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Welcome to Issue #33 Nov 2019

Welcome to Community Media News for November 2019

In Sector News, we highlight the CMA's campaign to encourage community radio supporters to contact their prospective parliamentary candidates to ask for more support for community radio. And we are conducting a survey to gauge the potential interest of community media projects that aspire to obtain a full-time 5-year community radio licence on FM. This survey will close in early January 2020.

In Community Updates, we highlight how Oxygen Radio in Northumberland is addressing the mental health crisis facing men in the northeast.

In Licensing, we share a reminder from Ofcom on compliance with the licensing rules for election-related programming and in Strategy & Policy, an update on changes to Ofcom's SRSL policy, an update on the responses to its SSDAB consultation, and details of how you can submit the issues you would like the CMA to raise for discussion when it meets with Ofcom in December. We also have a report from the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee proposing practical support for Wales' network of community radio stations, the Council of Europe's paper on Community Media's Contribution to Media Literacy and details of the latest publication from Rob Watson on 'Media for Social Gain and Innovation'.

In Events & Training, Channel 4 launches the first of its free interactive training resources for independent producers to help deliver creative and compliant factual programming - and RadioLaB invites you to a 'Making Radio Drama' workshop with Jeremy Howe, the Editor of 'The Archers'. 

In Funding & Awards, we share details of the 2020 Windrush Day Grant - don't miss out on this opportunity for funding to mark this important chapter in British history. There is also an update from the Future News Pilot Fund, details of amendments to the timeline for the New York Radio Awards and the Charles Parker Prize 2020, celebrating the very best in student radio and audio feature production. 

In Podcast, Audio & Digital, we ask if podcasts are such a hot commodity, what's stopping community media grabbing some of the attention. We also share the latest raft of podcasts from RadioLaB on topics ranging from Comedy to Family Audio and Sound Design.

In International News, you can see a documentary from Spain about community radio and activism and finally, in Tech Corner hear about an intriguing proposal from Google that customises local news and read some useful advice on making sure your station's homepage is aligned with your strategic goals. 

And as always, do check the CMA 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 editor@commedia.org.uk
Sector News

Calling on Government for more support for community radio
Ahead of the deadline for all prospective candidates to submit their nomination for the upcoming General Election, the Community Media Association (CMA) has called on its members, their friends and family, and the wider public to ask for more support and recognition for community radio from prospective MPs.

The CMA highlights three possible initiatives that will benefit current and aspiring community radio stations:

1. To call for a substantial increase in the Community Radio Fund to better meet the needs of current community radio stations and to support the new digital community radio stations to be licensed from next year.

2. To support a commitment from central and local Government to recognise that community radio is a low-cost and effective medium for reaching underserved communities and to direct a proportion of government advertising to community radio stations.

3. To commit to supporting a call to DCMS and Ofcom that community radio continues to be licensed on FM spectrum in parallel with the future rollout of licences on the new SSDAB platform.

The CMA has created a template letter, that can be adapted by all supporters of community radio, to send to their election candidates. The template can be downloaded here. Find your prospective parliamentary candidates here:

Danny Lawrence, Chairman of the CMA, says “The Community Media Association wants to use the opportunity of a General Election to bring the concerns of the community radio sector to the attention of our prospective MPs so as to start to address the chronic issues that our sector has had to endure for many years”.

Bill Best, Operations Manager of the CMA said “Community radio has many great friends in Government but it is now high time that the goodwill that is frequently shown in Parliament towards the sector is translated into tangible long-term improvements for the sustainability of the sector”.

Survey: Evidencing Community Radio Needs on FM

The Community Media Association is conducting a survey to gauge the potential interest of community media projects that aspire to obtain a full-time 5-year community radio licence on FM. This survey will close in early January 2020.

It is expected that licensing for small-scale digital audio broadcasting will begin in 2020 which will bring forward increased opportunities for community radio stations to broadcast on the new digital platform. However, we are investigating the level of residual demand to broadcast on analogue spectrum from aspiring community radio stations (link here).
Community Updates

This online community radio station is supporting men's mental health issues

With the North East having the highest percentage of male suicide in the UK, one community radio station is determined to do something to help. Oxygen Radio in Bedlington, Northumberland helps to bring together men with mental health issues to start conversations to support one another. Read more here.
Licensing
Ofcom has reminded radio stations that they must comply with the rules for election-related programming ahead of the General Election on 12th December. As an aid to broadcasters, Ofcom has published a digest of evidence of past electoral support (i.e. election results) and evidence of current support (in the form of opinion polls).
Ofcom Statement on the Short-Term Restricted Service Licensing (SRSL) Review

Ofcom has now changed its policy on short-term RSLs with regard to:
  • granting the same applicant more than two short-term restricted service licences (SRSL) in a single year, or more than one SRSL a year if the service is within the M25;
  • granting SRSLs where the service proposed to be provided does not appear to be different from what is available on the commercial and community services in the area of broadcast.
Ofcom has now confirmed changes to this policy on granting short-term restricted service licences - link.
Strategy & Policy

Ofcom December 2019 meeting

The Community Media Association meets with Ofcom next month. The main agenda items for Ofcom will be an update on coverage improvements and extensions, Round 4 licensing, the CMA Election campaign, and progress with SSDAB. Please detail any specific additional issues that you would like the CMA to raise for discussion here. Notes from the meeting will be disseminated in due course.

Ofcom Receives Over 100 Responses to its Small Scale DAB Consultation


Ofcom received over a hundred replies in its consultation on the future of Small Scale DAB (SSDAB) licensing and it would appear that most responses are in favour of Ofcom's outlined proposals.

SSDAB is a new way 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.

You may view the submitted consultation responses on Ofcom's website here. Ofcom will publish its own response in early 2020 and licensing on small-scale DAB is expected to begin in 2020. The licences for the ten trial SSDAB pilot multiplexes expire at the end of March 2020.

Calls for a community radio body for Wales and more support from BBC and commercial stations

A community radio body should be set up to provide practical and effective support for Wales’ network of community radio stations, says a National Assembly for Wales Committee.

A report from the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, also recommends establishing a closer relationship with the BBC and commercial radio stations to share knowledge, access to resources and help with talent development.

The Committee’s short report into community radio in Wales contains a total of eight recommendations and is published based on information gathered during a Community Radio Symposium held on 20 June 2019 at The Atrium in Cardiff.

The report includes a total of eight recommendations including:

  • The Welsh Government should fund a community radio body for Wales. The body would offer practical support to stations, perform a representative role and co-ordinate cross station co-operation and knowledge sharing. Practical support might include performing common tasks for stations like HR, marketing or grant writing. The body should also help forge links between community stations and other interested bodies like commercial and BBC radio.

  • The BBC should actively engage with community radio to give access to the output and promote the use of their Local Democracy Reporting Service.

  • The BBC and commercial radio should work with community radio to develop a pathway for community radio volunteers to gain experience at their radio stations as a means of developing talent across Wales.

  • The BBC should offer community radio stations preferential rates and first refusal when selling off radio equipment they no longer use.

The report will now be considered by the Welsh Government.

Council of Europe Publishes Paper on Community Media's Contribution to Media Literacy 

The Council of Europe has published the background paper "Media Literacy for all. Supporting marginalised groups through community media". You can find the full text here.

The study compares five models of community media from Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg, Spain and the United Kingdom and highlights a number of findings which should help for gaining more recognition for the contribution of the sector.

Generally, the promotion of media literacy is seen as ‘core business’ across the community media sector and each of the models investigated promoted media literacy in a variety of ways. This document will serve as a background paper for a round table session on media literacy activities in Community Media. Please feel free to use the report and share it within your networks.

Media for Social Gain and Innovation: A Literature Review of Social Value Policy Guides

Dr Rob Watson has published online his review of social value policy guides as an e-book on Amazon Kindle Direct. He covers the main themes and developments of a Social Value approach, and why this is relevant to community media
Events & Training
Channel 4 Launches Interactive Training Resource
Channel 4 has created an interactive training resource for independent producers to help deliver more creative and compliant factual programming. The new tool is comprised of freely available e-modules, presented in voice-over by comedian Adam Hills. The modules aim to equip industry professionals with hands-on knowledge of factual programs through interactive video demonstrations, to be used as a reference tool. More modules will be added in the new year.

The initiative is part of a range of Channel 4 strategies rolling out across the UK, coinciding with the 4 All The UK strategy launch, which includes the recent opening of C4′s new Leeds HQ, creative hubs in Glasgow and Bristol and the development of its in-house digital agency, the Digital Content Unit.

The Legal & Compliance e-module on 'Factual Programmes' can be found here and the Producers Handbook can be found here
Beds Talks: Fantastic Noise – Making Radio Drama (featuring Jeremy Howe, Editor of BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Archers’)
Join Terry Lee for a special recording of the Fantastic Noise podcast on 'Making Radio Drama' at the University of Bedfordshire on Wednesday 26th February 2020.
 
Audio drama has been prevalent and significant in the UK for decades. A significant reason for that being BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Archers’, the world’s longest-running drama, with around 19,000 episodes since 1951. The contemporary rural drama was voted as the second-best radio programme of all time by a panel of experts in 2019.
 
But how is this form of radio drama made? What are the processes involved? Who better than Jeremy Howe, Editor of The Archers, to tell us. We’ll be focusing on the scripting, the recording, the editing and how the process has evolved over the last 69 years. We’ll also be joined by Adam Jarrell from The Offensive, an award-winning mockumentary podcast that follows fictional Premier League club Ashwood City FC. They will answer questions about the challenges of creating new audio drama and establishing an audience without a radio station backing.
 
Agenda
17:30 - Registration and refreshments
18:00 - Welcome and introduction
18:10 - Recording of talk
19:15 - Quiz at the end (prizes to be won!)
19:30 - Networking, drinks and nibbles
 
This event will appeal to radio makers, drama specialists, scriptwriters, and anyone interested in finding out more about the production methods that get the stories of Ambridge on air on BBC Radio 4. For further information and to book go to the Eventbrite page here.
Funding & Awards

Grants of £2,500 - £25,000 are available for local authorities, charities and community groups to celebrate, commemorate and/or educate about the history of the MV Empire Windrush and the contribution of the Windrush Generation to British economic, social and cultural life.

National Windrush Day on 22nd June should be a focal point for all projects, but events and activities may take place over a longer period up until 31 December 2020.

Bidders day events will take place in November in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, London, and Sheffield - details to follow later

The deadline for applications is 8th December 2019 (11:50pm). Full details here.

The Future News Pilot Fund: Call for ideas

The Future News Pilot Fund mentioned in this post from July is now open for applications. It offers project funding of between £20,000 and £100,000, and applications must be received by 23:59 on 8th December 2019.

The full call for ideas, including details of eligibility criteria (in short, any UK-registered organisation with a demonstrable commitment to public interest journalism/news) and FAQs, is available at:

https://www.nesta.org.uk/project/future-news-fund/call-ideas/

Please do take a look, read the FAQs, and spread the word. Best of luck!

New timeline for New York Radio Awards in 2020
The New York Festivals International Radio Awards are now accepting entries for next year’s competition which has recognised a number of UK community radio projects in recent years.

For the first time, the NYF’s Radio Awards winners will share the stage and the spotlight with NYF’s TV & Film Awards medal and trophy winners at the inaugural Storytellers Gala. Both competitions will be honoured on Tuesday 21st April at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas.

The timeline for the event is, therefore, starting two months earlier than usual, and the closing date for entries is 1st February 2020

For more information visit the New York Festivals website here. 
The Charles Parker Prize 2020 for the Best Student Radio Feature
The competition is open to any student studying radio/audio in Further or Higher Education in the UK – please read the full Terms and Conditions.

Over the past decade and a half, the Charles Parker Awards – named in honour of one of radio’s greatest documentary pioneers – have established an unparalleled reputation for excellence in radio and audio feature production by young people, and many of our winners have gone on to carve out successful professional careers in radio and audio production.

For more information on the Charles Parker Prize 2020 for the Best Student Radio Feature click here.
Podcast, Audio & Digital
The recent announcement by a London radio station that it will build its full schedule from podcasts certainly garnered some attention. If you’re a media company, these moves make sense. Since podcasts are the hot commodity at the moment — it stands to reason that radio wants to grab some of that attention. What’s stopping community radio from making more of its broadcasts to be podcast-first propositions too? Read more here.

A Raft of New Podcasts from Fantastic Noise


There's a raft of new podcasts from Terry Lee at Fantastic Noise from Radio LaB.
International News

We Are Radio


“We Are Radio” is a documentary film which aims to explore the relationship between the free and community radios and the social movement, using as a main reference the 15-M movement in Spain in 2011.  
Tech Corner

Community Broadcaster: “Google, Play Me Community Radio”

For years, radio and digital have been considered rivals. Could there now be the start of a new alliance, particularly for community media? The growth of smart speaker audiences has been covered exhaustively by many outlets.

Now enter Google with an intriguing proposal. In a 19th November press release, Google unveiled a new initiative using its Google Assistant framework, available through its Google Home family of smart speakers as well as its operating system built into millions of Android smartphones. When you tell your smart speaker or enabled smartphone to play the news, you will get a blend of news stories tailored to your location, user history and preferences. News stories are all just a few minutes long.

Read more here.

Does Your Station’s Homepage Have Too Much On It?

Most radio stations can do a lot towards advancing their digital strategies by first identifying explicit goals, and then removing things from their homepages that don't steer visitors towards those goals. Take another look at your radio station's homepage and see if it suffers from overcrowding. If so, fix it. Read more here.






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