The decision to cut most of the music programming from ABC’s Radio National has sent waves of protest through the country. Over 17,600 people have signed a petition calling for the decision to decommission music programs The Inside Sleeve, The Live Set, The Daily Planet and The Rhythm Divine to be reversed.
Tantawangalo musician Health Cullen, a coordinator on the Save RN Music campaign, said his group was waiting to hear back from the ABC board over a second letter addressing the cuts.
“For thousands of Radio National listeners, it feels like a betrayal,” Mr Cullen said. “The reaction from people we’ve talked to is just shock, people are very upset they haven’t been consulted.”
He said most places do not have a lot of options for different radio stations. Also, he said as ABC’s Double J was digital it had to be listened to over an internet connection, which could be difficult on a farm or in a car.
One “bitterly disappointed” listener was Sean Burke of Akolele who has tuned into Radio National for over 20 years. “Without RN music, I wouldn't have heard about many artists - both Australian and touring - and would have missed out on so many of the live shows that I have gone to over the years, particularly at music festivals, unless I happened upon them by chance,” he said. “I don't have digital radio either at home or in my car so any move to that platform would leave me out in the cold and much, much poorer culturally.”
Bega Valley Shire Council mayor Kristy McBain after being contacted by upset listeners released a letter that “reflects the concerns in our community that many are feeling a sense of loss over the cuts to programming”.
“There exists a significant demographic of music fans outside the RN ‘youth’ market who depend on RN to deliver content relevant to them and their musical interests,” it reads. “Studies have been conducted over the past few years in relation to mental health and gender equality in the wider music industry.
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