Last week I offered five reasons why analogue radio should be left on air. So I was pleased to read Libby Purves’ column in today’s Times: Radio revolution will leave listeners in silence
Take-up of the costly and energy-guzzling DAB technology is so pathetic that we must fight for our beloved analog sets
The word “digital” joins a long line of adjectives too exciting for their own good. Look back in the history of hype and you find its ancestors: “electropathic”, “atomic”, “computerised”, “turbo” or just “state-of-the art”. With Lord Carter of Barnes’s report on Digital Britain, overstimulation peaked.
Starting from Gordon Brown’s startling assertion that only this technology can “unlock our imagination”, it plunged with boyish glee into arias about “seamless connectivity”, converging platforms, twitter, wiki, blogs, telepresence and “e-healthcare”. Fine. We are used to phones that double as movie cameras, music libraries, tellies, games, calculators, diaries, maps and guidebooks. We are grateful for Lord Carter’s confirmation that broadband is essential. However, in the general brouhaha about top-slicing the licence fee and taxing granny’s landline, the most preposterous plan of all has not had the raspberry it richly deserves. If any other report proposed an arrogant, wasteful, environmentally damaging assault on daily life - a copper-bottomed vote-loser, a V-sign to the vulnerable - there would be an outcry. But veiled as it is in glittery stuff about computers, we almost didn’t notice.
Well, we did notice Libby. And I suspect that as this news sinks in, public anger will rise.