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Mar 5th, 2010

The BBC Asian Network – Ten Reasons Why It Works

By 38 Degrees team

As well as the 26,000 of us who’ve signed the 38 Degrees petition against BBC cuts, lots of other groups and individuals have been speaking up this week.  We’ve been reaching out to lots of them today to find out how we can best co-ordinate our efforts for maximum impact.  There are lots of exciting things in the pipeline!

Ammo Talwar, Director of Punch, the Birmingham-based music development agency has been a prominent voice defending the value of the BBC Asian Network this week.  Here’s a guest piece from him.

Ammo Talwar, Director of Punch

Ammo Talwar MBE, Director of Punch

The BBC Asian Network – Ten Reasons Why It Works

1.    It’s exactly the right size. The BBC Asian Network is neither a cartel nor a community radio station. It’s big enough to reach the largest possible UK audience for Asian music, but not so big that competition can’t thrive beside it. As it is, the network can robustly deliver on the BBC’s Charter yet be flexible enough to scale its services professionally as resources wax and wane.

2.    It brings you the world. The BBC Asian Network showcases the best in emerging music and culture from young British Asians. It’s the only place to hear contemporary Asian sounds alongside new and important music from across the UK and the world. The station’s unique approach puts Asian music in a British context, connecting listeners beyond their community.

3.    It’s the best match of format and content. The structure and output of the BBC Asian Network has been developed and refined over more than a decade. It is a true network, grown from community roots by professional expertise. It continues to develop to meet public expectations. No brand or station created adhoc could better serve its listeners’ needs.

4.     It stands for every flavour of Asian music. As a service, the BBC Asian Network is unique in representing music culture from across the whole of the Asian diaspora. The station’s output is genuinely accessible to all, reaching out beyond borders, faith and language groups, yet always sensitive to cultural preferences and divisive local issues.

5.    It’s the flagship for British Asian media. The BBC Asian Network sprang from the energy and enterprise of British Asians who have been active in the UK media industry since the 1980s. Their spririt helps drive employment and expertise at home and generates overseas interest in the UK. The BBC Asian Network is the credible public gateway to this world.

6.    It’s what the BBC stands for. Beyond fulfilling the letter of the BBC’s Charter, the Asian Network is authentic to its spirit. The station defines its UK Asian audience as an active British community, linking Asian interests with the whole. It’s where British news, sport, soaps and stars become ‘desi’.

7.    It’s the UK’s gateway to Asia. The output of the BBC Asian Network is unique. The new music it plays distils the breadth and dynamism of British popular culture and the UK Asian experience. Britain is the birthplace of the ‘desi’ sound, and the BBC Asian Network is where Asia tunes in to it.

8.     It’s the Radio One of Asian Music. The BBC Asian Network reaches an audience that transcends its target demographic. Thousands of listeners from across all the UK’s communities tune in, and all are made welcome. Professional. contemporary and accessible, the BBC Asian Network works for everyone.

9.    It has the technology right. The BBC Asian Network uses the best delivery methods for its uniquely diverse audience demographic. It helps some communities to learn to let go of medium wave, while serving others through digital, web or iPlayer. No other station can meet the diverse needs and habits of the nation’s Asian community.

10.    It makes new music happen. With live artist recording sessions and a presence at niche music events across the country, the BBC Asian Network is instrumental in getting new music and new artists recorded. By broadcasting and promoting the UK’s Melas helps makes them popular and accessible to all.

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