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RNIB Chair Criticises BBC’s Schedule Shake-Up



The Chair of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has criticised the BBC for cutting the airtime for a programme which covers issues related to people living with sight loss.

 

Anna Tyler has called the move to cut BBC Radio 4’s weekly In Touch programme from 20 to 15 minutes each week as a ‘retrograde step’.

 

“I’m immensely saddened to witness the diminishing airtime of a much-valued programme at a time when more than two million people are living with sight loss in the UK,” said Anna.

 

“With this number set to double by 2050, the need for high-quality disability focused broadcast programming is growing. The BBC clearly isn’t responding to this growing need.

 

“This is a retrograde step and one that worryingly marks the watering down of the BBC’s Charter obligations such as providing content for all audiences, including older, digitally excluded people with sight loss, many of whom rely on the radio for information. We urge the BBC to reconsider this decision.”

 

The controversial move comes as part of a major announcement by the BBC to refresh the Radio 4 schedule this spring.

 

“We’ve refreshed the schedule to take into account changing listener habits and priorities, with the aim of giving our audience more of what they want, when they want it,” explains Mohit Bakaya, Director of Speech and Controller of BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra, on the BBC website.

 

“We’re shaping the schedule to better accompany listeners through the day and the week, offering the thought-provoking and surprising programming we know matters deeply to them.”

 

 

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