Today I woke up to the grey and sober noise of an empty 648 KHz AM radio frequency. No BBC News from London, no News Hour, not even the remote timbre of the Lilliburlero. Apart from its faint DRM Broadcasts in cooperation with the Deutsche Welle, this is a sounding end for the BBC World Service in Europe. The BBC has been some time my source for independent news, offering a different and often fresh approach on different aspects of world affairs. Yes, I remember listening to the o so popular “Letter from America” by Alistair Cooke, tuning into the BBC on Sundays for the University Challenge.
Allow me to be honest, blunt if you would like. Today we are not mourning the end of a frequency or the mere phase out of a technology, as for the transmission of sound more than one technology exists. The decision taken in February culminates the end of offering knowledge, opinion and news from a more or less objective perspective as to replace it with a mediocratic offering of Top40-Contemporary music and inspiration-less cheap radio-jabber. And if it is not the end, it is certainly the beginning of the end, as for the BBC the UK Government’s Budget exercise warrants only the closing of many local news-gathering offices.
A sad end, if you ask me, as the offered alternative of continuing “to be available in Europe by satellite, cable and online” is only a faint alternative to listen to when driving to work.