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Radio 4 to cut short story broadcasting

19th July 2011

Radio 4 is to reduce the number of short stories it broadcasts each week from three to just one, sparking protests from a number of writers.

According to the BBC, the move will make way for extended editions of its current affairs programme, The World at One, but the decision has been met with outcries from authors and regular listeners.

Short story writer Susie Maguire is planning to write to Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams to complain about the move, arguing that it will stifle many emerging authors, for whom the radio slot is a chance to have their stories heard.

Maguire claims she has so far garnered almost 80 signatories, including fellow writers Stella Duffy, Hilary Mantel and Philip Pullman.

Author Lionel Shriver, who is also backing Maguire's letter, told the Independent: 'The decision is unfortunate, if only because the short story is an ideal form for being read aloud.'

Last month, the BBC announced that it is to make the entire Reith Lectures archive available on the Radio 4 website in the form of podcasts of audio recordings and transcripts.

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