There's been loads of comment on this week's announcements re the proposed BBC cuts, so I thought I'd add some personal and some more garden related thoughts to the mix, especially as there's quite a few things of interest which didn't made the headlines.
Overall, I think the Beeb's been pretty savvy in snipping away across the board, rather than facing the active campaigning lobbies such as those which sprang up against the closure of 6Music and when deep cuts to BBC4 and the World Service were mooted. That's not to say protests won't happen - for instance there's already a strong campaign to #savebbcbirmingham - and I've also witnessed - and rightly so - some lively debates regarding more TV repeats and the changes to the BBC's news services.
Here's some less well-known snippets:
- Gardeners' World, Countryfile and Chelsea Flower Show coverage are amongst the programmes set to move from Birmingham to Bristol. Whilst they'll still be on our screens, whether their new location and/or proximity to the acclaimed Natural History Unit will influence a change in direction or content remains to be seen. For instance, will we get more (yes please) of the themed coverage - on William Robinson and plant hunters - like we saw from Chelsea Flower Show last year?
- Local weather forecasting: if you're like me, you've found this one's the most reliable on offer and therefore the one to watch. Spare a thought for this service then, as it's set to have one presenter per region. Imagine the consequences of a solo presenter covering breakfast, lunch, dinner and late at night. And what happens when they go on holiday or are sick? I'm predicting more pre-recorded forecasts, which in turn leads to less flexibility to react to what actually happens. OR of course, our weather won't change at the last minute in future ;)
- The BBC's already sold BBC Magazines, the publishing arm responsible for titles like the Radio Times, Gardeners' World and Gardens Illustrated. The impact on content or any of our favourite writers remains to be seen.
I also have an observation about the demise of local radio. In some ways it's a relatively 'easy' cut for the BBC to make as it has a more fragmented and lesser following compared to any of the national stations.
However, local radio really comes into its own during times of local emergency. Where do you turn to for information (apart from Twitter!) when there's major flooding, a massive fire or the recent riots? For many people the answer's their local radio station, at a time when a comforting presence and good information based on local knowledge can be vital. How will that service be maintained in the future when great swathes of their programming will be on a national basis?
And finally, most of the news coverage hasn't told you there's a public consultation on the proposed BBC cuts from now until December 21st. So do have a look at the proposals in full (I can't link to the PDF document directly, but there's a link from the one I've just given), have a ponder on which of them affects the service(s) you most value and let the BBC know what you think about it. This post is helping me to do just that and I'm also on the look out for any campaigns I want to add my voice to.
What are your thoughts on the proposed BBC cuts?