnock.

Notes:  Susan Stranks runs the non-profit internet radio station abracaDABra! which is pressing the BBC to share its extensive Children’s and Schools Radio archive in order to widen access, awareness and enjoyment.

T:+44[0]1273 777489.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...

Slider by webdesign