The Null Device

Pirate radio

The BBC looks inside the world of pirate radio stations:
"These stations don't just play music - they keep communities informed as to what's going on," says Lynx who now appears on Newstyle, a station with a community licence. "Pirate radio is not just about this protest, it gives platforms to local talent, helps create local events and communicates what is going on. They're not doing anything different to legal stations."
"We know that station owners charge DJs for slots on their stations and some are turning over more than £5,000 in untaxed income a week. Many raids on pirate stations have uncovered links to drugs," says a spokesman for Ofcom. "We've had pirate stations playing a particular song as code to local gangs, telling them drugs are available for collection."
But many pirate stations build an audience on strident views. One south London station is notorious for its presenters' uncharitable views of white people; rather ironically, its signal very often cuts across that fortress of Middle England, BBC Radio Four.

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