Archive for May, 2010

Istanbul Photo Report

A couple of weekends back we traipsed over to Istanbul for a bit of a long weekend, unexpectedly prolonged by the impending BA strike – so, happily, we ended up with 4 nights there instead of 3. It gave us a vital extra half-day to explore, and to cover off all of my checklist: no, not the sights. Those were great, but I am talking restaurants. Istanbul is a bit of a culinary grand tour, more than just “meat on a stick” as pointed out by Anthony Bourdain. Of course, on the way to those restaurants, kebapcis, pide salonus, and lahmacun joints there were many sights to behold. 

As usual my trip consisted of a fine mix of photography and hedonism. I can’t share too much of the hedonism with you (aside from saying that the Istanbullus are not shy of a party – tens of thousands of people in the streets of Beyoglu) – but I will of couse share some photos. So without further ado, here are some quite randomly-chosen favourite photos from the ones I kept. You can find these and the other 80-odd photos at my Flickr set: Istanbul – May 2010.

Last day to save BBC 6 Music

There’s still time – just – to share your views with the BBC Trust through their online consultation here

I posted this to them earlier today:

I absolutely disagree with the proposed closure of 6 Music. 

– It is a standard bearer for exactly the kind of niche programming that the BBC is chartered to provide. 

– It is a vital channel for new musicians trying to find exposure

– It is a cultural ambassador for the UK

In the end it is a special thing that should be cherished. I am from the USA, a place where commercial radio has been consolidated and commoditised so much that whole multi-state regions are served by the same bland, corporate, middle of the road mega-stations where innovation is a dirty word, and music from the 1990s is still paraded as “alternative”. BBC 6 Music IS alternative. 

The idea of trying to serve the current listeners of 6 Music by channelling them towards Radio 1 and 2 is extremely ill-conceived. Those stations have very distinct demographics and neither their audiences nor the 6 Music audience would be well served by some sort of compromise where the occasional hour or two of “niche” music were squeezed into an otherwise completely different schedule. 

Finally I believe the perceived lack of audience (at the original time of the decision) has been discredited by the uptick to over 1 million listeners over the course of the consultation period. Furthermore the listening figures this was based on are suspect A) because young people are less likely to accurately fill their radio surveys and B) because of the still-relatively-small uptake of DAB. If 6 Music were an FM station I believe it would make a massive difference in audience size.