Community Media News 2021
Edition #53 July 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of Community Media News

Welcome to the July edition of Community Media News.

We start this months newsletter with an invitation to the CMA Community Radio Network Meeting on Saturday 17th July looking at funding and sustainability options for anyone thinking of applying to run a SSDAB. And find out about CMA Connects, an exciting opportunity for work experience with the Community Media Association.

In Strategy, Policy & Licensing, there is no change of policy from Ofcom on split idents and commercials for community radio licensees. We also have details of the applicants awarded limited coverage trial licenses.

In Sector News, we give a shout-out to Care Radio, a recently launched online radio station dedicated to the UK's 9 million paid and unpaid carers. And there's an opportunity to support the charity Wavelength to provide radios for vulnerable people.

In Community Updates, we hear from a Source FM presenter on her experience reporting from the G7 Sumit in Cornwall, Hot Radio is proving its worth during the pandemic, and there's BBC success for a Chelmsford Community Radio volunteer. Black Country Radio is championing the local creative scene and Thornbury Radio launches on FM! We also share the sad news of the passing of Tony Barker from Beverley FM.

In Audio & Digital, find out how to make your radio station look good on DAB with Ash Elford in a video from RadioTechCon. The Hospital Broadcasting Association is looking to appoint an Executive Director and we have a farewell video from Siobhan Kenney who has stepped down as the CEO of Radiocentre. We share an open call for content from the SONOHR Radio and Podcast Festival in Switzerland and a short video on the hyperlocal Greater Govanhill magazine in Glasgow.

In Events & Training, London community radio station Reprezent is offering a free 3-week immersive training experience in producing and presenting live radio for applicants aged 18-24. The IET is holding a free online panel discussion on the future of radio platforms and we share a link to a free 'Guide to Academic Podcasting'.

In Awards, there are just a few weeks to go for our community radio network members to submit to the 2021 Community Radio Awards - and only one week to go to apply to the UK Social Enterprise Awards.

And lastly, in Tech Corner, we share a video from Radio TechCon with award-winning NASA sound engineer Alexandria Perryman, information on the new searchable index for the BBC archive, information on why 'Audacity' is not spyware, and a fascinating journey back through music, space and time with LightYear FM.

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

CMA Community Radio Network Meeting

The July CMA Community Radio Network Meeting will feature Steve Buckley from ShefcastSheffieldLive, and Community Media Solutions.

Steve will give useful and helpful advice on funding and sustainability options for anyone thinking of applying to run a SSDAB multiplex. However, the advice on funding and sustainability will have relevance for anyone involved in community radio.

This session on funding and sustainability will start at 12pm on Saturday 17th July. Free to attend and open to all in the community radio network.

Please put the date in your diary and we look forward to seeing you in the Zoom session.

Booking here:

CMA Connects

Want to work with professionals? We have news of an exciting work experience opportunity for a new industry hopeful.

Our Chair, Dom Chambers, is offering work experience to someone who is keen to get into the audio and radio industry. This is for an emerging creative talent with a passion for producing audio content.

Primarily, the opportunity might be of most interest to students or young people under 25 years but applications are open to all and is offered to those in the CMA who are either an individual member or part of a member’s organisation. This is not a geographically located opportunity and will be remote supported. The is a volunteer placement but could lead to paid work.

Dom, who has been a radio professional for over 25 years and who is also a trustee of The Radio Academy, says:

”I see great strategic value in bringing fresh creative talent, with new ideas and a good grasp of technology, together with seasoned professionals in a happy, nonjudgmental and productive space. This is a great opportunity for anyone who is deeply driven to get on in the fantastic broadcast industry. That is a passion that I will easily recognise! While I am excited by mentoring a new recruit, I also see this a chance for an industry hopeful to work on an equal footing with professionals."

Johnny Jenkins of Gateway 97.8 FM says:

"I first volunteered with the CMA hosting the annual Community Media Conference aged 16. It’s given me many opportunities within community radio and beyond. It’s helped me make contacts and grow my network. I would encourage anyone to get involved."

Bill Best, CMA Operations Manager says:

"The CMA is looking forward to working with someone who is seeking to take their first steps into the media industry. 'CMA Connects' is a chance for the right person with a keen interest in the media to get to know the industry, make some contacts, expand their skillset, and put something impressive on their CV".

Anyone interested should send a cover letter, CV, and a 2-minute audio piece saying why they should be offered this opportunity. For more information and to submit applications, please email [](

Community Radio Split Idents
and Commercials - No Change of Policy

Following a report published in Radio TodayOfcom has confirmed in the June Radio Broadcast Update that split idents and commercials can be implemented by existing community radio licensees, primarily because these changes should not impact the delivery of Key Commitments.

There has never been a policy set out by Ofcom to prohibit the use of split idents and advertising and Ofcom recognises the potential benefits this could offer to local communities following the work that has been completed to approve extensions to existing Licensed Areas. However, it is important to set out that this does not allow community radio licensees to split programming between their original Licensed Area and their extended area.

Ofcom considers that any approval of a coverage extension to the existing Licensed Area of a community radio service should extend the existing service to an area outside of the existing locality and therefore, should not make any difference to the programming output – any output in the extended area should be identical to the rest of the Licensed Area, other than the split idents and split commercials.

This is Ofcom’s provisional view on the matter and they will take time to consider the question more thoroughly in the coming months.

Restricted Service Licensing Coverage Trial

Ofcom has now published details of the applicants to who they have awarded limited coverage trial licences.

In March 2021, Ofcom announced it was conducting a trial implementation of ‘limited coverage’ FM restricted service radio licences, and invited applications from potential participants.

The trial will test whether the use of limited coverage FM spectrum – at low power and over a short range of up to around 1 km radius – is a viable way of making more spectrum available for the licensing of restricted radio services in the future. Ofcom expects it to be particularly suitable for providing radio services to defined establishments such as hospitals or army barracks.
Establishment Proposed Service Name Location
Harrogate District Hospital Harrogate Hospital Radio Harrogate
Osborne Stable Block Business Park Our Island Radio Isle of Wight
Derriford Hospital Hospital Radio Plymouth Plymouth
East Surrey Hospital Radio Redhill Redhill
Leicester General Hospital LCR2 Leicester
Stoke Mandeville Hospital Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio Aylesbury
George Eliot Hospital Anker Radio Nuneaton
St Margaret’s Hospital Forest Gold Radio Epping
University of York campus University Radio York York
Gilwell Park - Scout Association headquarters Scout Radio Chingford
Bovington military base BFBS Blandford Bovington
Shorncliffe military base BFBS Gurkha Radio Dover

The trial licences will have a 12-month duration, and it is expected that the trial services will come on-air on 1 September 2021.

Sam Hunt of Leicester Community Radio says:

"LCR is very pleased that we can continue our tradition of broadcasting to the Leicester General hospital. Due to ongoing difficulties with the low-power AM transmitter we've had on air for at least 20 years, we are delighted to be able to finally transition it to FM. This follows a number of FM RSL licenses on the site over the past 30 years.

We had hoped to have it on air for our 47th birthday in August but in line with Ofcom requirements of the trial, we will be commencing on 1st September in line with all other trialists.

We are very excited about the services we can bring using this transmitter, including programmes for those with selective mutism, learning difficulties, and mental health difficulties.

This is only possible through our close relationship with the NHS who deem our wider area COVID RSL on 107.5FM a different service, essential to engaging with a very disenfranchised audience to improve COVID outcomes in a demographic that has under 30% uptake of the first vaccination."

Launch of New Radio Station for 'Carers'
The UK's 9 millions paid and unpaid carers now have a dedicated online radio station called Care Radio. Launched by a team of experienced broadcasters, journalists and producers in response to the pandemic and the enormous strain it has placed on carers, the NHS and social care staff across the country, Care Radio’s output will include a mix of great music, interviews, and listener stories to "surprise, delight, and support those in the care sector.” 

Its founders include Chair, Hedley Finn OBE, President of the International Children’s Charity, Radio Lollipop, CEO John Dash, who is the only person to be twice awarded the coveted Fellowship of the Radio Academy, and Content Director, Gary Robinson, who is a former MD of Kerrang! Radio and Downtown Radio. Over fifty other radio professionals have given their time and skills to help get the station set up and established, backed by a team of finance, fundraising, care sector, PR, and technical experts. Dom Chambers, CMA Chair, is presenting 'Life Stories' on Care Radio and says: "The wellbeing of people and supporting those with less opportunity are the key drivers for all my work. We live in times that elevate the necessity of this approach. Care Radio is born of these times. It is such a good fit for me and I was delighted to be asked to get involved. Engaging conversations and stories of impact that will inspire I’m looking forward to presenting Life Stories.”

The station can be heard through the Care Radio app, available from Apple and Android stores or online at It will also soon be available on DAB multiplexes around the UK. “We’re looking at developing this project so much further over the next twelve months”, says Hedley Finn, “If you’re interested in getting involved email”

Wavelength Radio Campaign

WaveLength gives radios, televisions, and tablet computers to those in need across the UK. This technology can help to maintain and increase the number of meaningful connections people have in their lives and act as a window to the world.

Join in the radio campaign to encourage the public to donate to Wavelength so that they can reach more vulnerable people. There are three radio adverts you can play on your station. More details here.

Source FM Presenter Reports from the G7 Summit in Cornwall

Chiara Muzzi, MSc, Community Reporter and presenter of The Green Show on Source FM 96.1 shares her experience of covering the G7 Summit in Cornwall:

"When I reached out to the G7 Presidency expressing how nice it would be to cover the G7 for the community that was hosting the press, I probably gave it a 50:50 chance. When their positive and speedy response returned, I was thrilled and informed Source FM who agreed I was the best person to cover it. This happened a couple of weeks before the event itself. It probably only dawned on me how much of a big deal this was from the positive reaction on social media channels. I did not plan on competing with coverage from BBC, Aljazeera, or The Guardian, my focus was on community voices for day 2 and 3 and media briefs on day 1 - a balance between local and international.  

To ask questions as Source FM community radio station after the CNN journalist, was quite amusing. I loved walking within the community with a mic and curiosity, learning the importance of the ‘record’ button, the hours spent on editing it all together. The best thing about the International Media Centre (apart from good Internet?) was working alongside a multicultural pot of journalists and feeling a sense of belonging.

The atmosphere under the white tents was relaxed, busy, and airy: lines of tables with individual workstations separated by transparent screens, infinite coffee, people coming and going, exclusive access to Event Square and the Maritime Museum. As the sun was setting on the last day at the media centre, The Oggymen floated on the water by the Maritime Museum with their heart-warming singing and bringing the day, and the experience, to a close. 

I am grateful to Andy Coote from Source FM for supporting me and contributing with interviews; to Kevin Bishop from BBC for being open to sharing;, and to Joseph Macey from Falmouth Nub News for being my G7 buddy and the only other local journalist present."

Hot Radio rooted in the community proved
its worth during pandemic says boss

“Support us so we can help others.” - this is the message to the local business community from Hot Radio.

The not-for-profit station, which covers the Bournemouth/Christchurch/Poole area, is the closest you’ll find to the long-gone local radio stations of old.

Once rooted in the local community but now based sometimes hundreds of miles away and streaming the same service to all parts of the UK. But not Hot Radio and its sister station, Hot Gold. Programmes are broadcast from its Ringwood Road studio complex in Poole.

Read more about what Kevin is up to at Hot Radio here.
BBC Success for Chelmsford Community Radio Young Reporter
Congratulations to Daisy from the Friday Drive time show on Chelmsford Community Radio, on making the finals of BBC Young Reporter.! Although she didn't win, she was asked to do a project for Own It on the BBC. Here is her account of the experience:

"My name is Daisy Barker, I’m 13 years old and I live in Chelmsford. I was introduced to Chelmsford Community Radio (CCR) when I was 11 years old, and since then have been enrolled in many exciting and fantastic opportunities. I am a Ballroom and Latin dance champion, and through CCR I have been able to share some of my dance experiences through radio, as well as interview many dancers from Strictly Come Dancing and DWTS in Ireland!

Not only has CCR given me the opportunities to interview dancing stars, but I have been able to talk to celebrities from Great British Bake Off, Horrible Histories, Flight Lieutenant David Simmonds (Red Arrows), and for International Women’s Day the actress and presenter Sarah Greene. As well as all these great things I’ve also helped create Eco Podcasts and talked to high street companies Lush and Waterstones.

Last year, I took part in the BBC Young Reporter of the Year and reached the final shortlisting beating thousands of people. But my most honourable achievement to date was when the BBC ‘Own It’ team contacted me for an interview with Hugh Woozencroft - it was exciting that I was chosen to be one of their team and an amazing experience." 

Keep up the good work Daisy!
Black Country Radio Champion Local Creative Arts, Culture and Music
Black Country Radio has just launched an online radio service which seeks to champion local creative arts, culture and music. Called Black Country Xtra, the service will broadcast online throughout the day and on every day of the year and will feature a range of shows from grassroots sports, music memories for dementia, health-related and mental health support, as well as “Your Town”, featuring news and business information.

The team behind Black Country Xtra said it had only been possible due to support from funders and grants during the pandemic, as well as with the hard work and commitment of volunteers. Writer and Presenter Billy Spakemon said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for local communities, creative arts and cultural and charitable organisations to get involved and gives a valuable platform for the great work and creative talent across the Black Country. Areas such as Stourbridge, Halesowen, Brierley Hill and Dudley will have a feature show celebrating local towns, the people and business. Brierley Hill is an area that will receive millions of pounds of investment to regenerate the area, as well as being key on the new Midland Metro Line, so Black Country Xtra, as a platform, will keep people informed on all the latest information."

Black Country Radio broadcasts on 102.5FM and online and is available on DAB in East Birmingham and has recently been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK. Special recognition was given for the support provided to communities through the first stage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Image: Celebrating the launch of the new station is chairman Keith Horsfall, with guests Peter Brookes and Liz Nicholls of band Rumour, station director Dave Brownhill, and Tom Stanton and Billy Spakemon of The Blue Granits

Thornbury Radio Launches on FM

Thornbury Radio in South Gloucestershire has officially launched on FM, the culmination of 16 years of work by volunteers. The station is now available to listen to on 105.1 and 107.5 FM in Thornbury and the surrounding villages – including Alveston, Olveston, Tytherington, Oldbury-on-Severn, Leyhill, Wickwar, Bagstone and Iron Acton.

A socially-distanced launch event was held at the studio on June 6, with the deputy mayor of Thornbury, Chris Davies, opening the studio.

Chris Criddle, station manager, said: “We are delighted to be on air across Thornbury and the surrounding area. The station will play a great mix of music, highlight information about our local area, and be the place for everyone to talk about Thornbury and surrounding area. Please do listen in, let us know what you think and join us in making Thornbury Radio the choice and voice for local listeners, events and organisations. Finally thank you to everyone who has helped make the station launch on FM possible.”

Ofcom granted the station a full-time FM broadcasting licence last year, bringing to an end a lengthy process. The station is still in need of extra help, from training volunteer presenters, through to station admin and ongoing maintenance of the technical kit. If you are interested in volunteering, visit Thornbury Radio and complete the volunteer form.

Condolences to the family and friends of Tony Barker of Beverley FM 
The CMA was very sorry to hear the sad news that Tony Barker of Beverley FM and formerly of West Wolds Radio had passed away. We met Tony several times and he attended our 2015 Community Media Conference in Luton. Tony was also the former editor of Petuaria Press, which covered the town of Brough, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Tony worked as a journalist on Hull’s KCFM and Beverley FM during his career. Our condolences to Tony's family and friends.
Don't Mux it Up! Making Your Radio Station Look Good on DAB
Are you a bit hazy on SID Codes? Not sure how to troubleshoot a weird character appearing on your station’s DLS display? In this catch-up video from Radio TechCon, Ash Elford gives a whistle-stop tour of the basics every engineer needs to know about making their radio station look good on DAB. And… what NOT to do!
Job Opportunity: Executive Director, Hospital Broadcasting Association
There's an exciting job opportunity here at the national level with the Hospital Broadcasting Association for their first paid role for someone with strong leadership skills, great 'can 'do' attitude & people skills, and experience/passion for small charities.
HBA is recruiting for an Executive Director to lead and develop the organisation and its activities. This exciting new position is a permanent, full time and home-based role with a salary band of £35,000 - £40,000 per year. Closing date: 18th July. For more information click here.
Is it Possible to Build a Pro Radio Studio for less than £1,000?

Pro Radio Studio for less than £1000? Here's how...

To keep on the air during the pandemic, this studio was built at home. But could it be done for less than £1,000? Watch online here.
Siobhan Kenney steps down from Radiocentre
Siobhan Kenney has stepped down as the CEO of Radiocentre, the industry body for commercial radio. View Siobhan's farewell video here as she reflects on developments in radio since she started in the role 7 years ago.
Open Call For Audio for "Audible Spaces"

What do borders sound like, or distance, closeness and separation? What sounds are hidden in rooms and spaces, and where does the tone of that limitless domain take us? For the 12th SONOHR Radio & Podcast Festival, which will take place from 25 to 27 February 2022 in Bern, Switzerland, we’re looking for audio pieces and program ideas that are an inspiration to acoustically reflect on the immensity and limits of space(s).

Information about the call can be found at 
Submission date: July 19th, 2021

Keeping Greater Govanhill Community Magazine Hyper-Local
Source is an online journalism platform dedicated to delivering unique, vital news and analysis for Scotland and beyond. In this short video, Source introduces an independent community magazine that is presenting news at the hyper-local level in the Govanhill area of Glasgow.

Editor-in-Chief of the Greater Govanhill magazine Rhiannon J Davies talks about her decision to keep the magazine hyper-local; how community engagement can lead to civic engagement; and why diversity is important in the media. Greater Govanhill is a free magazine, which is available in most Govanhill cafes and hairdressers, online, or by post if you become a supporting member. Watch the full video here:
Calling Aspiring Young Radio-Makers - Training Opportunity in London
Produce and present a live radio show on Reprezent 107.3FM in a free, full-time immersive programme happening this August in London. Learning from major names in the broadcasting world, you’ll master on-mic and interviewing skills, transform raw audio into slick, professional-sounding features and explore how to get your show out there. You’ll get direct exposure to the industry and find out what broadcasting is like from the inside.

Co-created by Today at Apple, Reprezent and Spotlight in partnership with Platoon and Apple Music, and supported by the Mayor of London, the three-week experience runs from the 2nd to the 29th August 2021.

To be considered for the programme, apply here before the deadline of 5pm on Monday 19 July 2021. Email any questions to View the programme overview here.

You must be 18–24 years old and able to attend all sessions in person between the 2nd to 29th August. No previous radio experience required! 

The Future of Radio Platforms, Content and Discovery - Online Panel Discussion, 15th July 2021
The IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology) Media Network is holding a free online event bringing discussions around the future of radio to a wider engineering and technical media community. Radio TechCon is delighted to support the event exploring the future of radio platforms, content, and discovery, taking place online on 15th July at 15:00 BST.

Chaired by Aradhna Tayal, Director, Radio TechCon, the panel of audio experts will consider questions including:
  • How will the “discoverability wars” shape this industry over the next decade?
  • Which platforms will dominate?
  • How will this change what we listen to?
The panel includes Nicky Birch, Commissioning Executive - BBC Voice + AI, Michael Hill, Founder & MD - Radioplayer, Quentin Howard, award-winning radio presenter and a distinguished broadcast engineer.

Attendees will gain an understanding of:
  • Summary of delivery platforms and their likely evolution
  • How technology will drive content and commercial models
  • Importance of content discovery and personalisation
The event links with the IET Media Network's 2021 John Logie Baird lecture on '150 years of Media: Retrospectives & Forecasts around Media Technology Advances' and is supported by Radio TechCon. To book your place click here.
The Amplify Podcasts' Guide to Academic Podcasting, written by Hannah McGregor and Stacey Copeland and produced by @wlupress, is now live and available for free download here.

The Guidebook comes in the form of a free and accessible PDF as well as downloadable, fillable PDF worksheets. This is a resource for anyone and everyone interested in getting started with academic podcasting, so please share it widely!
Community Radio Awards 2021 - Submit Your Entries by 30th July
There are just over 3 weeks to get your entries in for the 2021 Community Radio Awards and the CMA would encourage as many of our network members to enter as possible. The submissions deadline is 5pm on 30 July 2021 so head over to the submission site here and follow the instructions to submit your entries either as a station or as an individual entry.

Submissions are only £5 per entry and the awards have been designed so that stations and individuals from stations can submit as many entries into any of the categories as they like. There is no limit as to how many submissions you can make, and stations can administer it how they wish.
Entries are open to stations or presenters at stations of Ofcom-licensed stations currently on air (with the exception of the Digital/RSL, and Podcast categories). Station of the Year and Digital or RSL Station Of The Year are both free to enter categories.

For more information on submissions and how to enter visit the Community Radio Awards website.
There's just over a week left to apply for the UK Social Enterprise Awards, the biggest celebration of the impact and achievements of the nation's incredible social enterprises. Whether you’re a small community-based business or a multi-million-pound business, there are categories you can apply for. Previous winners have ranged from community-run bakeries and renewable energy projects to employee-owned health providers and farmer-owned coffee companies – whatever your size, whatever your mission, these awards are for you. Don’t miss out on applying to:
  • Raise your profile with the prestige of being part of the biggest Awards in the sector
  • Gain press coverage for your achievements and build your brand 
  • Recognise your team for their hard work
  • Get the recognition you deserve 
Deadline for applications is Friday 16 July. Please note that our online system will accept applications up until midnight on Sunday, however after Friday 16th July there will not be anyone available to answer queries. The SEUK team therefore strongly recommends that you submit your application by COP on Friday. Email with any questions.

To find out more and to apply, click here.
How NASA Does Sound?
NASA broadcasts thousands of hours of televised and internet-streamed content from space. But what is happening behind the scenes? How does the world get to hear the instructions for ground control, and who teaches the astronauts how to use a microphone? You may not be able to hear them scream in space, but award-winning sound engineer Alexandria Perryman makes sure we can hear them here on earth.

In this catch-up video from RadioTechCon, Alexandria reveals all including her own starry moments and why their SM58 has a rather large dent in it. 
The BBC has made its archive more accessible than ever before, with a searchable index of nearly 100 years of BBC TV and radio broadcasts.

Ever wondered what programmes were showing on the day you were born? Or how many BBC shows have featured Sir David Attenborough? Or what programmes have been made about your favourite sports team, musician or artist? The BBC’s new Programme Index can answer all these questions. But it is not just a source of fascinating broadcast trivia – it provides a window into BBC history – and social history, told through radio and TV.

Programme Index, like BBC Genome before it, is a spine of data – this time stretching back nearly 100 years. You can use it to browse nearly 10 million network and regional BBC radio and TV listings, including scans of the earliest Radio Times magazines, and to search more than 200,000 programmes that you can watch on BBC iPlayer and listen to on BBC Sounds.

Recently, several technical news outlets were warning that the popular open-source audio editing application Audacity should now be considered to be "spyware." However, the community's telemetry concerns were received and addressed two months ago: Audacity is not spyware.


A Journey Through Space, Time, & Music

Radio broadcasts leave Earth at the speed of light. Scroll away from Earth and hear how far the biggest hits of the past have travelled. The farther away you get, the longer the waves take to travel there - and the older the music you’ll hear. Visit Lightyear.FM here.

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