BBC’s music radio stations have been accused of “fuelling gang violence”.
In an article published in The Times, Birmingham rapper, Simeon Moore, known as Zimbo, said that BBC 1Xtra was “legitimising urban gang wars” with its music selection.
Moore features in a Radio 4 documentary about gang violence, which airs in July. He said that the BBC’s approach was as it were “OK to speak about violence if its black-on-black violence”.
Moore had requested to speak to Mark Strippel, who heads programmes at both BBC 1Xtra and BBC Asian Network. However, he had refused to take part in the documentary. Moore said, “I want to know what these strict editorial guidelines are, because from where I’m standing, it’s as if it’s OK to speak violence if it’s black-on-black violence.”
Its worth noting that recently significant programme changes have been made at the BBC Asian Network, to bring it on par with BBC 1Xtra, under Strippel’s control. As well as reducing the amount of Bollywood content, the BBC Asian Network has re-positioned its output skewing towards a younger Urban audience with a focus on new music artists featuring rap and grime. While the two stations are still treated individually, the BBC Asian Network has on various occasions shared music and programme policies with its sibling.
BizAsiaLive.com had earlier signalled how Strippel’s management of the two stations could change BBC Asian Network’s identity.