Northern Ireland news

Derry in new name row after council objects to 'Broke City'

The council objected to Derry being described as 'Broke City' in the title of a BBC documentary
Seamus McKinney

A new row has broken out over Derry's name after the city council called on the BBC to change the title of a radio programme.

“Broke City”, due to be broadcast on Radio Ulster tomorrow, examines why Derry is consistently at the bottom of tables for employment, income and investment.

While Derry City and Strabane District Council welcomed the programme's focus, it asked the BBC to change the title.

The council wrote to BBC NI economics and business editor John Campbell requesting that the name be changed.

However, Mr Campbell took to Twitter to publish the council request and dismiss it as “ridiculous”.

He said: “Derry city council are getting into the documentary naming game.”

A council spokeswoman confirmed it contacted the BBC but stressed it was concerned only over the title of the documentary.

She said: “While we have no issue with the content of the piece and the fact that it is highlighting issues around lack of investment in our region, we do, however, have real and serious concerns over the title of the programme and that the BBC would choose to use this at a time when critical efforts are being made by council and its partners to attract and retain investment.”

In its letter to Mr Campbell, the council said the term "Broke City” could have an impact on efforts to promote and market Derry as a tourist and business destination.

“We are currently lobbying government for investment in infrastructure that includes the expansion of Magee university and a City Deal and council feels that the use of the 'Broke City' title at this very crucial stage of our negotiations could have potentially damaging consequences,” the council said.

A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation noted the council's concern.

“The title of this recorded programme is intended to stimulate debate and has been in the public domain for some time. It was chosen with care and having regard to the important issues that the programme explores which listeners will hear when it is broadcast.”

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