Category: Media

Shropshire Council deputy leader resigned after online abuse

Social media is the expression of all of us. Collectively and individually. Even if people don’t participate its impacts cannot be ignored.   Social media is all of us on the internet, on phones, laptops, smart speakers and an ever growing number of devices. It is almost as everyday as conversation. Except social media is not like conversation. Any abuse in conversation is usually sporadic. On social media it can be relentless. This commentary comes from someone who has engaged with online communication since the late 1980s. I get abuse as a councillor but not as much as some others. Steve Charmley, the deputy leader of Shropshire Council has just resigned citing online abuse. The question for those in public life is how we cope with the flack and the abuse. And can we limit it?

BBC Radio Shropshire today announces Eric Smith’s last show will be 22 December

BBC Radio Shropshire this morning announced the retirement of one of the great stalwarts of local radio, Eric Smith, after almost 50 years in the studio. For many people in Shropshire and beyond, Eric Smith is the first voice that says hello to them in the morning. It is a comforting voice. Familiar. Measured. Fun. And if you are being interviewed by him, as I know from experience, he can be challenging. That’s want we want and what we need in local radio. To be informed and entertained.

Local radio has excelled during #coronavirus but BBC axes Clare from the Eric and Clare breakfast

Our local media has served our community well during the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown. National news provided us with the big picture but what we have needed most is the local picture. Our local newspapers and local radio have given us that. We are coming out of the emergency in a better position than we might have done because of the strength of our local media. Despite this success, the BBC today has announced cuts amounting to £25m in regional broadcasting, including to Inside Out and local radio. BBC Radio Shropshire has fronted its breakfast programme with two presenters for nearly a decade. Eric and Clare. It proved a successful format for a programme aired when the news is at its busiest and the number of listeners is at its peak. Today, the two presenter format has been abolished by BBC managers. Although no announcement has been made, the future for now will be breakfast with Eric Smith but without Clare Ashford as a co-presenter.

BBC local radio, 50 years old this week, is our community friend

On Wednesday, 8 November, BBC local radio will be 50 years old. It is a tribute to presenters, listeners and friends that it has lasted that long. Sometimes it has seemed like it hasn’t had many friends in the top echelons of the BBC. It has long been eyed at with envy by commercial broadcasters and local newspapers, who don’t get a public subsidy. It has lasted so long because it reaches out to local communities as a friend.

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