Formats Task 1

This week we have been asked to look into Local radio, and living in Coventry the station that I listened to was BBC Coventry and Warwickshire. I chose to listen to the morning show. The reason why Local radio is still very popular to this day is the fact that people are still doing what they were 20 years ago. for example a well known fact is that the two most popular times of the day is the morning shows, and the late afternoon to evening, and what are people doing in this time? Driving their cars, and in majority of cars you’ll find a radio. Local radio is tailored to the drivers specific needs, and gives them something to listen to instead of the sound of the running engine. It gives them updates every half an hour on traffic in the local area letting you know where to avoid when going to work. This is something you clearly wouldn’t get on national radio stations like ‘Radio 1’. This is summed up well by ‘Hellen Goodman’ Shadow Minister for Culture she said ‘While commercial radio does many things – enriching the lives of individuals, reinforcing a sense of local community, and playing an important role in local economies’

The appeal of local radio is the fact it feels a lot more personal than National radio, for example on ‘Radio 1’ they have over 300 callers a day, whereas on local radio the numbers will be a lot lower, meaning more chance of your voice getting heard. The information and competitions for people listening will also be more relevant and you’ll be more likely to enter these competitions because of the relevance to them. I’ve done this myself of my local Radio station, they were giving away tickets for a football game near were I lived, so I called in to try and win these tickets, whereas if I had listened to a show like ‘Radio 1’ the chances of me wanting to enter the competition would be much lower because the prize might not be as relevant to me.

As Jane Ashley points out it works very well will local and small businesses, she states ‘Radio can be immediate. Weather changes so we provide info and hold the collective hands of the community. If an ad is wrong radio can fix it pronto, unlike competitors. Radio often works with small business owners who no one else is offering to help’. They’ll do this by giving slots for adverts to local businesses, it helps them get their voices heard and the fact its local businesses its another reason to tune in and listen to see if you can find a deal in your surrounding area that your looking for, something again you can’t find on national Radio shows. BBC have capitalised on this creating 39 local stations up and down the country. The BBC are keen to point out Local Radio attracts 7.2 million listeners a week and 1.3 million viewers that do not consume any other radio according to the service review by the BBC back in 2012, they say ‘Local radio acts as a friend’. The audience for local radio is mainly over 50, but in some situations can attract a secondary audience, such as the situation thats going on now in Coventry with the Bomb, this is a story that is not specific to a certain age, its something majority of people want to find out about due to their safety. But mainly the BBC will focus on the Over 50’s because a lot of these are currently either retired or not able to work. Making them the prime people to be sitting at home with not a lot to do, which ties in with what the BBC said about a friendly voice.

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