Thursday, 7 October 2010

Keep it local even when it's national

A local station for local people.  I wonder why both the BBC and commercial radio/TV often fail to connect with their local audience?  Having spent the last few days in Birmingham -  which I discovered had benefited from some excellent re-generation, (I only hope now the city is blooming the frosty chill of the recession doesn't kill off all that hard work.)

But whilst in Birmingham I was exposed to the local media, in particular the BBC TV midlands news, read by a very posh lady of a certain age dressed in a powder-blue jump suit.  She  was busy leading on the possibility (not fact) that the local symphony orchestra might have to be cut back.  Now I wonder how many people living in Brum were interested in that story?

On that same day massive benefit changes were announced in Birmingham at the Conservative Conference - surely there was a local angle to that story? I know the BBC opts are not allowed (normally) to lead with any story that is being covered nationally, which of course is typical BBC nonsense because there are some national lead stories that have a valid and different local angle.

Also the local paper The Birmingham Mail which is a great well written strong 'local' publication, was leading on the benefit story and its impact on Birmingham. There's clearly a demand for local news. It is one of the unique reasons that people watch or listen. In a network situation whether on TV with local news opts or on radio where a sustaining  London service takes over in the evening - the local news and information should continue 24/7 it's one more very good way to keep your viewers and listeners.

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