The Salvation of teh 6Musics

So it seems that 6Music has been saved for now, which is very good news.  Saved is not entirely accurate I suppose; perhaps reprieved might be more like it.  There is still every chance it could go if the BBC were to include the cut in a broader re-strategising of their digital radio offering.

The proposed cuts seemed punitive rather than strategic, a suspicion strongly reinforced by the recent utterances of Tim Montgomerie: “Disgraceful that 6Music has been saved.  When will the BBC share in the pain?” I think we can all agree that he comes across as a stupid cunt, but I am not really going to dig at that too much, as No Rock and Roll Fun has done a much better job of dismantling his nonsense here.

The thing which has been itching at me ever since this was announced was nicely summed up by the Daily Mash (a brilliant site, by the way – sort of like a British Onion) at the time the cuts were first threatened.  The first paragraph of this article sums it up quite neatly: “The closure of the BBC’s 6 Music has enraged thousands of people who insist it is the sort of thing they would probably have liked if they had ever got round to listening to it.”

I am thrilled that 6Music has been saved and it is the only radio station I would ever choose to listen to, but as many have said, what of the Asian Network?  Well it’s a slightly stupid question, and throws the point made by the Daily Mash above into sharp relief.  I like the idea of the Asian Network, in that it sounds like it is probably a good idea, it is nevertheless not aimed at me, not anything I ever listened to and therefore not something I know the slightest thing about.

So really, for me to weep and wail about the Asian Network all I would be doing would be rather hollowly defending something which sounded like the right sort of thing for the BBC to be doing. Honestly, though, it would be a shallow protest, because I have no fucking idea whether the Asian Network really does merit preservation or not.

As anyone who lamented the demise of the Bowery here in Edinburgh last year should have instinctively known when its takeover was first mooted, it is not enough to like the idea of something, we have to actually use it.  One of the reasons the Bowery ended up without a particularly strong negotiating position was that most of us who liked the idea of it didn’t actually go there often enough to keep it open.

Equally with 6Music, do those of us who hate the idea of it closing actually listen to the station all that much?  Do those of us who love independent music actually go to the gigs our favourite promoters put on, or buy the music our favourite labels and bands release?

One of the reasons the things I love are often called ‘alternative’ is simply descriptive: they are things which not all that many people really like all that much.  Things which are not popular often, for simple economic reasons, can no longer afford to exist.  All of which brings me back to the initial point, which is that it is all very well to like the idea of this sort of thing, and quite right to be thrilled that 6Music is, for now, not going to be shut down.  But really, protests and petitions are one thing, but the only real way to support this kind of stuff is to actually make a point of using it as often as possible.

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