Welcome to Issue #31 Sept 2019
Welcome to Community Media News for September 2019.

In this edition we share the latest updates from the 2019 Community Media Conference and the follow-on workshop on Citizen Journalism at BBC MediaCityUK, Salford over the weekend of 28-29 September. And there is an upcoming Women in Radio event in Glasgow and a RadioHub event with prison radio station, Radio Wanno, exploring pathways and partnerships between prison radio and community radio at Wandsworth Prison.  

In Community Updates, Bradford Community radio station BCB106.6fm receives a funding boost from Youth Music to support local talent; Unity 101 brings together 11 different communities to create artwork and share food and Erewash Sound announces an extension to its broadcast reach with a second transmitter and frequency. Source FM in Falmouth is also looking for volunteers to testing a new smartphone app to help people create radio shows from their own homes and communities.

In Funding & Awards, we share details of the Audio Production Awards at the British Film Institute, the entry criteria for the 2020 Arias and details of the Community Business Fund, which opens this month.

Why not take a trip through Bristol's unlicensed radio stations from the late 1980's to 2000's in the latest episode of Late Junction on BBC Radio 3 and on that note we share a timely reminder not to forget about your own back catalogue as speech-based shows with continued relevance can be repurposed and provide a fascinating resource for future broadcasters.

Finally, we welcome your views on the Licensing SSDAB Consultation and share some tips from Pips on breaking into Radio and a link to jobs and volunteer opportunities. There is also a couple of items in Tech Corner.

As always, do check the Chat Forum for more news and information.

Have a story about your community radio station or community media project to share? Email your news, press releases, event details and stories to
Events & Training

Book now for the UK’s largest Community Media Conference at BBC MediaCityUK in Salford on Saturday 28th September - tickets only £25 for a jam-packed day of workshops, discussions, networking and lunch! 

The key themes at this year’s Conference are:

  • Production – improve your radio skills with four hours of master-classes on audio production techniques and radio presenter skills

  • Small-Scale Digital Audio Broadcasting – the latest updates on tech, licensing, and funding

  • Sustainability – how to successfully apply to the Community Radio Fund and to the Audio Content Fund

  • Dialogue – hear from leading figures in the sector

The Community Media Conference brings together broadcasters, producers, community developers, volunteers and media enthusiasts for a day of learning, exchange, and celebration with inspiring speakers, networking and workshops.

Don’t miss out on the biggest sector networking opportunity of the year. Book your place here!

Citizen Journalism Workshop, BBC MediaCityUK - Sun 29 Sept
If you are coming to the Community Media Conference on Sat 28th September, why not make a weekend of it and sign up for a free-to-attend Citizen Journalism Workshop on Sunday 29th at MediaCityUK.

Learn from Clydesider Mag about using creative events to motivate citizen journalists. Pick up tips on field techniques for mobile recordings from Hindenburg News. And we have On Our Radar presenting techniques to build community confidence and capacity for inclusive reporting. And more! Book for the Citizen Journalism Workshop here.

Please note, the Community Media Conference and the Citizen Journalism workshop are two separate events and must be booked separately to gain admission to either or both. Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

The Women in Radio event from The Radio Academy Scotland Branch is taking place in Glasgow on Wednesday 18th September. The event will look at the careers of a range of creative and inspiring women who work in the radio industry in Scotland. Host Heather Kane-Darling who is the Lead Editor for Speech & Topical output at BBC Radio Scotland will ask a panel about their careers, achievements, highlights and some of the challenges they have faced. The panel includes: Cassi Gillespie - Clyde 1 Presenter who can be heard on Bowie@Breakfast and on a Sunday afternoon Connie McLaughlin - Journalist, broadcaster and sports reporter for BT Sport, BBC 5 Live and BBC Sport Scotland; Susie Crumless - Senior Content Producer of Mornings with Kaye Adams on BBC Radio Scotland; Vanessa Motion - Award-winning breakfast presenter at Kingdom FM; Victoria Easton-Riley - Content Development Director for Bauer Scotland.

The event will also offer the change to socialise and network with industry colleagues. Tickets are free. The start time is 7.00 for 7.30 on Wednesday 18th Sep at 29, Royal Exchange Square Glasgow. To book via Eventbrite click here.

Making Waves Behind the Bars with Radio Wanno, Fri 1 Nov
Danny Lawrence, CMA Chairman and Director of Gateway 97.8 is running a RadioHub event on Friday 1st November, 10am to 4pm at Wandsworth Prison with Radio Wanno, the multi award-winning community radio station and multi-media project based in Western Europe's largest prison HMP Wandsworth. Attendance is by pre-registration. Email with your full name and the name of the station you are representing. Places are limited. Book early to avoid disappointment.
Community Updates

Bradford Community Broadcasting (BCB106.6fm) has received the backing from the Youth Music charity to support the development of talented young music in Bradford.

BCB will be supporting young people from diverse communities through a series of regular workshops that will give them the skills needed to put on live events in the city. Another key strand to the project is for young people to become radio broadcasters on BCB Radio, producing and presenting music focused programmes, reflecting the wealth of young talent in the city.

BCB’s Director Mary Dowson says: ‘These are really exciting times for Bradford. We’re delighted to be working with some fantastic partner organisations to deliver the project including Kala Sangam, Brickbox, Fuse, The Underground, and Belle Vue Girls’ Academy. I’m sure that working together we can make some lasting change for young people in Bradford’. The project runs until December 2021.To find out more contact David Carpenter 01274 771677 or

Unity 101 Reaching Out with Hands of Love

Congratulations to Southampton's community radio station Unity 101 on a third successful 'Hands of Love' event that took place at the end of August. The event celebrated the culture of the city's diverse communities with an open-air art experience called ‘Home Back Home’.

People from eleven different communities - Afghan, English, Chinese, Gujarati, Indian, Polish, Caribbean, Punjabi, Gambia, Bengali and Pakistan - worked with professional artists to create cultural and traditional art. Gazebos housed each region’s artwork – transforming them into an insight of “back home” so visitors could learn more about the various cultures and communities who live in Southampton.

Visitors were also treated to a feast of ethnic food, cooked by mosques, churches, temples and gurdwaras from across the city. Station Manager Dr Ram "Kelly" Kalyan said, “Last year’s Hands of Love event celebrated 70 Years of our NHS and the contribution made by black, Asian, minority and ethnic people to the service. This year we wanted to share diverse arts and cultures, and create a truly immersive, educational and entertaining experience for visitors. Hands of Love, as the name suggests, means wherever you come from and whoever you are, we all are human beings, and we should all extend a hand of love to each other.”  

Community radio station Source FM in Falmouth is looking for people with mental health diagnoses to help test a smartphone app that will help users to create radio shows from their own homes and communities. A focus group is happening on September 19th at Jubilee Wharf in Penryn and participants will be paid £20 for their time. To find out more contact
Broadcast Regulator Agrees to Second Transmitter for Erewash Sound
Award-winning Derbyshire community radio station Erewash Sound is delighted to announce Ofcom has agreed to allow a second transmitter and a second frequency so it can reach homes across Long Eaton and the south of the borough, which currently experience poor reception of the 96.8FM service. More details here.
Strategy & Policy

Licensing SSDAB Consultation – Have your Say

Small-scale DAB is a method of transmitting digital radio that uses advances in software and low-cost computer technology to provide a flexible and inexpensive approach to the terrestrial broadcast of digital radio services to a relatively small geographic area. Ofcom's trials demonstrated that small-scale DAB can provide a robust and reliable means for small analogue stations to broadcast on digital, as well as for entrants wishing to launch new radio services on a digital terrestrial platform. How should Ofcom exercise its new powers and duties being proposed by Government?

To read the Ofcom consultation document click here.  Ofcom’s consultation ends on 4th October so please get your response to the CMA using the form below by Friday 21st September.

Online survey here.

Funding & Awards
Community Business Fund Webinar

The Comunity Business Fund is designed to support existing local community businesses with grants to help them progress towards self-sufficiency. This could be through increasing trading income, securing an asset or significantly reducing revenue costs. Grants of £50,000 – £300,000 are available to cover:

  • Capital costs including building, vehicles, equipment of significant value, refurbishment costs.
  • Project-specific revenue costs like staff costs, professional fees, volunteer costs

It is opening on Wednesday 11th September 2019 and they are holding a webinar about the scheme on the Thursday 12 September from 14:00-15:00. You can register for that here. Full details of the programme here

Top producers and presenters behind the UK’s very best radio and audio content will be honoured at the Audio Production Awards on Thursday 28th November at the BFI Southbank, London. Now in its ninth year, the Awards reflect the continued expansion of audio distribution online and via downloads, in addition to traditional broadcast radio. The awards are open to all audio producers, from BBC and commercial radio to community stations and podcasters, as well as production companies working across all forms of audio, including audiobooks, podcasts and radio.

Closing date for entries is 20th September 2019. Read about the categories here and FAQ's and entry guidelines here.

There's less than a month to go until the 2020 ARIAs entries open. The award criteria for all the categories can be downloaded here so you can start preparing your written material and audio compilations, ready for 1st October. 

The entry guidelines are available as a downloadable PDF document, so you can look up the award you're interested in, and read what the judges are looking for, and what you need to send in.

New Guidelines for Audio Compilations

This year they have simplified the instructions for your audio compilations.  The rules are the same for all the categories - a max 15-min compilation, containing no more than ten clips, with dips-to-silence between each clip. (And of course, "no more than ten" means you can have one long extract if you want). Easy for everyone to make, and the same for all categories (though, Breakfast Show categories will have to choose their clips from a specific show date, which will be announced on 1st Oct).

David Lloyd Appointed to Audio Content Fund Panel

David Lloyd has been announced as the newest member of the Audio Content Fund’s independent funding panel.

The panel’s role is to assess bids for the fund, which in its first round distributed £234,000 to independent production companies for content to be broadcast on commercial and community radio.

Announcing Lloyd’s appointment, Managing Director of the Audio Content Fund, Sam Bailey, said: “David has a seriously impressive set of skills and experiences under his belt, from presenting to programming, and these are reflected in his enthusiastic role as the radio industry’s unofficial historian.  As an active content-maker today, he brings a unique perspective to the panel, and I’m really looking forward to working with him”.

The funding panel will meet during September to consider the second round of bidding, which closed on 11th August.  The third round of bidding opens in October.

Podcast, Audio & Digital
Community Radio stations should not overlook their back catalogue of content - especially if those episodes are evergreen. Speech-based shows with continued relevance to a future audience can be repurposed as podcasts - the most successful podcasts tend to have deep archives.
Bristols Unlicensed Radio Stations on Late Junction
Presenter Max Reinhardt takes a trip across the history of experimental radio, scrolling through the frequencies of Bristol’s unlicensed radio stations from the late 1980s to the early 2000s and shouting out to the DIY radio makers of the FM dial in the latest episode of Late Junction on BBC Radio 3. We also hear excerpts from the radio art of Henry Jacobs, working in San Francisco in the mid-50s to create audio collage, a sonata for loudspeaker and spoofed interviews with a phoney scholar. Late Junction is a Reduced Listening Production for BBC Radio 3. Image: Max Reinhardt By Steve Bowbrick (, CC BY 2.0)
Tech Corner

James Cridland writes:

"We’ve all seen the claim in podcasting groups - everyone says:

Get a dynamic microphone - it picks up less echo and room noise than a condenser microphone.

This isn’t true.

Any type of microphone, with the same pickup pattern, has the same response to quieter sounds vs louder sounds in any room. It’s the way physics works.

It simply isn’t the case that a dynamic microphone has some kind of rejection of room echo.

If you have a problem with an echoey room, buying a dynamic microphone and using it in the same way as your old condenser microphone won’t make any difference.

So - why do people recommend dynamic microphones?

It’s all to do with microphone technique."

More here.

DAB+ Encoding, Muxing, and Decoding

Who needs racks of proprietary equipment (well, servers with various cards in them) when you can encode DAB+ end-to-end with open source software? Enter Open Digital Radio - developers of open-source software to Encode, create PAD, Mux, and Modulate.

What if you don’t have the licence to transmit DAB+? Well, you can receive it with open-source software too. Welle is just one of many Software Defined Radio packages, designed to receive and decode DAB+ signals.

Jobs & Volunteering Opps 
The aim of The Pips is to help every person that wants to work in radio take that next step to fulfilling their ambitions. Radio has always been a tough industry to break into but it is tougher today than ever before. You need plenty of determination, ambition and self belief to get into radio and that is why The Pips are here, to help you.

Check out the latest paid and voluntary positions on the Pips website here and some hints & tips to break into radio from people working in radio.

And don't forget, if you are doing voluntary radio work and looking for your break, record EVERY bit of radio you do to use it for a demo. This is the work that may get you your break. Save it, listen to it, learn from it, use it. Don't let your work go to waste. #piptip

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