It had been a long time since the voice of the people had such an impact on the powers that be, but with the salvation of BBC Radio 6 Music thankfully enough people pushed in the right direction at the right time to get the job done. It was a monumental effort on everyone’s part to keep the radio channel on the airwaves after it was scheduled to be pulled back in 2010 and the good news is that it’s still going strong today.
Throughout the last century, peaceful protests have fuelled some of the most significant changes in policy the world has ever seen. From Ghandi in India to segregation & Vietnamese war protests in the US, the achievements have been massive. While the stakes are not as high as they used to be, there is still plenty to speak up against and the success of the Save 6 Music campaign showed that voices can be heard if they’re raised in a positive way.
The issue came to a head in 2010 after a BBC review of the radio channel indicated that it could be axed due to limited public awareness. Picked up by the media, the news resulted in a pretty big backlash from the devoted minority that adored BBC 6 Music, with a lot of people putting their voices behind the campaign to save the radio channel and filling in the resulting BBC Trust’s questionnaire calling for the plan to be abandoned.
Put before the BBC Trust, the body that represents the interests of the license fee payer, half way through 2010 the move to axe the station was deemed not to have a credible case. Thankfully, without the approval of the Trust the move couldn’t go ahead, so BBC 6 Music has been saved, retaining all of the DJs people had known and loved, as well as the ecclectic mix of interesting music that epitomises the channel.
For anyone that joined in the Twitter and social media support, marched on the BBC HQ, wrote or blogged about the issue, or spent hours filling in the Trust’s online questionnaire, the news has got to come as a personal victory routed in a significant community group effort to save credible music representation on our national radio. Wolfy would be proud! Ghandi would be pleased and the radio channel DJs will be happy still to be in a job. If only every good campaign could result in a similarly favourable outcome.