Jean Seaton comments on the BBC’s plan to axe radio reporters
Jean Seaton has been interviewed by The Observer about the BBC’s plans to axe radio reporters. The article, by Vanessa Thorpe, details plans by the BBC to require all national radio reporters to reapply for a smaller number of jobs as television, radio and digital reporters, rather than as dedicated audio journalists. The article notes that many fear it is not just the end of their careers but the premature end of an era for the BBC.
In her comments Seaton states that reporters are more important on the radio than on TV; “we recognise the voices and it is more personal. There is an intimacy to listening to the radio, which we all recognise and which is important to the future of the BBC in a world where it must compete with social media, a medium which is all about the appearance of intimacy. Radio offers that with a professional capacity. Why would you drop something so important?Radio is your companion. It is by your side, while TV is just ‘over there’.” Seaton also questioned the timing of the announcement, “why are they abandoning these skills, at a time when BBC radio has been the success of lockdown?” she asked, “Radio is not the same as TV. And in the future we know that more audio content, whether radio or podcasting, is exactly what people say they want.”
The full articles is available on the pages of The Observer