Welcome to Community Media
News #39 May 2020
Welcome to the May 2020 edition of Community Media News. In Sector News, we report on the #RadioFromHome initiative earlier this month. And we share details of the latest Public Health England campaign encouraging us all to be kind to ourselves and improve our sleep.

In Community Updates, Gateway 97.8 receives funding to distribute more free radios to the vulnerable and isolated. Skylark FM celebrates raising funds for a new transmitter ahead of its launch this summer. BCB Radio in Bradford and CHBN Radio in Truro have recorded and produced an exercise programme to help keep the older generation active.

In Strategy, Policy and Licensing, Ofcom has relaxed their reporting and fees deadlines, and has appointed a new Director of Content Standards, Licensing and Enforcement.

In Funding & Awards, submissions are now open for the 2020 Community Radio Awards. The Government launches the £200million 'Coronavirus Community Support Fund', and there is an update about the Audio & Radio Emergency Fund from the Radio Academy.

In Podcast, Audio & Digital, Digital Radio Mondial asks do we need community radio?  InRadio's podcast "Covid19: Local Radio Responds" champions community radio's response to the recent #RadioFromHome campaign. And the latest Decentred Media podcast asks if anti-local media policies are harming the pandemic response. David Lloyd asks 'what can radio learn from how it has handled COVID-19'. We also share a free audio resource of fun family stories encouraging handwashing. 

In Events & Training, we share some online webinars from Audiotrai and we have a catch-up video from Radio TechCon on dealing with change. 

In Tech Corner, we have more catch-up videos from Radio TechCon up videos and for radio clock geeks there is the history of the BBC clock on journalist Ros Aitkin's living room wall.

As always there is too much to cram in here so please check out the Chat Forum, our Wiki site for more information and check out our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook) to keep up to speed with 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
Sector News
#RadioFromHome Friday 1st May
On Friday 1st May, literally hundreds of messages were posted to Twitter with the hashtag #RadioFromHome to highlight the fantastic work that community radio stations all over the UK are doing to keep their communities informed, updated, and entertained. In addition, participating stations broadcast  “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles – the excellent promo video is here
Take Action to Get a Good Sleep!
Public Health England is encouraging people to be kind to themselves by taking action to get a good nights sleep, as sleep has become a concern for many in recent weeks.
PHE has released brand new content, including data detailing the impact the current situation has had on the nation’s sleep and advice from subject experts. The toolkit has been finalised and the resources are available via the Campaign Resource Centre.

Photo by Sophie Elvis on Unsplash
Community Updates
Basildon Radio Station Launches New ‘Gateway Response’ Project with National Lottery Funding

Basildon community radio station Gateway 97.8 is delighted to announce new funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to support residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

The station has been running a project since April called ‘On The Radio’, awarding radios to vulnerable or elderly people who may be self-isolating. It is well known that radio can be an invaluable 'friend' in difficult times. Gateway 97.8 thanks Basildon Round Table and Rotary East Thurrock who supported them during the launch of the scheme and the National Lottery Community Fund for enhancing the project. The station will soon be working with radio networking group, The Radio Hub, to distribute more free radios across the UK.

Gateway 97.8 can be heard on 97.8FM in Basildon and East Thurrock, on the Gateway 97.8 app or online at:

This Summer, a completely new and innovative type of community radio station is launching on Dartmoor. Skylark FM gives voice to the landscape through an ever-changing and continuous broadcast that weaves together oral histories, new music, and live audio streams from people, animals, plants and weather, into an endless and evolving song.

All who live, work and visit Dartmoor are invited to create this radio station together and contributions of recordings are welcome. Find out more about how to contribute at

The radio station also launched a crowdfunder campaign last month that has already raised over £5000 to buy the transmitters needed to launch this unique FM radio station which will bring connection, companionship and cheer between people living on Dartmoor.
Demos, in partnership with Sport England and two community radio station partners, BCB Radio in Bradford and CHBN Radio in Truro, Cornwall, has launched a programme of innovative 10-minute audio workouts to boost well-being, mobility and balance for older people at home, during what is a difficult and lonely time for many.

10 Today is a set of ten, 10-minute, audio and video workouts designed to get older people stretching and moving at home. The content was recorded and produced by BCB Radio and CHBN Radio and has had a fantastic response from listeners so far. For more and to tune in visit the 10 Today website here.
Birmingham DJ on C4 News - Coronavirus and the BAME Community
DJ Mally from New Style Radio in Birmingham made an appearance on Channel 4 News on Thursday 7th May in a segment about how the coronavirus epidemic is affecting black and minority ethnic communities. To view click here.
Ofcom is relaxing reporting deadlines and fee payments in light of the coronavirus crisis. The regulator says it is committed to supporting broadcasters to enable them to continue to provide their services to viewers and listeners across the UK, and that it is willing to delay payment for annual licence fees if a station is having trouble. Read the article on Radio Today here
New Director of Content Standards, Licensing and Enforcement
Alison Marsden has been appointed as Director of Content Standards, Licensing and Enforcement at Ofcom. Alison will be leading the team with responsibility for setting and enforcing content standards for television, radio and on-demand services and Ofcom’s broadcast licensing programme.
Funding & Awards
2020 Community Radio Awards - Submissions Open
The 2020 Community Radio Awards have now launched. Volunteers and stations from up and down the country are being urged to enter the best of their output from the past year and consider those team members deserving of special recognition. Subject to Government guidance, an Awards event is still in the pipeline for this year, although later in the calendar than would usually be the case. This will be reviewed in the weeks and months ahead.
Submissions are open from the 19th June and close 5pm 31st July 2020. For more information on the Awards Categories and to enter head to
Coronavirus Community Support Fund
The Government’s new Coronavirus Community Support Fund opened for applications on Friday 22nd May. This new funding stream makes available £200m in Government funding that will be aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England and will be distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The Fund has two key objectives:
  1. To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.
  2. To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.
Grants will allow organisations to meet service costs, where they are experiencing increased demand and/or short-term income disruption. Grants will also allow organisations to refocus services to address more immediate beneficiary needs in light of COVID-19. More details here.
Support the Audio & Radio Emergency Fund Support the Sector
The Radio Academy Audio & Radio Emergency Fund provides short-term financial support to active audio and radio freelancers facing significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This rolling fund round opens for applications each Monday via the Radio Academy website and closes the following Monday.

The scheme will give grants of up to £1,000 to those working in the audio & radio sectors in the UK, who need extra support during the pandemic. It will target those in personal hardship who are not eligible for government assistance, people who need help with radio or audio development projects, or those who need new equipment or software. This is also for those who manage, and train in, community radio stations.

The Somer Valley Education Trust, along with Somer Valley FM, is raising money for the Audio & Radio Emergency Fund. To find out more and donate to the fund visit the fundraising page here.
Podcast, Audio & Digital
Do We Need Community Radio?
Chairman of Digital Radio Mondiale Ruxandra Obreja makes an obvious case for DRM – but her arguments could equally apply to small-scale DAB. The Community Media Association also gets a mention. Read the article on RadioWorld here.
COVID-19: Local Radio Responds Episode 1
The latest inRadio podcast is out from Dom Chambers who has started a new strand called “Covid19: Local radio responds”. This edition champions community radio in response to the recent #RadioFromHome campaign. It features David Harber from Andover Radio. Listen on Audioboom here.
Are Anti-Local Media Policies Harming the Pandemic Response - The Decentered Media Podcasts
In this edition of the Decentered podcast  Dr Rob Watson asks are anti-local media policies harming the pandemic response: "We need, then, to boost local media in its many forms. Both community and commercial. Both in terms of the cash that is available for local service, and the recognition for the role that they place in civic society. We need to build a new tier of media that is driven by the need to build social value and social capital, that is recognised and celebrated by local public authorities, by local civic, community services and charities". Read more about this discussion and listen to the podcast here
Radio Survivor Podcast #242 – Radio on the TV?
A lot of people in Europe listen to radio via the television. Radio Survivor, based in the US, was not aware of this phenomenon until they talked to James Cridland, editor of the daily Podnews email newsletter and radio futurologist. He explains that outside of North America much of radio is enjoyed on more platforms, from digital DAB to, yes, television. Read the article and listen to the podcast on Radio Survivor here.
What can radio learn from how it has handled COVID-19?
"We have learned that whatever the future brings, there will always be a place for content in people’s ears, curated by a human being. The power of the human voice can never be really substituted."

Read the opinion piece from broadcaster and independent producer, chair of the local TV network and Audio Content Fund member David Lloyd on what radio can learn from how it has handled Covid-19 on the David Lloyd Radio blog here.
Audio Resource - Hand Washing Stories
The Clean Hand Book is a free audio resource to help teach children to wash their hands properly.. The family friendly stories are set in the home, school, hospital and petting farm and are available to community radio stations to distribute freely.

Written by an infection control expert the fun and memorable stories encourage children – and their parents – to wash their hands appropriately and to wash them correctly. Listen to the audio stories on Soundcloud here.

Events & Training
Working in audio is often challenging, but at the moment, it is particularly difficult. Work can be either famine or feast, income inconsistent, the outlook uncertain. So how can you remain positive, creative and optimistic? The latest Audiotrain webinar “Looking after your mental health” will be available to view on their website shortly.

In the meantime past Audiotrain webinars are available to watch via the AudioUK website, including: Remote Recording in QualitySo How Do You Come Up With Ideas Then?Top Tips For Surviving As A PresenterFake News – Sorting the fact from the fiction.

Audiotrain is a skills, training and mentorship programme to help audio production professionals get to the next level.  
Radio TechCon Catch Up: Dealing With Change
In the third of the Radio TechCon 2019 catch-up series, psychotherapy and HR expert, E-J James, presents an engaging session on ‘Dealing With Change’ - at work, at home, and in the wider world. More details here.
Tech Corner
Radio TechCon: UWot? UX, UI and studio system design mini-masterclass
Ever used a bit of software and got confused by what the menu items do? Or found yourself stretching across a studio at a funny angle to try to reach the right button? That’s where UX and UI - also known as ‘good design’ - can help. The Radio TechCon mini-masterclasses aim to take you from no idea to a baseline understanding of a topic in under half an hour.
Photo by Rowen Smith on Unsplash
Radio TechCon catch-up Videos
Super Sound Bars - You Won't Believe Your Ears
Marcos Simón Gálvez and the Audioscenic team have created a new type of sound bar, based on 3D audio and using beam-forming technology, which means more than one person can listen at once. Watch the RadioTechCon catch-up video called 'Super Sound Bars: You won’t believe your ears' here.
NMOS Explained in 10 Minutes
Andrew Bonney from BBC R&D explains NMOS (Networked Media Open Specifications) – a way of connecting different media together using IP. The Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA) developed NMOS to help all of those making media to connect stuff together as simply as possible. And this is explained in less than 10 minutes. Watch the Radio TechCon 2019 catch-up  video here.
One for Studio Clock Geeks!
For studio clock geeks, there's a story here from Ros Atkins of the BBC about the BBC clock panel on his living room wall that has been making an appearance in his broadcasts from home due to the lockdown. Read about the history behind this unique radio artefact here.

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