Since the lockdown, many of us who’d usually be out and about working during the day, have had to stay at home – and it’s not been easy. A great help to many of us in Wales is the availability of local radio stations and newspapers.
Okay, I would say that about the papers, but our local radio stations and BBC Radio Wales have more than proved their worth during these past months.
Apart from Owen Money’s sterling efforts, every day on BBC Radio Wales and Kev John’s lively breakfast show on Swansea Sound, there are also many other local radio stations that really help isolated listeners feel that they’re not alone.
Unfortunately, ITV makes little effort to supply the UK regions with local news, particularly during ‘Good Morning Britain’ which only finds room for three brief visits to ‘where you’re watching’ in its entire three-hours. And what do we get? A couple of hastily delivered news items, a five-second weather forecast (recorded the night before) and an advertisement for the company ‘sponsoring’ the weather forecast. Then, it’s “Back to Piers and Susanna!”
And if that’s not insulting enough to people living in the regions and nations, listen to this!
Bauer Media, the owners of Swansea Sound want to re-brand it and most of the 48 other local radio stations they own, as ‘Greatest Hits Radio’ this Autumn, after which most of the programmes will be broadcast from London.
While they say they intend keeping ‘a presence’ in local communities like Swansea to reflect major events and local interest stories, it doesn’t sound like they’ll be providing the current level of local news and content.
It’s also likely some of our favourite presenters who’ve made the station popular will be ‘surplus to requirements’ if much of the content is London-based.
A petition to keep the Swansea Sound brand and content has been signed by more than 2000 people who don’t want it to lose its individuality and go the way of all the other radio stations playing the same old hits over and over.
Where do I sign?