Shabana has written to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport asking them to support Asian commercial radio stations.
In her letter to the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP, Shabana emphasised the contributions made by stations in disseminating Government guidance to hard to reach communities in multiple languages, and being a reliable source of news and information for those in isolation.
Shabana has recently been contacted by a number of stations who are at immediate risk of closure and could go off air within the next two months.
Read her letter in full below.
Letter to Secretary of State
Dear Secretary of State,
I am writing in support of a letter recently sent to John Whittingdale MP, Minister for Media and Data, on behalf of a number of Asian commercial radio stations.
I understand that the current economic shock caused by the COVID-19 outbreak means that many radio stations, including Radio XL, will not be able to keep operating beyond the next few months without financial support. I am informed that despite evidence showing listening numbers have increased during the pandemic, drops in advertising revenue across the industry are already substantially higher than initial estimates.
I understand that around 20 commercial radio stations are at immediate risk and could go off air within the next two months, with up at a further 20 at risk within a 3-month period.
Asian commercial radio stations operate for profit, but continue to provide a vital public service for the communities they serve during the Covid-19 pandemic, disseminating Government guidance to hard to reach communities in multiple languages, and being a reliable source of news and information for those in isolation. They will have a significant part to play in rebuilding our communities when we eventually return to normal life.
I urge you to consider the letter sent to DCMS on behalf of Asian commercial radio stations, and support efforts to secure their continued operation.
Shabana Mahmood MP
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood