LOCAL radio is being “seriously undervalued” by the BBC, and proposed cuts are unfairly hitting stations in remote and rural areas, the Bishop of Norwich has said.
In his submission to a BBC Trust consultation, the Bishop, the Rt Revd Graham James, who is the C of E’s lead bishop on media issues, said that the importance of local radio in times of crisis and seasonal emergencies must not be ignored.
“Listeners to local radio rely on their station for information and advice, which helps to build community and county identity.”
The Bishop said that he was also concerned about the welfare of BBC staff, as one third of jobs were expected to go in some areas.
“We ask the BBC Trust to recognise local radio as one of the ‘crown jewels’ of the BBC. We do not argue that there should be no cuts in budget at all, but we believe that the total protection from cuts given to BBC 1, Radio 4, and the Proms is disproportionate in relation to what is proposed for BBC local radio.”