The BBC has anounced a series of cuts which will result in Ally McCrae’s BBC Introducing In Scotland Show being cancelled. In a falsely titled document called Delivering Quality First the BBC outlined that the show and it’s counterparts from the other home nations would be merged into one, along with a plethora of other cost cutting measures across its services.
There has been an online petition set up, which I would implore you to sign and to pass on to your friends. The success of the campaign to save 6 Music shows that it can be done, and as the BBC is run with money from tax payers they should have to listen. There is also a form to send comments direct to the BBC which is equally important, and doing both will only take you moments.
The BBC’s claim of Delivering Quality First is completely ridiculous – that is not the aim here – they are simply trying to save money. In the current financial state it is understandable that cuts may be a necessity, but you really have to question the need to cut this service when some of the other spending by the corporation is considered.
If there are such big financial problems within the BBC then perhaps they should not have spent £1 million on an unnecessary temporary studio for the World Cup coverage, handed out a contract worth £2 million a year for Graham Norton to present the Eurovision Song Contest and do not a lot else of use, or spend millions on taxis chauffeuring around rich celebrities and executives.
These are just a few examples of inappropriate spending that the BBC should be looking to cut rather than an important service. Is cutting this show going to have a massive effect on the balance sheet? No, but it will have a massive effect on grassroots Scottish music.
BBC Introducing is a massive platform for Scottish musicians, giving artists a chance to reach a wider audience than normally possible. The show is essential listening for folk involved and interested in up and coming music, and would leave a massive gap if removed.
The work done by Vic Galloway over 11 years, and Ally McCrae in more recent times has been massively beneficial to music in Scotland, and perhaps more importantly has been greatly entertaining. It has provided Radio 1 with a credible voice on the frontline of grassroots Scottish music, but the BBC seems to think this is not required.
The corporation also claims it is its “ambition to increase the distinctiveness of BBC services and serve all audiences”, but cancelling BBC Introducing In Scotland does the exact opposite.
The mainstream media is already dumbing down our exposure to the arts by bombarding us with spoon-fed drivel in the form of reality TV, X Factor type competitions, and heavily mainstream radio playlists, but the BBC is meant to be above this, and should be held to a higher account.
By taking away services that cater for specialist groups the BBC is making itself less and less relevant, and by explaining the decision in the way it has is making itself less and less credible.
Make sure you sign the petition, contact the BBC, and help us save a government-run service that people actually care about.
Make sure you tune into the BBC Introducing In Scotland show at midnight this Sunday.