Letter: Myth of media choice

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The Independent Online
TONY HALL, Chief Executive of BBC News (letter, 4 March) bangs on about the myth of "choice". Most people don't need choice in the media.

When we had fewer television and radio channels the controller's difficult job was to provide a balanced schedule that could appeal to the widest possible audience. The lack of "choice" meant that occasionally viewers and listeners might have the enjoyable experience of being stretched by material they otherwise would never have explored.

Now with the plethora of "choice" it's easier just to pick your channel, plug in and switch off. Then we wonder why we are raising a nation of children obsessed with cartoons or sport or violence or soaps or sex.

Radio 4 was a channel you could leave on all day, knowing that you would be entertained and informed in ways you might never have imagined.

No, choice is not good: diversity is good. By removing this diversity today's broadcasters are creating a fragmented nation of monocultures.

It takes less talent to deliver the glut of politics that Mr Hall promises than it does to produce a focused programme like Yesterday in Parliament, which by invading my ears for 15 minutes each day forces me to think about issues of which I might otherwise not have been aware.

KEITH JOHNSON

Old Isleworth, Middlesex

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