Monday, January 20, 2003

Local music forever. Yeah, right

Leaving aside for a moment the question of why a campaign about The Entire Nation's local radio is tacked on the end of a MediaGuardian report about BBC London, we're not sure if we should cheer or sob, forever, until leopards form in our ducts at the Music Business Forum's sudden realisation that most "local" radio isn't local at all.

The Forum - the BPI, the MU and another thirteen bodies - have suddenly realised that crappy, standardised chart networks have swallowed virtually every radio station in the land, and that the interesting little pools where new talent used to be able to take their first steps have dried up. The indie BPI, AIM, are quoted as saying

"we want to make sure local radio stations are required to carry local music, just as TV stations have to broadcast local news",

which is wrong for a start - only one channel (ITV) is obliged to carry 'local' news anyway, and if the government attempted to enforce Channel 5 or, god forbid, Granada Men and Motors to carry local news, the proposal would be shot out the water. More to the point, what would count as local music?

Would Liverpool's Radio City be able to claim it'd kept its end up by playing a Beatles track every hour? Really, the fact there's fifteen organisations here and they've all sat by for the last thirty years watching local stations being bought up, allowed to change their formats more and more towards being "Rosie Ribbons, 24 hours a day", and not saying a word sticks in the craw a little. You wanted a station in Liverpool playing new Liverpool music? Where were you when Crash got fucked over, bought out and turned into a lite dance station?

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