Welcome to Issue #28 - June 2019
In this issue of Community Media News, we remind you that the deadline for the Community Radio Awards is Sunday 16th June - get your entries in now! Also the 2019 Community Media Conference will be held on Saturday 28th September at BBC MediaCityUK in Salford. The CMA is hosting a Media Law & Compliance Workshop on Saturday 29th June in Nottingham - booking essential.  Also, there is a Community Radio Networking & Information Day to be held on Saturday 13th July in Norwich - again booking is required. Radio TechCon will be held on Monday 25th November and there will also be a Radio Technology Masterclass on Friday 12th July with tickets starting at only £20 plus VAT.

Ofcom has published its statement on Revisions to Digital Radio Technical Codes and there's news of a key commitment change for Nottingham station Radio Faza.

In Community Updates, several community radio stations have been successful in the first round of the Audio Content Fund, Gateway 97.8 is launching an autism awareness feature, Raidió Fáilte has won a top award for its community building. and Insanity Radio has been successful in its bid to the National Lottery Community Fund. There were Queens's Birthday Honours for Phil Maguire of the Prison Radio Association and Rashid Mustapha of Ofcom. 

We have not one, but four podcasts from Rob Watson in his Decentered Media series and, in the Community Development podcast, Russell Todd interviews Rob on the role that community media plays in strengthening civil society. The Speak Up Sunderland podcast from Jay Sykes has been nominated for a New York Festivals Radio Prize. 

In Technical there is the Podfollow service to help you share your podcasts, some tools for fact-checking the Internet, and Semiphemeral - an application for pruning your Twitter account of old posts and likes.

As always, there's more life on the Chat Forum, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and Instagram account.

Email your news, press releases, event details and stories to
Funding, Campaigns & Awards
The deadline for entries for the fourth UK Community Radio Awards is Sunday 16th June. Volunteers and stations from up and down the country are invited to enter the best of their output from the past year, and consider those team members deserving of special recognition.

Martin Steers, Awards Chair, said: “I am ecstatic to be launching the fourth year of the Community Radio Awards. Over the last three, we’ve seen some amazing impact and content from the UK’s community radio stations. What has been most important for me is seeing how the awards have become a part of the Community Radio calendar, and how stations have been using their Award wins to improve their standing in their own communities - a just reward for all the work they have put in serving them.”

As an incentive to enter, the 'Station of the Year' category is now free to enter, along with reworked entry criteria for the Digital/RSL Station of the Year category. For more information and to enter head to the website

Head to the submission site and follow the instructions to submit your entries either as a station or as an individual from a station. The submissions are £5 per entry, aimed to be accessible for Community Radio, for those stations that want to fund the awards for their volunteers or for those volunteers who are happy and able to pay themselves.

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. We want everyone who is involved in community radio to feel in a position to enter, and we hope that there is a category for everyone within our awards. Entries will be checked and sorted in July when the judging process starts. A shortlist of 5 for each category will be produced and published prior to the ceremony.
Applications Open for the 2019 Social Enterprise Awards

The UK Social Enterprise Awards recognise businesses that give back, enrich communities and make a contribution to society, as well as those who lead them – the social entrepreneurs who use their business acumen to make a real difference, tackling social and environmental problems both in Britain and abroad. The Awards, hosted by Social Enterprise UK recognise the achievements of social enterprises and supporters in 14 different categories, including Social Enterprise of the Year, Women’s Champion, ‘Buy Social’ Market builder and the One to Watch.

Applications are now open for the 2019 UK Social Enterprise Awards at London's Guildhall on 4 December! For more information click here. Deadline 7th July.

Events & Training
2019 Community Media Conference, Sat 28 Sept, Salford
The 2019 Community Media Conference will be held at Quay House, BBC MediaCityUK in Salford and once again there will be a jam-packed programme of unmissable information, advice and workshops from a wide range of strategic bodies and representatives to give you the latest updates on the big issues for the sector: funding, sustainability, and of course small-scale DAB as well as masterclasses on radio presenting and audio production.

Conference tickets will be on sale shortly but you can start looking into hotel accommodation now for the best deals! The Conference facilities are fantastic and it will be a great chance to network and share best practice too! Further news on the Conference Programme will be released shortly.
Think Before You Link - Media Law & Compliance Workshop,
Saturday 29 June, Nottingham
The Community Media Association is delighted to partner with broadcast media consultant, Paul Chantler on a free one day workshop aimed at the community radio sector called "Think Before You Link - Media Law & Compliance". The workshop is on Saturday 29th June at the Jury’s Inn Hotel, Nottingham. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. This workshop is one of six Community Media Connects events organised by the Community Media Association and supported by The National Lottery Community Fund. The schedule for the day is as follows:
  • 10:00 Arrival, registration, tea and coffee
  • 10:30 Morning Session - Media Law
  • 13:00 Lunch and Networking
  • 14:00 Afternoon Session - Compliance
  • 15:30 Tea and coffee break
  • 16:00 General discussion
  • 17:00 Finish
To book your free place click here. Location map: Jurys Inn Hotel, Station Street, Nottingham NG2 3BJ
Community Media Connects - Networking and Information Exchange, Sat 13 July, Norwich
The Community Media Association is delighted to partner with Future Projects on a day of information exchange and networking for the community radio sector at the Open Youth Trust in Norwich. This event is one of six Community Media Connects events organised by the Community Media Association and supported by The National Lottery Community Fund. The schedule for the day is as follows:
  • 11:00 - Arrival, registration, tea and coffee, networking
  • 11:30 - Welcome to Future Radio + Overview of Future Projects - Laura Bloomfield
  • 11:45 - Introduction to the Headliner app - Terry Lee, Radio LaB 97.1FM
  • 12:30 - Lunch, networking, studio tours
  • 13:30 - Funding Community Radio - Paul Cheeseman
  • 14:30 - Audio Content Fund - TBC
  • 15:00 - Tea break
  • 15:15 - Small-scale DAB - Lawrie Hallett, Future Digital Norfolk
  • 16:00 - Finish
To book your free place via Eventbrite click here. Tickets include lunch and refreshments. Location map: Open Youth Trust, 20 Bank Plain, Norwich NR2 4SF
RadioTechCon, Monday 25 November, London
The UK radio and audio industry’s technical and engineering event RadioTechCon is on Monday, 25th November 2019 at IET London: Savoy Place. The Conference is a great day of talks, debate and networking for the broadcast engineering community,” says organiser, Ann Charles. The team is currently working hard to build a range of speakers, but if people have got ideas for sessions and topics, then e-mail with your suggestions.

Radio TechCon is also running a Radio Technology Masterclass on Friday, 12th July 2019 at IET London: Savoy Place. This event is aimed at newcomers to broadcast engineering and those looking to learn more about career options involving radio, technology and engineering. The Radio Technology Masterclass features a mix of talks on the theory of broadcasting - covering how to build and kit out a radio studio, internal signal distribution, transmission and internet broadcasting and coding - combined with practical, hands-on activities.

“The industry has really pulled together and we have sessions being run by experts from the BBC, Bauer, Global, Arqiva and Ofcom to name a few!” Tickets are heavily subsidised for individuals, thanks to sponsors Broadcast Bionics and the IET Multimedia Communications Network. The team has even thrown in lunch, 8 hours of IET-certified CPD credits and a goodie bag full of info on how and where to find more training and jobs. Tickets are available online and cost £20 + VAT for individuals or £180 + VAT for companies with more than five staff. Full details can be found at
Strategy & Policy Updates

Ofcom Statement: Revisions to Digital Radio Technical Codes

Ofcom published a consultation on 4 February 2019 which proposed making changes to the existing technical rules that the UK’s DAB digital radio broadcasters are required to comply with as a condition of their licences. These changes were proposed with the aim of ensuring that the rules remained appropriate and proportionate.

The consultation closed on 28 March 2019, and Ofcom received 28 responses to our proposals from industry stakeholders and members of the public. Ofcom has considered all the points raised by respondents and has made certain revisions to the proposed changes in light of the comments that were received.

This statement concludes the consultation process, sets out an analysis of the points raised by respondents, and includes our final decision on the proposed changes to the technical codes. The new Technical Code documents came into force on 11 June 2019.

Ofcom Approves Key Commitment
Change for Radio Faza

Ofcom has decided to approve the Key Commitment change request concerning the FM community radio licence held by Radio Fiza Limited in Nottingham.

The ‘description of character of service’ of the station’s published Key Commitments will change from “Radio Faza is for the South Asian community of Nottingham” to “Radio Faza is for the South Asian and Eastern European Communities of Nottingham.”

It will also add several Eastern European languages and Bengali to the languages in which it broadcasts over the course of each week, and will also add ‘Eastern European’ to the type of music it broadcasts each week.

Audio Content Fund Success for Community Radio Projects

Congratulations to all projects that have been successful in their bids to the Audio Content Fund, a scheme supported by the UK Government to provide funding for the creation of original radio and audio production.

  • Nine projects selected to receive funding totalling £234,000
  • New programming on commercial radio to include a kids’ soap opera, discussions on men’s mental health, and a week-long focus on infertility
  • Content will be made by independent producers and will air within the next 12 months

Fifty applications were received in the first round of bidding, and nine were selected for funding. The selected projects involve eight different production companies making content to be broadcast on 17 different radio stations, including talkSPORT, the Magic Radio network, Fun Kids, and a partnership of community radio stations.

Stellaria Media, for a network of 5 community radio stations: 
Phonic FMSt Austell Bay RadioRadio ScillySoundart Radio, Source FM

100x 2min packages, broadcast at various times
Partnership of 5x Community Radio Stations on FM in Devon and Cornwall

Exquisitely small radio features, each one a different perspective on our relationship with the land throughout Devon and Cornwall. Audio ‘patches’ that can be broadcast in isolation, or compiled together into longer formats. Featuring the voices of the people of Devon and Cornwall, captured through informal conversations, personal testimonies and field recordings. 

Reform Radio, for Gaydio

5x 60min programmes, monthly on Sunday mornings
Community station on FM in Manchester and Brighton, and on DAB in six major cities

‘Radio Ballads’ covering a range of social issues, crafted from workshop recordings of young people aged 16-25, including live performances of spoken word, rap, storytelling, music and other artistic material. An innovative and unique series of crafted explorations of issues impacting young adults. 

The Audio Content Fund is responsible for distributing a grant of up to £3 million which will be used to produce distinctive, public service radio programming that is traditionally more difficult to support on a commercial basis (such as documentaries, comedy, drama, events).

The next Funding Round will run from 15 July until 12 August, and the third round for this financial year will run from 14 October until 12 November.

Gateway 97.8 Launch New Monthly Autism Awareness Feature

Award-winning community radio station Gateway 97.8 launches a brand-new monthly autism awareness feature on its mid-morning daytime show from mid-June. The feature is in partnership with autism charity Anna Kennedy Online and is presented by Aston Avery, who has presented the Daytime show at the station for over four years. Aston, from Basildon, was first diagnosed with autism at a young child and was non-verbal until aged six. Now aged 27, Aston is an ambassador for Anna Kennedy Online and promotes autism awareness in the community. In 2016, he won a National Diversity Award for being a positive role model.

The new monthly radio feature will be a platform for discussion about autism, raising awareness about the condition and featuring interviews with parents, autistic adults and professionals in the field of autism. Speaking about the new feature, Anna Kennedy said: “I am so pleased that Gateway 97.8 is a station that embraces diversity. The new radio feature will give Aston and I the opportunity to invite individuals from the local autism community and share their stories. We will also share practical accessible advice for all those affected by autism, providing opportunities for discussion and reaching out for those who need to talk. There are many families and individuals that feel isolated or lost and, hopefully, by airing this show monthly, Aston, Gateway and I will build on supporting the autism community.”

Raidió Fáilte Wins Top Award for Community Building

Community radio station Raidió Fáilte's headquarters on Divis Street has been named the top Community Benefit project at the RICS Awards 2019, which celebrate the best, community-led built projects and the talent behind them. Completed in October 2018, the new Raidió Fáilte hub is home to an Irish-language community radio station that broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From their new base, the station provides education, vocational training, volunteering opportunities and a platform for other community-based initiatives stretching out to the Gaelic speaking population of Ulster and beyond. The hub has been viewed as having a direct positive effect on the lives of those in the local area. RICS judges commended “the Raidió Fáilte team’s clear commitment to community engagement and enrichment programmes is facilitated by their new building”. Read the full article on the Belfast Media Group website here.

Insanity Radio Receives £9950 Lottery Grant

Community radio station Insanity Radio 103.2 has been awarded a £9,950 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund. These grants are used to fund community-focused projects around the UK and are an invaluable source of allowing projects to thrive without commercial backing. The grant will allow Insanity Radio, part of Royal Holloway, University of London, to build a brand new state-of-the-art multimedia studio. This studio will be available not just for producing Insanity content, but for volunteers to use for personal projects, for internal training, and will be accessible to anyone in the local community. Insanity Radio will be working with its sister media groups rhubarbTV and Orbital Magazine to further advance this exciting project. Insanity Radio has been broadcasting to the local community since 1998, and to young people over the world since 2000. To find out more click here.

OBE for Phil Maguire, Chief Executive of the Prison Radio Association

The Prison Radio Association is pleased to announce that its Chief Executive, Phil Maguire, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for ‘Services to Radio Production and Prison Radio’. Phil is the founding Chief Executive of the PRA. He worked in the fields of social work and education before following his passion for radio. After gaining a Masters degree in broadcast journalism, he worked as a radio producer, reporter and project manager for the BBC. In 2006 he left the BBC to become the PRA’s first employee. Phil understood radio could make a difference to this hardest-to-reach of audiences. His passion for social justice, his background in a social work setting, and his unbridled passion for radio gave him the confidence that the medium had the power to support, inform and inspire people who desperately wanted their lives to change. It was an immediate success. Today National Prison Radio, in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, broadcasts to more than 80,000 prisoners. Quality remains the touchstone. 86% of prisoners tune in for around 10 hours per week – incredible listening figures for any radio station. Read the full article on the PRA website here

Royal Recognition for DAB Radio Innovator

Ofcom engineer Rashid Mustapha, who carried out the first test of small-scale digital audio broadcasting in the UK, has been given an MBE for services to radio broadcasting. The success of his work has greatly reduced costs and created opportunities for local and community broadcasters. His achievements and determination have already been recognised by his peers. Last September he earned a Digital Radio Hall of Fame award. The Cabinet Office said: “He successfully delivered a reliable, high-quality digital radio broadcast, and could do so at potentially much lower cost than currently required for equipment to deliver wide-area coverage. “This trial led to the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) giving Ofcom funding over two years to expand his work and to see whether it would work at scale. Under his technical leadership, in June 2015, Ofcom awarded temporary licences for 10 trials of small-scale DAB multiplexes in different locations across the UK. Since completion of the trials, the DCMS and Ofcom have been pushing ahead with a national expansion of smaller digital radio stations now that they are technically possible and commercially viable. The Cabinet Office added: “The use of the small-scale DAB technology developed by Rashid will secure long-term benefits for the UK’s smaller commercial and community stations and also for overseas listeners who will also benefit from this technology.”

The founder of Totally Radio, Britain’s longest-running internet radio station, Daniel Nathan, from Brighton, said: “I’ve known and worked with Rash for thirty years and it’s great to see him recognised for an often maverick approach to reimagining radio technology – from pioneering work in low-power FM radio, through the birth of internet streaming and also the open source digital radio platform that many of our industry colleagues said would never work – until it did!”

In this episode of the Community Development podcast Russell Todd is joined by Dr Rob Watson from Decentered Media (@DecenteredMedia) to look at, among other things, the role that community media plays in strengthening civil society and providing communities with a voice to articulate things that matter to them, rather than what a professional media considers as ‘newsworthy’.

They also consider the extent to which community development practitioners need to engage with – or even create their own – community media in order to reduce, what Alan Twelvetrees calls, the “invisibility” of their practice.

To listen to Episode 18 of the Community Development Podcast click here.

Sunderland Podcast Nominated for a New York Festivals Radio Award
Academic tutor and audio producer Jay Sykes has been nominated along with presenters Betty Ball and Stevie Burnikell for an award in the category Culture & The Arts Podcast at this year's New York Festivals Radio Awards. 

Jay produces ‘Speak Up Sunderland‘, a bold and ambitious weekly podcast proudly made in Sunderland.  Always recorded in a different location, hosts Bethany and Stevie meet the people behind various projects, events and organisations across the city.

After less than a month, the podcast has been downloaded nearly 400 times, and listened to around the world. “Gutsy, funny and compelling listen, whether you are from sunny Sunderland or not.  This podcast is going places – listen to this space!”.
The Decentred Media Podcasts
We share with you here the latest episodes of the Decentered Media podcasts from prolific podcaster, CMA Council member and community media advocate Dr Rob Watson (pictured in the foreground).
Decentered Podcast 029 – Motivations for Citizens Journalism
What is it that motivates us to become community radio producers and citizen journalists? What are we interested in doing that is different from working with professional and commercial media when we volunteer or advocate for alternative and independent media. It’s not fame or glory! Rob chats with Matthew Rogers, who runs the Citizen Journalism News Network with support from the University of Exeter. Matthew talks about how he’s built on his work supporting SourceFM in Falmouth, and what he thinks it means to be a community reporter in an age of technological and social change.

Decentered Podcast 030 – Community Membership for Bido Lito!
The traditional approach to publishing a magazine or a periodical newspaper is often based around a marketing and sales plan that maximises advertising revenue. But as engagement with readers shifts across different types of media, often using multiple forms of media simultaneously, then new strategies and innovative approaches are emerging that need to be tried out and explored. 

Decentered Podcast 031 – Dave Boyle Community Shares
How we invest in businesses and organisations that are focused on social value and community benefit is an important question, as we seek to tackle issues of engagement, resilience and sustainability. Rob Watson spoke with Dave Boyle who has campaigned and worked to support community organised and funded cooperatives across the UK since 2001. 

Decentered Podcast 032 – Community Media and Social Value In Action
Rob met with Juan Pardo of Leicestershire County Council to discuss how concepts of social value are being developed to help and support independent community services. Juan identifies how his experience promoting community engagement is becoming more central to the way services are provided by local authorities, and how the Nesta report about Public Value reflects how the practice is beginning to be understood by other service delivery agencies.
Jobs & Vacancies
JOBS: Senior Posts and Chair of the Board at Comux
Comux UK Ltd is advertising two new senior posts for which it is seeking applicants with a management, broadcasting or engineering background. Comux UK is licensed by Ofcom to provide the digital terrestrial television multiplex for the Local TV network in the UK. It also carries commercial TV services, which are broadcast across the Comux network. Comux has openings for a General Manager, responsible for general operations, and a Chief Technical Officer, responsible for technical staff and facilities. Closing date for both posts 29 June.
Chair of the Board: Comux is seeking to appoint a new Chair of the Board following the retirement of the current Chair. The person appointed will have previous board-level experience and understanding of the type of commercial environment in which Comux operates. The post is remunerated on a day rate basis of £700/day for the equivalent of up to 24 days work per annum. For further information download the job specification from the link below. Closing date: 15 June 2019
General Manager: Comux is seeking to appoint a General Manager. The person appointed will be responsible for the general management of Comux, reporting to the Board of Directors and overseeing daily operations. Salary scale: £50,000 – £65,000. For further information download the job specification from the link below. Closing date: 29 June 2019
Chief Technical Officer: Comux is seeking to appoint a Chief Technical Officer. The person appointed will be responsible for managing the Comux Network Operations Centre in Birmingham, including technical staff and facilities. Salary scale: £40,000 – £55,000. For further information download the job specification from the link below. Closing date: 29 June 2019. For more information visit:
Techie Stuff
Podfollow for Sharing Podcasts

Sharing podcasts on social media can be difficult, which link should you use? Which app has your listener got? Podfollow is trying to make that all much easier. Each podfollow link automatically redirects to Apple Podcasts for iOS users, Google Podcasts for Google users and a landing page for people on desktop. It means that people can always play your podcast straight after clicking. Unlike other services, you can claim your podcast, and then choose where all the different users are re-directed.It's perfect for links on social (with pretty graphics) and free to use. Try it out at

A Guide to Fact Checking the Internet
Full Fact is the UK’s independent fact checking charity. It provides free tools, information and advice so that anyone can check the claims we hear from politicians and the media. Check out its 'How to series: A Guide to Fact Checking the Internet' here.

Semiphemeral: Automatically delete your old tweets, except for the ones you want to keep

Semiphemeral is a new tool written in Python to help you clean up a Twitter feed and delete old posts, retweets, and likes.  The code is licensed under MIT - everyone is welcome to use it but you'll need some tech skills to do so. It's a command line tool, not a service. And to use it, you need to generate Twitter API credentials with your Twitter account (roughly following these instructions) - this means you'll be interfacing with the Twitter API directly, rather than giving some third party permission to access your Twitter account. It will work fine to run on your laptop, but if you want to make it automatically delete old tweets going forward, you'll probably want to schedule it to run on a daily cron job on a server somewhere.

International News

Community Broadcaster: Do You Matter?

A view of community radio from the US but expressing a number of sentiments familiar to all in the UK:

"In times like this, noncommercial radio is pressed to look inside for its greatest strengths. While we may not have the big budgets or splashy ads in Times Square, we have a trust built with our audiences over the years. That relationship is a good foundation to build from, and to consider where we go from here."

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