Edition #47 January 2021
Community Media News Janaury 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of Community Media News

Welcome to the January edition of Community Media News. We hope that you are all continuing to stay safe and healthy.

In Sector News, we have a message from the CMA Chair with a new date for the CMA AGM and Elections to the Council. And we found a story in which Dom tells us why it is all about local. In February, the CMA has its regular meeting with Ofcom.

In Community Updates, Cambridge 105 raises funds for a local Warm Homes appeal, Sheffield Live! folk music show gets a glowing mention in the Radio Times, BCfm offers free DAB radios to vulnerable older people in the Bristol area, Riverside Radio interview SW London Police Officers for the Behind the Badge podcast and tributes are paid to the Chairman and mainstay of Keith Community Radio Eddie Start, who sadly passed away in early January.

In Strategy, Policy & Licensing, we share Ofcom's radio broadcast update and some clarification of the rules relating to election broadcasting. There's also a link to the 45 applications for SBDAB multiplex licences. 

In Audio & Digital, we share Ofcom's report on technologies shaping communications for the future, a call out for volunteers for Women's Voices 2021, tips on cleaning specialised radio equipment and a feature in The Guardian newspaper that mentions Rinse FM.

In Events & Training, you can register for the 'Disability in Audio & Radio' online event taking place shortly. Louise Croombs has an upcoming talk about her life in radio and the Radio Hub has a 'Legal & Compliance' workshop in March.

In Funding & Awards, we have news of the 2021 Windrush Day Grant Scheme. The date for submitting to the  Audio & Radio Industry Awards (ARIAS) has been extended and the New York Festivals' 2021 are now open for entries. The British Podcast Awards open in February.

And finally, in Tech Corner, we share a video tutorial on different software and strategies for remote broadcasting and the engineering that goes inside wireless earbuds. 

As usual, there's too much to cram in here so please check out our Chat Forum for more information and check out our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook) to keep up to date with more news and information.

We also have a wiki site to try to manage the wealth of information relevant to the current situation such as advice on FundraisingBusiness Continuity, the BBC Local Radio Content Scheme, and other General Information.

Do you have a story about your community radio station or community media project to share? Email your news, press releases, event details and stories to
A Message From the CMA Chair
Hi everyone,

Welcome to the Chair’s letter which comes at the same time as the CMA’s first Newsletter of the year. I hope that January has gone well for you? It is a bleak time of year at the best of times but COVID and lockdown brings whole new levels of challenge.

Back when I worked in commercial radio, I always approached the New Year with a sense of trepidation because January was the month for getting fired. Festive good cheer would give way to stark budgetary reality. Always worrying when the boss asks to see you and then offers to make you a cuppa before the meeting. A sure sign you were on the way out! Mind you, they all want to link with me now so it all worked out in the end.

In all seriousness, these times amount to huge pressure on us as individuals, our organisations, communities and society in general. My daytime job is all about using communications, media and music training to enhance well-being and help with mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression. I have learnt that good mental health is something to be nurtured and not taken for granted. I have also learnt to consider that whoever you are interacting with maybe doing all they can to hold it together. There has never been a greater need for empathy.

We have our new date for the AGM and Board election on Saturday 6th March at 2pm. One of the reasons for putting this back was to give members a reasonable time to consider becoming a Council member. I have drawn up a guide as to what this is all about so look out for that when Bill sends out the AGM notices.

Read more from my message to members, supporters, and friends on the CMA website here.

With best wishes
CMA Chair, Dom Chambers, Tells Us Why It Is All About Local

He is a well-known figure in Midsomer Norton, but Dom Chambers has taken (or more correctly) retaken, the post of Chair of the Community Media Association.

That is the national body for community radio in the UK and is a powerful voice for shaping the future of media.

Currently, there are over 300 community radio licences broadcasting across the UK, and Dom has been busy, personally visiting over 75 stations and directly contacting over a hundred more.

He stepped down as the Chair of the CMA in 2015 and is now back in the post, with potentially five years ahead in this important role.

Nub News started by asking Dom what has changed since he was last in charge?

Read more here.

The Community Media Association has a virtual meeting with Ofcom in February. The main agenda items for Ofcom will be progress with SSDAB, analogue licensing issues, Key Commitments, and the Community Radio Fund.

The notes from November's meeting are available in the Chat Forum.

Please detail any specific additional issues that you would like the CMA to raise for discussion here

Cambridge Breakfast show raises £500 for Cambridge City Foodbank’s Warm Homes Appeal 

Listeners to Cambridge 105 Radio’s breakfast show have helped raise £500 for the Cambridge City Foodbank and its Warm Homes Campaign.

In the run up to Christmas, Cambridge Breakfast presenters Julian Clover and Lucy Milazzo added a festive twist to their daily Questions Questions Quiz. Each correct answer was sponsored to the tune of £2 by Woodfines Solicitors and Rotary Club of Cambridge. As an added incentive listeners’ names went into a draw to win a Christmas hamper  from The Gog Farm Shop

Julian & Lucy said: “Since March we have seen how the Cambridge community has  come together to help those in need. Thanks to our wonderful sponsors, we set a  competitive Questions Questions challenge to our listeners. We are delighted  that together we have raised such a great amount of money which will really help  families across the city this winter.”

Margaret Saner, CEO, Cambridge City Foodbank, said: “The cold start to the year has meant that some families in Cambridgeshire are currently facing the terrible decision of either heating their homes or buying food. The money raised by Cambridge 105 Radio in support of our Warm Homes appeal will go a long way in helping us to support those struggling to pay their energy bills and will ensure that families do not have to go without either necessity. As we are an almost entirely volunteer-led charity, the help of the community to aid us in our fight against poverty in Cambridgeshire has never been more needed.”

Sheffield Live! - Shout Out in the Radio Times
BBC Folk Awards winner and Mercury Music Prize nominee Eliza Carthy sings the praises of Sheffield Live! presenter Sam Hindley in a recent feature for the Radio Times that asked eight famous faces to tell us how local radio has helped them over lockdown. Eliza said: "I live in Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire coast and my local radio hero is a music broadcaster on Sheffield Live!, a community radio station that does great work generally. Sam Hindley is a proper champion of folk music — fabulously enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He co-presents with James Fagan a weekly show called "Thank Goodness It’s Folk Music" on a Friday. Sam has cerebral palsy but he doesn’t let his physical difficulties get in the way of anything. Sheffield has a tremendous folk scene and Sam is at the heart of it." See the Radio Times original here.

Community Radio Station BCfm is offering free DAB radios to vulnerable older people living in Bristol. Radio is an important source of news, information and companionship in these difficult times and BCfm wants to ensure as many people as possible have access to it as thousands of people in the city once more have to stay at home and isolate from their friends and families because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Half a million older people in the UK go up to six days without seeing or speaking to anyone, according to Age UK. With ongoing restrictions and social distancing measures, these figures are on the rise.

Patrick Hart, Station Manager at BCfm says: “Our service is a lifeline to so many, we offer a mix of talk and music shows for under-represented audiences, such as the over 50s, with some our older listeners having no internet access or English not as their first language. BCfm are working with the police, local councils, charities and other agencies to pass out hyper-local Coronavirus and mental health information as well as other health-related content.”

BCfm is teaming up with local groups and charities to distribute the radios, including Eastside Community Trust, Dhek Bhal, Bristol & Avon Chinese Women’s Group, The Evergreen Club, Council of Bristol Mosques, Bristol Black Carers, Age UK Bristol, SARI, Malcolm X Elders Forum, The Golden Agers and BCfm’s Silversound team.

BCfm would like to hear from other groups and charities in Bristol who support over the 50s to get in touch and let them know where radios are needed. Please email only to Marcus Smith, Development Lead, BCfm Radio at

Riverside Radio Discovers the People #BehindtheBadge 
What was it like to police the Black Lives Matter protests last summer? How have you handled policing the pandemic on the front line? Why did you choose to become a Police officer and is it what you expected? 

All these questions and more are answered by six south-west London police officers in a series of exclusive interviews on Riverside Radio, the community radio station for the boroughs of Richmond, Wandsworth, Merton and Lambeth.  In the first programme news editor Stephen Menon talks to two officers from completely different backgrounds who’ve ended up in uniform.

Detective Constable Scerene Williams who’s been in the Met for the last decade explains why it took her some time to feel confident enough to join up:
“I was born and raised on a council estate in south-west London, the very last thing my parents wanted for me was to join the Police. My Mum begged me not to join because of what she saw as racism. She thought all Police officers were racist because that was her experience when she was first in this country when she arrived here from Jamaica. She begged me not to do this.” 

Detective Superintendent Owain Richards also features in the first programme:

“I’m from a Welsh-speaking family in South Wales. I always wanted to be a Police Officer probably since I was about 10 or 11 and I wanted to try and make a difference, to help people, to protect the public. I joined Dyfed-Powys Police on my 21st birthday actually and here I am still alive to tell the tale, almost 25 years later.” 

A further two episodes of #BehindtheBadge includes local police officers from different ranks, gender and backgrounds who reveal why they joined the force and if life in the Met was what they expected. Stephen Menon, Riverside Radio’s News Editor said:

“Our volunteer news team are delighted to continue our strong relationship with the Met Police in south-west London. We hope these interviews shine a light on both the unseen positive aspects of working in the Met, and discover some of the difficulties our Police officers face on a daily basis.”

The #BehindtheBadge interviews will feature on the launch of Riverside Radio’s news-based podcast titled The Ripple Effect which can be heard by visiting . Episode 1 is available on SoundCloud here

Eddie Stuart, the chairman of Keith Community Radio.Picture: Becky Saunderson.
Tributes Paid to the Chairman & Mainstay of Keith Community Radio

Eddie Stuart, who was aged 67, sadly passed away in early January at his home in Moray, Scotland. His friend and fellow radio DJ, John Seivwright called his death a "huge loss".

He added: "I'm absolutely stunned. We all are. Eddie didn't just do one thing at the station – he did everything. He loved music and Keith Community Radio so much - it was his life.

"Eddie enjoyed all different kinds of music, but he had a special passion for the blues. He was also really keen on discovering young bands and trying to help them."

Eddie began broadcasting locally about 20 years ago.

A statement on the radio station's Facebook page stated that KCR will remain off-air until everyone can process the loss.

The KCR family was shocked and saddened by the passing of Eddie Stuart, chairman and long time presenter. His brother, Stephen, has recorded a message of thanks to the KCR community, including listeners, bands and presenters. Read more here.

The third round of the Community Radio Fund 2020-21 opened for applications from eligible stations on 18 December 2020 and closed at 5pm on Thursday 14 January 2021. The awarding Panel will meet in February 2021 to consider the applications.

Sound Radio serving Kinmel Bay & Towyn, Abergele, Rhyl and surrounding towns and villages in the Vale of Clwyd was issued with a community radio licence. Fourteen community radio stations had their licence renewed for another 5 years. More details here.
A number of elections postponed from May 2020 due to the Coronavirus are currently scheduled to take place on 6th May 2021.

Ahead of the scheduled May 2021 elections, Ofcom has clarified the application of the broadcasting rules in three specific areas relating to election programming:

a) the participation of politicians in election programming:
b) the definition of what constitutes a “candidate” under the rules relating to elections in Section Six1 of the Code; and,
c) the treatment of independent candidates under Ofcom’s rules on Party Political and Referendum Broadcasts (“the PPRB Rules”).

More details here.

Ofcom received 45 applications for multiplex licences for the 25 areas in Round 1 of the Small Scale DAB licensing process.

All licensed areas have received at least one application with Leeds being the most contested area with five applications and Bradford the next with four multiplex licence applications.

Dudley & Stourbridge, the Sheffield & Rotherham area and South Birmingham all received 3 applications each. Alnwick & Morpeth; Cardiff; Clevedon, Avonmouth & Filton; Edinburgh; Exeter; Newcastle & Gateshead; and Tynemouth & South Shields all received 2 applications each.

The other 12 remaining areas all received one application bid each. View the full list of the small-scale radio multiplex licence applications that Ofcom has received on the CMA website here.

The non-confidential sections of the applications have now been published here. Ofcom invites comments on the applications. Please send your representations to The closing date for comments is 31 January 2021.

Ofcom Report: Technology Futures – spotlight on the technologies shaping communications for the future
People across the world use communications services for a wide range of purposes, and the technology that drives these services is constantly evolving.

This report from Ofcom shines a light on the innovative, emerging technologies that could shape the communications industry in the future. Ofcom has selected a sample of technologies based on the responses received to a call for inputs and the discussions had with thought leaders in both academia and industry. Ofcom will continue to identify other important technologies as they emerge and in sectors beyond those considered in this report.

Read more here.
Women’s Voices 2021 – Media and Creative Volunteers Needed!

In celebration of International Women's Day, Media Trust is thrilled to announce the launch of Women’s Voices 2021.

Back for a fifth year, this unique event will bring together 150 volunteers from the media and creative industry to share their expertise with 30 charities that support, campaign and advocate for women, girls and/or those who identify as female.

Your skills are invaluable to the charities we support. Whether you’re a journalist, planner, creative, marketeer or strategist, we need you!

To apply to volunteer, simply head over to the Media Trust website and complete the application form. Please note, we positively welcome applications from all gender identities.
The deadline for applications is Monday 8 February at 09:00 so please apply as soon as possible to avoid missing out on a place. Successful volunteers will be notified by Friday 12 February. To read more about what to expect on the day, check out the highlights from Women’s Voices 2020. If you have any questions, please email Louise Dempsey on
Women's Voice takes place on Monday 8 March 2021, 10:00 – 15:00 Location: Virtual (Zoom)
These tips will serve you well long after coronavirus is gone!

Allowing volunteers to work from home is an excellent way to keep them safe and healthy in a pandemic, but it’s not always possible. So keeping radio studios clean is more important than ever.

Best practice, of course, starts with training station staff in proper handwashing and the use of hand sanitisers. And, hopefully, you have issued individual microphone windscreens to your air talent.

But what about cleaning your specialized radio equipment? Read more here.

Had enough of Radio 2? Try Listening to Rinse FM

A long-standing example of a city-based UK community radio station, Rinse started out life as an unlicensed station in 1994 before gaining its community radio licence in 2011. But unlike commercial contemporaries such as Kiss, it has yet to lose the raw-edged excitement of its former pirate days. The station hosts standout residencies from the formative dance music label Hessle Audio and the I Am Grime show, plus slots from the DJs Marcus Nasty, Jyoty and A Guy Called Gerald. Read more from The Guardian here.

Disability in Audio & Radio

Building on the work started with the ROAR webinars in 2020, the Disability webinar will share the lived experiences of Disabled colleagues working in broadcasting in the UK.

This online event on 2nd February 2021 at 5:30pm will be hosted by Kate Monaghan, presenter of the BBC’s Ouch podcast. Contributors will include Eshaan Akbar ('2 P's And A Pod', and BBC Asian Network), Loren Eley (Bauer Media), Holly Keogh (Wireless) and more names to be confirmed. The event will be produced by Reelworld Radio Academy 30-Under-30 alumnus Darby Dorras (Somethin’ Else). Register your interest here.

Virtual Library Club - Life on the Radio with Louise Croombs

A talk about a life in broadcasting with Tameside Local and Radio Manchester presenter, Louise Croombs - 10am, Thursday 11th February, via Zoom.

Multi-award winning presenter and speaker Louise Croombs talks about her journey in radio from volunteer to professional broadcaster.

Louise talks about how she went from a child growing up in Tameside with extreme shyness and anxiety to a professional broadcaster. Broadcasting with Tameside Radio for five years, she learnt about her community in surprising ways and volunteered for 50 organisations in a year to explore what motivated other volunteers. Louise was awarded Female Presenter of the Year in the 2017 Community Radio Awards. Booking here.
Legal & Compliance workshop, Saturday 27th March

Book now for the next Radio Hub event to be held on Saturday 27th March 2021 (via Zoom) 10am - 4pm

The day will consist of networking and the return of Paul Chantler with a legal/compliance workshop refresher.

Please register with to attend.

DCMS is looking for organisations in England to develop and run projects seeking to celebrate, commemorate and educate about the Windrush Generation and their contribution to British economic, social, and cultural life. This includes those who arrived on the ship, their contemporaries, and descendants.

There is a budget of up to £500,000 to fund activities across England. Past years have focussed on smaller-scale projects, and DCMS remains keen to fund these. This year, DCMS also wants to hear from consortia with larger proposals with a lasting impact across a wider community.

The minimum amount available is £2,500 and the maximum is £25,000. The deadline for applications is at 23:59 on Wednesday 10 March 2021. More here.

2021 Audio & Radio Industry Awards

The closing date for entries to the Audio & Radio Industry Awards (ARIAS) has been extended until 12 noon on 22nd February. The ARIAS recognise the talented individuals and teams in UK audio and radio who excel at their craft and produce the very best body of work in the world.

The categories cover a diverse range of genres, talent and output from public service radio, commercial radio, podcasters, community radio, student radio, independent production, audiobooks and beyond.

The ARIAS are open to all UK based content creators who are members of The Radio Academy. CMA members may apply for free affiliate membership of The Radio Academy here.

The British Podcast Awards

The British Podcast Awards, now in their fifth year, will open for entries from Monday February 22nd until Monday 29th March. Podcasters will be able to find information about the categories and how to enter on the website and the Awards ceremony will be held in July.

New York Festivals' Radio Awards Open for Entries

Every year, New York Festivals Radio Awards carefully evaluates and updates the category roster to provide the most current categories to reflect the innovative content produced. New categories for 2021 include:
  • Best Social Justice Report
  • Social Justice Reporting
  • Social Justice Documentary
  • Best Regularly Scheduled Social Justice Program
  • Best Social Justice Special
  • Social Justice Promo
  • Best Digital Social Justice Program
  • Social Justice Podcast
  • Social Justice Student Content
For a complete list of the 2021 Radio Awards Categories and how to enter, visit: here.

Tools in the Toolbox: Options for Remote Broadcasting

Click here to view the video tutorial from the Pacifica Network Grassroots Radio Conference 2020. The tutorial gives an overview of different software and strategies for remote broadcasting.  The topics include Zoom, Squadcast,, Ringr, Zencastr, phone interviews, Cleanfeed, split-tracking, Dropbox, Splashtop, VPN, Rocket Broadcaster, and Radio Hijack. 

The Engineering Inside Wireless Earbuds

This video explores the inner workings of wireless earbuds and specifically explores the Apple AirPod. This is a general overview of how these earbuds work and then a dive into how audio is represented digitally. The video dives even deeper into audio sampling rates and audio bit depth. Finally, there's a brief overview of audio file formats. Read more here.

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