• Friday, June 21, 2024

Column

Asians in the media back Sangita Myska

Broadcaster LBC faces questions over presenter’s abrupt exit

Sangita Myska

By: Amit Roy

I BEGIN by saying I enjoy listening to LBC, especially Iain Dale, except on the subject of Israel, on which he tends to be uncharacteristically intemperate.

But LBC ought to be aware its reputation is being shredded as a broadcaster which welcomes contrasting points of view over the manner in which it decided not to renew Sangita Myska’s contract.

LBC is a private organisation and can hire and fire who it likes. But it should know that at Eastern Eye’s Arts, Culture & Theatre Awards (ACTA) last week, there was strong support for Sangita among the British Asian artistic fraternity. The actor Nitin Ganatra was one of many who promised to fight on her behalf.

Perhaps LBC should arrange a phone-in and put up a spokesperson to defend its decision to get rid of Sangita. There should be a neutral gatekeeper to ensure callers supporting Sangita aren’t omitted, possibly even a panel.

Some questions:

Did LBC sack her because of the way she questioned the Israeli government spokesman, Avi Hyman?

I expect the answer to be, “No, of course, not.”

Did the Israeli government complain? Did anyone else complain? What sort of pressure was put on LBC?

What sort of management discussions took place before the decision was taken not to renew her contract?

Is Vanessa Feltz a replacement for Sangita?

Again, I expect the answer to be, “No.”

Given senior managing editor Tom Cheal described Sangita’s contribution as “fantastic”, why get rid of her?

Has LBC asked Sangita not to discuss her departure with the press?

Since the presenter James O’Brien, hinted the audience figures for Sangita were declining, what were they? And just to put matters into context, what are the figures for other presenters over a period of time? Do they go up and down?

I would urge LBC to come clean on what really happened. Sangita’s sacking should not become a point of difference between LBC and Britain’s Asian community. I am sure there is an amicable solution which should involve Sangita’s reinstatement.

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