SAREN, the Skibbereen And Region Economic Network, has today launched a petition asking UTV-Media to reverse its decision to scrap the West Cork Today program presented by David Young on its C103 station.
There are two key communications resources that really matter in West Cork and ‘West Cork today’ is one of them along with the Southern Star. Two initiatives that I have watched closely in the past months have been the launch of SAREN and the creation of the West Cork Tourism Co-Operative Ltd to buy a ferry and relaunch the Cork-Swansea Ferry.
I contend strongly that without these two communication resources, the success of these initiatives would not have been achieved.
With their help, the people and businesses of West Cork could not have missed the key messages of both initiatives.
These are just 2 of the countless examples of how these resources are a vital element of the social fabric of the region. The Southern Star will continue to be an integral part of West Cork but it is a weekly publication and, for the elderly in particular, the West Cork Today show was their daily interaction with what was going on in their areas.
This petition by SAREN is only step 1.
If the decision is not reversed they should be calling on the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) to review the license that was rewarded to UTV Media for the West Cork station. It is not enough to have a mast broadcasting a signal in West Cork and have all the programming homogenised across the county. Surely the reason for a broadcasting license for West Cork was that it would serve a public interest in West Cork?