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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The cyber bully

The cuts to BBC local radio have generated much debate on

Like all parts of the BBC, it is facing a reduction in its funding due to the new licence fee settlement.

There was a nuclear option which was looked at of sharing a lot of programming with BBC Five Live, but since a vocal campaign by loyal listeners, the cuts have been scaled back. The most audible impact is a new networked evening programme, and a reduction in specialist programmes.

Many within BBC local radio are breathing a sigh of relief that the cuts are not as bad as first mooted, and also recognise that all bits of the BBC have to take their share of funding reductions.

But when Jim Hawkins from BBC Radio Shropshire decided to defend the new shared evening programme, after the BBC Local Radio forum administrator said on Twitter that no-one wanted the new show, he was leapt upon in an aggressive manner and warned that his own mid morning show could be at risk next. This despite the fact that he has lost one of his specialist programmes has been hit!

In response, Jim argued that was an "underpopulated forum". With most posts made by just two people, this is not unreasonable..

This did not go down well with the BBC Local Radio Forum.

The cyber bully administrator got to work, launching his/her own thread at urging people not to campaign to save his specialist show! Not surprisingly, Jim Hawkins noted on Twitter that this was "ignorant and cowardly pillorying". This prompted the BBC Local Radio Forum to respond that they would be issuing a "press release" because he had "attacked" the forum. They have not yet said which media they will be targeting, or what the press release will say.

What I find most outrageous  is that the administrator and the main contributors to the forum hide behind a cloak of anonymity - dishing out their views on named individuals within the BBC and generally calling for a inquiry here and a resignation there.

So, who are the shadowy figures who believe they have the right to abuse and pillory people within an organisation that they - bizarrely - claim to seek to defend?

They will soon be outed....

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