I’ve been thinking a lot over these past few days about the decision to cut the number of short stories broadcast on Radio 4 from three a week to one. Obviously, it’s not a great thing. But there must be some sort of reasoning behind the decision.
And this is what I think.
Much has been made of this in the short story world. Petitions have been set up and signed, it’s had coverage in mainstream media, there have been numerous blog posts, loads about in on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, it’s pretty fair to say it’s been everywhere, certainly in the short story world.
And here’s the thing. Before the announcement was made, hardly anyone mentioned it. Before the announcement was made, I seldom saw anyone singing Radio 4’s praises in relation to them broadcasting short stories, I saw hardly anyone saying what a great thing the station was doing, I hardly saw anyone linking to the show or even mentioning any of the three stories a week that were broadcast there. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a criticism – I’m guilty of it too (and I’ll happily admit to hardly ever listening to them) – but it does make me wonder if we’d have mentioned it half as much while it was going, and spread the word, celebrated it, as we’re doing now – would the stories have been cut?
There are loads and loads of excellent outlets for the form and I think it might be a useful thing to appreciate them, to support them, and to spread the word about them, for what they’re doing NOW, instead of missing them once they disappear.
Do you think it’s time we maybe made more of an effort? After all, no-one likes being taken for granted.