Welcome to Issue #17

In this edition we share news of awards and accolades for five community radio stations, plus updates from the world's first community-owned TV station, an induction into the Digital Radio Hall of Fame, the launch of Dean Radio, Big Lottery funding for Maritime Radio, a new initiative called Community Media Connects to support sector networking, the latest podcast from Fantastic Noise, information on making better smartphone videos and coverage maps for every licensed FM transmitter in the UK. And of course, the largest Community Media Conference in the UK and the Community Radio Awards.

Community Media News is a celebration of the achievements of the whole community media sector. Send us your news and stories that showcase why community media is unique and why community media matters. By sharing these stories we will strengthen the voice of the sector. This newsletter is your platform and we invite you to join in. Email your news, press releases, event details and stories to


Sheffield’s youngest ever Lord Mayor, Magid Magid, will join conference delegates and young people from community media organisations across the UK at the 2018 Community Media Conference 'We Are The Future' in Sheffield on Saturday 15th September.
The Conference will be a vibrant day of talks, films, workshops and discussions around the future development of the sector. We will be looking at the practicalities of engaging and involving young people in community broadcasting and how the next generation of media makers is building diverse, creative and participatory media at a grassroots level. Lucinda Guy, chair of the Community Media Association said: "This year we challenged the under 25's to help programme our national Conference. Their bold and exciting ideas will support  the sector to imagine the future of independent media in the UK and the ways in which communities can continue to develop and control  their information, entertainment and democracy through community media.There will be discussions on the relationship between media, misinformation and mental health with young media practitioners and mental health experts; presentations by Carolyn Powers of the Listening Post Collective, alongside  Caroline Diehl, founder of the Media Trust and Together TV. CMA Vice Chair Hannah Parry will present films from community television projects around the UK. Adam Wood from Spark, the Sunderland-based youth radio station, will join CMA Council member Dom Chambers, producer of the inRadio podcast, to present a special edition live from the stage. Adam says; The conference gives those of us in community media a unique opportunity to all be in the same room as each other and really look at how we take things forward in this ever more digital world. I am really excited to share my skills and knowledge to watch something I have been part of for so long grow and develop. There will also be workshops on hosting local networking events, applying for funding, an introduction to the CiviCRM platform, using social media for branding and lots of networking! Melanie Xulu, the 18 year old editor of Moof Magazine will guide people through the process of creating a 'zine'.

Award-winning radio presenter Sylvie Carlos will join Magid Magid on the closing panel of the day, discussing how the next generation is shaping creative, diverse and participatory media. Magid said: "I'm looking forward to this panel... What a time to be young. Young people are becoming super "woke" and really using their platform to bring forth change!"
Global media charity Internews is also bringing an international perspective to the Conference around the issues of citizen voices, accountable media and empowering all to share information. Check out the photos from last years vibrant and informative Community Media Conference in Bristol here. All Images © CMA. Photo of Magid Magid by John  Lubbock / CC BY-SA 2.0

For more information on the Conference programme and to get your delegate tickets click here.
We still have a few free Conference places for volunteers ages 25 and under! 

If you are a volunteer at a community media organisation, or similar and are aged 25 or under then you can apply for one of 50 free tickets for this year's Community Media Conference just by completing a short survey here!

This years Community Radio Awards are in Sheffield on Saturday 15th September, immediately after the Community Media Conference. The awards ceremony and dinner is a great way to celebrate the achievements of the sector and it's always a great feeling if your efforts are recognized. So if it's your lucky night keep the momentum going when the celebrations are over and boost your awards win by following these tips from Marketing and PR blogger Ian Pinnell,
The 2018 Community Radio Awards celebrate and promote the fantastic contribution that community radio makes to its communities of listeners and volunteers across the UK.  Purchase your ticket for this inspiring and fun event here
Congratulations to not one, but three community radio stations Somer Valley FM, Reprezent and East Coast FM who have all been recognized with a prestigious Princess Royal Training Award. The Awards are a unique opportunity for UK organisations to showcase their approach to learning and development and its impact on business performance. Only 48 UK businesses and organisations achieved the Awards standard in 2018, including household names such as John Lewis and Halfords. 

2017 and 2018 recipient East Coast FM used a partnership approach to create a tailored programme for people with additional support needs. The aim was for the group, along with their carers, to produce a two-hour weekly live radio show. Outcomes included increased work with the community and the ability to apply for additional funding, crucial in keeping this community radio station on air. Community radio station Reprezent created the Sounds of Young London scheme to provide media training opportunities to disadvantaged young people. The non-academic, practical programme has achieved impressive transition rates into employment and commercial interest in the scheme has meant that the radio station has started to make a profit, which is put back into the programme. Somer FM provides opportunities for volunteers to improve their confidence and independence whilst developing broadcast and media skills in order to be on air 24/7. The organisation is wholly inclusive welcoming people from all age groups, genders and disabilities and supporting disadvantaged people who may otherwise be marginalised.

Dom Chambers, Manager at Somer Valley FM said: We are very pleased that Somer Valley FM has been honoured with a Princess Royal Training Award. Congratulations also to Reprezent Radio and East Coast FM Scotland for being named as well. I'd like to publicly acknowledge East Coast FM for leading the way for not only community broadcasters but also the whole radio industry with their 2017 award (see video below). That inspired me to go for it. These awards show that in many ways we are ahead of the commercial and BBC networks for inclusion, diversity and training. 
A short film from 2017 about volunteering at local community radio station East Coast FM, with mention of their 2017 PRT Award. Filmed by Tracey Largue.
Community Media Updates
Congratulations to Shirley Ludford, station manager at Swindon 105.5 on receiving an 'Employer of the Year' award from Horizon College, a specialist facility for young adults aged 16-25 who have severe or profound multiple learning difficulties and / or complex needs. Shirley received the award on behalf of the community radio station, which also received high praise from Ofsted after a visit to see the work they were doing with the students. Shirley said: "Supporting students with complex needs is an area we have developed over the years and part of our continued commitment to providing a service for people of all ages and abilities on and off air."

Swindon 105.5 is also celebrating after winning a MMG Best Radio Station 2018 award in recognition of the quality of its music programmes. This is the second time the station has won this regional radio award, presented at a ceremony in Bristol at the end of July.  Shirley added: "Swindon 105.5 prides itself on developing presenters who have a passion for and knowledge about the music they play.  MC Ranks, who presents a Sunday evening Caribbean music programme and Andy Vater, who presenters the Saturday evening Random Reggae Show attended the event and brought home the award, which now stand proudly with other awards at the entrance to our Production office."  

Image: Shirley Ludford, Station Manager at Swindon 105.5 and Jordan, one of the students receiving training at Swindon 105.5. 
How Radio Found New Life on the Internet and Changed Music Discovery Forever
Canstream clients Reprezent are given top billing in this article on Internet radio stations. Presented entirely by people under 25, Reprezent is renowned for its quality musical output – grime, UK rap and hip-hop, electronic and bass, house, and alternative music – but also for its championing of youth culture. Originally borne out of a project tackling youth violence in South London (and based in a shipping container in Brixton) it now provides a platform for young people to showcase their talents but also to discuss social issues, challenge youth stereotypes and help young people better represent themselves in society. The station has a team of mentors who facilitate more than 2,000 13 to 25-year-olds a year, and its young presenters are key to its success as a taste making radio station. 
Forest of Dean Community Radio Station Takes to the Air
A new community radio station is launching in the Forest of Dean this August Bank Holiday. Catch the opening show of Dean Radio at 6pm on Friday 24th August and a live outside broadcast from Cindyfest on Sunday 26th from 12 noon. Dean Radio will broadcast on 105.6FM as well as online and via mobile apps.

The station is said to be: 'From the Forest for the Forest' and volunteers will present and produce shows ranging from brass bands, to modern dance music and spoken word programmes. Station manager Ryan Davies said: "Hopefully we will provide a great local radio service to The Forest of Dean, like no other station provides currently. "We are going to be the only radio station that does it. BBC Radio Gloucestershire cover the whole county, but doesn't in my opinion cover the Forest that much. We are dedicated to the people, getting local people on air and providing a service.Volunteers will be supported to produce and present great local radio, getting as many local people from the community as possible." To get in touch and find out more visit 

The world’s first community-owned national TV station 'Together TV' is doing a second share issue in early September. Together TV (formally the Community Channel) is now a Community Benefit Society after a successful Crowdfunder campaign in 2016. To find out more contact Caroline Diehl at

Caroline, founder and executive chair of Together TV has also recently launched a new initiative called the the Social Founder Network to connect, support and promote founders in the charity and social enterprise sectors. If you are a founder of a charity or social enterprise in the community media sector and interested in being featured on the Social Founder website as a case study looking at the issues around being a founder in this sector, then get in touch with Caroline via the website at where you can also subscribe to their newsletter for more news.
Maritime Radio Awarded £10,000 from Big Lottery Fund 

Maritime Radio, the new community radio station for Greenwich borough has come a step closer to going on the air!. The Big Lottery Fund have approved a £10,000 grant for Maritime Radio, which will be used to purchase studio and transmission equipment and build a studio for the station to broadcast from. Head of Engineering and Infrastructure, David Phillips, says: ‘Maritime Radio is there for the whole of the community to get involved with, whether it is on the microphone or working behind the scenes.  The funding from the National Lottery will allow us to equip our studio with state-of-the-art resources that will ensure we broadcast for many years to come.’ Read the full article on the Maritime Radio website here

Strategy & Policy Updates

Ofcom senior broadcast specialist Rash Mustapha has been formally recognised by Digital Radio UK, the body established to help promote and support the development of digital radio. Rash is one of the first people to have been inducted into the Digital Radio Hall of Fame, which was established to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the success of digital radio over the past 20 years.

Entry into the Digital Radio Hall of Fame is awarded by a panel of senior figures from across the radio industry. Rash was nominated for the work he carried out in recognising how low-cost technology could be used to make DAB radio an affordable proposition for small scale FM and Community Radio broadcasters.

This work – which involved a lot of prototype equipment development in his own time – raised enough interest for the Government to make funding available to Ofcom to carry out trials of the technology. Following these successful trials, legislation was passed to establish a framework for licensing small-scale DAB services. Ofcom is currently working on the next steps with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). Read the feature on the Ofcom website here

Training and Funding News

Community Media Connects Launches Across England

Community Media Connects, a new networking initiative from the Community Media Association (CMA), will launch this Autumn to develop the sustainability of community media organisations.  The initiative will encourage community media leaders to form valuable professional connections and offer each other ongoing mutual advice and support. Organisations based in the same area will develop the skills and contacts to organise additional networking and peer-learning events going forward and share best practice with each other. Community Media Connects is a response to the huge increase in community media activity, due to recent licensing rounds and the expectation of Small Scale DAB licensing from 2019. Community Media Connects is generously supported through funding from The Big Lottery and will run for twelve months from Autumn 2018.

Lucinda Guy, Chair of the Community Media Association (CMA)  says: “Many new independent media organisations have been set up by volunteers and social entrepreneurs in recent years. There is therefore a need for experienced organisations and practitioners to pass on their knowledge to new generations and leaders as technologies shift and evolve”.

Activity will be through a series of regional networking events spread across England, offering a mix of expert talks, hands-on workshops, consultation and networking for the leaders and representatives of grassroots media organisations. Bill Best of the Community Media Association added: “The sustainability of participating CMA member organisations will be improved as a result of increased knowledge and confidence, through both sharing expertise and peer-to-peer learning. Community media groups are building a fairer society by facilitating access to broadcast media for everyone - and Community Media Connects will support that vision”.

Community Media Connects events will be hosted by CMA members who will then be encouraged to continue to host ongoing similar networking activities with promotion and marketing support from the CMA. Attendance for delegates will be free, including lunch, and have a welcoming, creative and inclusive feel.

Podcasts and Miscellaneous
Radio Consultant Paul Chantler has written an easy-to-understand guide to the laws of defamation and contempt for radio broadcasters, podcasters and social media users, illustrated with lots of real-life examples of when things have gone wrong and what to do to ensure you... keep it legal. The Guide is available  on Amazon here

Equipment List for Making Better Smartphone Videos

Year by year, model by model smartphone cameras keep getting better and better. Check out the Digital Photography School post on the equipment list for making better smartphone videos here.
 European Student Radio Survey - Have Your Say!
Ari Hautaniemi, editor-in-chief at a Finnish student radio station, Limu Radio at the Lahti University of Applied Sciences is leading up research into student radio organisation across Europe. He  is looking for input from student radio organisations to a survey as part of his doctoral research. Ari said:  Research is important from an international and especially European perspective, as it sheds light on a phenomenon that has not yet been thoroughly (if at all) examined and the results might give student radio as a medium more visibility, and the decision makers more concrete reasons and answers as to why and how this kind of media should be supported. The survey is done with an online questionnaire tool called Webropol. Click here to take part. 
BBC Object-Based Media

Imagine a world where the BBC makes content that’s perfect - just for you. Content that’s tailored for your circumstances, preferences and devices. Programmes that understand your viewing habits, and flex to fit. Experiences that reflect the things you love, and offer extra information just when you might need it. Object-Based Media can do all this. Read about the scenarios that represent how BBC R&D work on Object-Based Media could manifest in the future here.

The latest episode of the Fantastic Noise podcast focuses on diversity in UK radio. Recorded in the Radio LaB 97.1FM studios at the University of Bedfordshire. Fantastic Noise is a podcast about making radio, produced and presented by Terry Lee.

Joining Terry to discuss further is co-host Bridget Gavanga, a radio student who is about to start her final year at the University. They hear from; Ofcom Director of Standards and Audience Protection - Vikki Cook, Birmingham City University Lecturer in Radio Studies and Professional Development - Siobhan Stevenson , & Future Radio's Di Cunningham
Check out episode 006 Diversity in UK Radio here.

Radio consultant Glyn Roylance has produced a set of coverage maps for EVERY licensed FM transmitter in the UK.  These are designed to be as “MCA-like” as possible.  However, they should be regarded as indicative only and not as a substitute for proper Ofcom-generated licensed area maps.  In particular note that Ofcom sometimes manually edits their maps to reflect target editorial areas, whilst these maps indicate the full extent of actual (radio) coverage.

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Community Media Association · The Workstation · 15 Paternoster Row · Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 2BX · United Kingdom

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