STOP THE ‘DESTRUCTIVE SNIPING’ OVER JCOM RADIO, SAY ITS BACKERS
Over the past four weeks, Jcom radio has broadcast over 400 hours of live programmes, the vast majority of which have been thoroughly enjoyed by many thousands of listeners.
Jcom was set up because a group of decent people were frustrated that previous efforts to provide such a service had resulted in Ofcom rejecting the licence application.
The owners of the previous station, Shalom FM, were invited to join us, and despite us having reached an agreement on how to structure the organisation, they reneged on this agreement, leaving us no option but to proceed without them. All this is on record, and they will surely remember if their selective memories allow.
There have, of course, been teething troubles, including a regrettable occasion when the content of a programme went well beyond the high standards we ourselves set; the presenter was dismissed, and we unreservedly apologised for this lapse. We have discussed this issue with Ofcom, and they fully supported our actions.
I suspect that the comments and letter you printed last week were sour grapes from two people who chose not to be involved.
On several occasions over the past week, Richard Ford has called and emailed me, pleading to be included. We have not ruled this out at some point, given that our aim is to provide an inclusive service for the entire community, but clearly his bitter rantings and threats will not endear him to those who have worked to make Jcom a success.
This is a not-for-profit service from which none of the directors seeks to benefit financially, unlike the set-up at Shalom. Our objective is to provide a sustainable forum for our community. We urge all members of the community to use and support Jcom, rather that resorting to destructive sniping. Jeremy Silverstone and other directors, Jewish Communications Limited (Jcom) firstname.lastname@example.org
As a professional broadcaster of many years standing, I was surprised to read your article and the letter from Mike Mendoza about Jewish radio last week. Jcom radio, for which I have worked for the past four weeks, is without doubt the most serious and successful Jewish radio station I have been associated with since the idea of “community radio for all aspects of Jewish life” started.
I have been asked to partake in many efforts to start such a radio station. The difference between Jcom radio and the others I have been connected with is that there has been a really serious attempt for the first time not to worry about personalities but to make a serious sound that reflects all aspects of Jewish life.
This is no time for egotism. It is time for us all to join together and create a Jewish community radio station of which we can all be proud. Clive Roslin Ashworth Rd London W9
Mike Mendoza is right to remind the community of the incredible work that Richard Ford did for Jewish radio. However, Ford’s Shalom FM and JCom radio have much more in common than Mendoza cares to admit.
They were both run on shoestring budgets, both often gave platforms to inexperienced presenters and both mistakenly aired content which was at times inappropriate. JCom needs to develop a strong management team that will train the upcoming presenters and technicians of the future. It should devise a station music list, allow time for unbroadcast rehearsal and only permit airtime to presenters who have graduated from their training scheme. Jewish radio had its Reithian period (Michael Freedland) and the pirateradio stage (Shalom FM and JCom); it is now time for Jewish radio to enter the modern professional era. Gabriel Herman email@example.com
I think its a bit rich of talkSPORT radio presenter Mike Mendoza to criticise the work of over 50 volunteers and radio professionals broadcasting on the temporary Jewish radio station, Jcom, whilst he works alongside George Galloway — no friend of the Jewish people -— who is given a platform of six hours a week to air his extreme left wing and pro-Saddam views.
Yes, there were weaknesses, particularly in the first week of Jcom radio, but there were weaknesses with Shalom FM’s output and there are with other radio stations too. Given the choice of listening to great chazanut, topical discussions and Israeli pop or a rant from an MP booted out of the Labour Party, I know what I’d choose. Jon Kaye Oakwood, Enfield
The arguments about an odd swear word or the mention of nonkosher eateries seems ludicrous. The JC happily accepts advertisements from treif establishments and nobody would say that this bars the newspaper from representing its readership. The point of a public licence is that amateurs are allowed to broadcast on the airwaves for a limited period. Amateurs make mistakes, although none that I heard were deliberately offensive or intentionally insulting to our community.
It appears that the JC in this has supported a few malcontents who, unless they run the show, have gone out of their way to encourage disharmony and fractions in our community. Adrienne Dwek Bullescroft Road, Edgware, Middx HA8