Welcome to Issue #23 Feb 2019
In this edition, we share news about the Community Radio Fund and an invitation from Ofcom to comment on revisions to Digital Radio Technical Codes. We have an update on the thriving community media scene in Leicester from Rob Watson and podcasts from Time To Change whose Champions are challenging mental health issues. Wycombe Sound was on the BBC Media Show recently and some Spark Sunderland alumni have formed a new media production company. Find out how to participate in Sound Diaries and document the sounds of everyday life, or download the free promos to encourage advertising on community radio. We also have details of workshops on reporting with impact, microphone techniques, citizen journalism in Cornwall, essential radio skills in Bristol, and the next Radio Hub networking event in Kent. There's NYC Radio Awards, tips on smartphone video editing, and a story on hyperlocal radio.

Also World Radio Day also takes place this week - see below for useful broadcast content.

As usual there's just too much going on, so so head over to the Chat Forum for a question raised by Sam at Leicester Community Radio asking "What sort of training do stations give new presenters?", an open call for content from Radiophrenia, a history of experimental radio from the Third Coast Festival, a follow-up on the Civil Society Futures report, an update on the Cairncross review into local news media, and much much more.

Email your news, press releases, event details and stories to
Strategy & Policy Updates

Award of Grants 2018-19 Round 2

Ofcom's Community Radio Fund Panel met on Tuesday 22 January to consider applications in the second round of funding for 2018-19.

The Panel considered each application and awarded funding based on the information provided as follows:

  • 55 applications for grants were considered;
  • The total amount of funding requested in these applications was £1,095,365
  • 19 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £323,692; and
  • 36 applicants were not awarded a grant.
For a summary of grants awarded in 2019 visit the Ofcom website here.

Ofcom Consultation: Revisions to Digital Radio Technical Codes

Ofcom requires the UK’s DAB digital radio broadcasters to comply with certain technical rules which establish a common minimum set of technical standards for the way that DAB signals are transmitted. They are proposing to revise some aspects of these technical rules, to ensure they remain appropriate and proportionate.

Ofcom is also starting to think about the needs of the forthcoming ‘small scale DAB’ services which Ofcom is expecting to begin licensing on a permanent basis during 2019/2020. The proposed changes equally apply to the further roll-out of local or national multiplexes that may wish to deploy smaller transmitters than previously so as to fill areas of coverage deficiency.

Ofcom invites comments on these proposals by 18 March 2019.

For further information on the consultation, visit the Ofcom website here.  

To submit a response use the consultation responses form (RTF, 1.4 MB)
Community Updates

Wycombe Sound Discusses Community Radio
on The Media Show on BBC Radio 4

Philippa Sawyer of Wycombe Sound discusses community radio with Chris Burns, Head of Local Radio at the BBC on The Media Show, 6th February 2019. Listen to the programme here.

Celebrating Community Radio in Leicester

Catch up on developments in community radio in Leicester with Rob Watson from Decentered Media. Rob writes about attending the launch of new community station Radio Seerah and an event celebrating the volunteers at Leicester Community Radio - taking the opportunity to mention a few words about the role of community radio in the UK and the work the Community Media Association does to support participation in media. Read the article on the Decentered website here.

Image: Sir Peter Soulsby, Mayor of Leicester speaking at the launch of Radio Seerah

Free Promos Encouraging Community Radio Advertising 

Audio branders Devaweb, together with CMA Chair Danny Lawrence BEM, from Gateway 97.8, have produced four promos to help encourage advertising on community radio. There are two different scripts, each with a calm female version and a more upbeat male read.

These promos are licensed to be used free of charge by any Community Media Association station through to the end of 2019. You can access them here.

Spark Sunderland Alumni Form New Media Production Company

Two University of Sunderland alumni are growing their media production business after receiving a grant from their former University.

Matty Rayson and Luke Jones launched Fingers and Fringe in April 2018 after graduating from the Broadcast Media Production course at the University of Sunderland. The idea for the business came while both were working in their spare time at the university’s community radio station Spark FM. Read about their projects on the Insider media website here

Opportunity to Participate in Sound Diaries 
In 2008 Felicity Ford and Paul Whitty set up a project called Sound Diaries with the aim of recording everyday life in sound "to resist the overwhelming tide of visual images of the everyday and to meet it with the abundant sounds of the everyday." The project aims to expands awareness of the roles of sound and listening in daily life. It explores the cultural and communal significance of sounds, and has formed a research basis for projects in Beijing, Brussels, Tallinn and Cumbria, and within cultural organisations such as Sound and Music and BBC Radio.

Sound Diaries are looking for participants to document the sounds of everyday life and to contribute to a public event and publication marking ten years of the project. To find out more about the project and how to apply to participate, click here.
Podcasts & Other News

World Radio Day 2019

13 February 2019 is World Radio Day. Now in its eighth year, this special day marks a time where people around the world celebrate radio and how it shapes our lives. Radio informs, transforms and unites us. It brings together people and communities from all backgrounds to foster positive dialogue for change. More specifically, radio is the perfect medium to counter the appeals for violence and the spread of conflict, especially in regions potentially more exposed to such realities.

The theme for World Radio Day 2019 is “Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace” and to mark the occasion, UNESCO has made a selection of copyright free material available to download and broadcast, including an interview with Michal Rahfaldt, the Executive Director of the Children’s Radio Foundation. To find out more and to listen to the interview with Michal click here.

The Community Media Association has created a broadcast promo for World Radio Day 2019 here:

Music credit: Scott Holmes

Text -

Time To Change Champions Podcast - Episode 7 & 8 Available Now

Time To Change is a growing social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. The 'Champions of Time To Change' podcast encourages Time to Change Champions to get the nation talking about mental health and challenge the stigma and discrimination around it. In Episode 7, Chris Kilvington chats with Miriam and Keith about 'Social Marketing'; what is it; what does it do for the campaign; and how can Champions get the free stuff that the team produces. They also look at nationwide campaigns: Be In Your Mates CornerAsk Twice and The Stand Up Kid. Listen to Episode 7 on Soundcloud here. In Episode 8 Keith went to the North East for a special Champions Campaign event hosted by Time to Change County Durham. Listen to Episode 8 here and all the Time to Change podcast episodes here.

Decentered Podcast 17 – Putting Out The Welcome Mat

In this podcast Dr. Rob Watson from Decentered Media and John Coster met up at the pop-up Documentary Media Center and chatted about what it means to feel welcome in our communities, and how community media can play role in supporting and fostering understanding in these divisive political times.
Listen to Episode 17 here
Events & Campaigns

Reporting With Impact - Workshop, 26th February, London

Media has the power to shape the agenda and provoke change. But at a time when the news cycle is overwhelmed by fast-changing international events or is heavily focused on domestic themes, it can be difficult to know how to get your story noticed.

As a journalist or filmmaker you may have access to a story with the potential for impact, but how do you ensure it will get picked up by commissioners, engage audiences, and in turn, shift opinion?

Join One World Media at Channel 4 headquarters for a day of sessions exploring these questions by bringing together leading industry experts to discuss social impact and media.

This year’s event will be focusing on environmental reporting, with special guests including Liz Bonnin, Gethin Chamberlain, Tom Clarke, Monica Garnsey, Phil Harding, Craig Hunter, Nicola Milne, Rosamund Pearce, and Sue Turton.

Tickets: £10 – £30. Book via Eventbrite here.  

Funding Training & Awards

The Young ARIAS - Calling Young Talent 

The Young ARIAS are new UK awards for 8 to 18-year-old creators who love to make audio. If you’re involved in radio, podcasts or audio projects, then the Young Arias want to shine a spotlight on your talent. 

Entering is simple and best of all free. You will need a 10-minute audio compilation of the best bits of radio/audio you’ve made, to showcase what you’ve got. Then add a few lines about your show, what makes it great and why you love radio/audio so much. Finally, provide a brief track listing of what’s in your audio entry.

There is plenty of advice for your audio entry and your written statement on the How to Enter page of the Young ARIAS website here

Microphones Types, Techniques & Applications - 20th February, London

Microphones can be confusing - different shapes and sizes, their correct handling and use, the way they work, the different pick-up patterns and the selection of one suitable for the intended application.

This half-day course from Iain Betson of AV Resilience will offer insights into the most suitable models, both mono and stereo, to use “in the field”, and the ones that are less suitable.

Some of the areas covered are:

  • Microphone pick-up patterns
  • The difference between dynamic and condenser models
  • Suggestions for microphones for different recording scenarios
  • Handling techniques to avoid unwanted noise and how to position them to get the best quality.
  • Setup of situations that require multiple microphones, and their connection to a recorder or mixer.

Freelance or employed in the radio, audio production or podcast sectors, this workshop will improve your microphone use skills and the all-important quality of the recordings they capture. Attendees are encouraged to bring their recording kit along to this workshop so directly applicable advise on its use can be offered.

10% discount to the first four bookings from CMA members.

Date & Time

Wed, 20 February 2019, 14:00 – 17:30 GMT


The Bridge, 81 Southwark Bridge Rd, London, SE1 0NQ

Booking and further information is on Eventbrite.

Citizen Journalism News Network - Courses in Cornwall

The Citizen Journalism courses aim to give you the skills to tell the stories that matter. You will be working alongside colleagues to form a local broadcasting network, which will produce relevant news bulletins that will be used on local radio stations as well as a bespoke online local news platform. Over 12 sessions you will learn how to research, write, read and record the important news stories from in and around your area. 

The course offers detailed instruction on newsgathering, documentary production, audio recording, editing, writing scripts for broadcast, vocal presentation, weather, travel and elements of online news presentation. You will receive advice and instruction from skilled media professionals and academic supervisors.

Participants can choose either the Truro location on Monday mornings, the Newquay location on Tuesday mornings or the Penryn location on Tuesday afternoons.

All participants are required to attend an introductory day at Penryn Campus on Monday 18 March 9.00 am – 1.00 pm. For more information and course dates click here.

Here are 380 Ivy League courses you can take
online right now for free

freeCodeCamp has compiled a list of 380 Ivy League courses you can take online right now for free. These Ivy League schools are also highly selective and extremely hard to get into. But the good news is that all these universities now offer free online courses across multiple online course platforms. These courses are know as MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses. Click here to find out more.

Essential Radio Skills Workshop, Bristol, 24th Feb

This workshop on ‘Essential Radio Skills‘ will give participants the opportunity to get hands-on training in a real radio studio as you learn to drive a radio desk, produce, present and develop interview techniques.

The workshop is at Ujima Radio in Bristol on Sunday 24th Feb 2-5pm. Tickets cost £50 per person. Places are limited so will be on a first-come-first-served-basis basis but if popular we will run another workshop. All are welcome, young, old, male, female everyone can come! To secure a place payment is needed. There are no concessions on this workshop. To find out more and to book contact the workshop leader Miranda Rae at:


Miranda has worked in radio since she was just 18 and was the first full-time female radio presenter in the UK. Miranda has produced and presented on local, regional and national radio including her own weekly show on BBC Radio 5 for which she won a Sony Award. She recently hosted a series on Radio 4 as well as producing and presenting a weekly show on UK’s No 1 Urban station, Ujima Radio. Miranda also pioneered a ground-breaking format of radio not in UK before when she was Head of Specialist Music and Presenter and Galaxy Radio. Miranda is a producer, presenter (TV & Radio), compere and voice over artist.

Miranda’s website:

Follow her on Twitter: @MirandaTheWord

The Radio Hub

Radio Hub – Training and Networking Event, 30th March, Kent

The Radio Hub presents a day of community radio networking and training, including presenter training and speakers throughout the day.

Location: The Royal Hotel Sheerness, Sheerness, Kent.

This is a free ticketed event with a buffet lunch included.

Book early for this very popular event: Free tickets available here:

Saturday, 30th March 2019, 10:00 - 17:00 
The Royal Hotel Sheerness, Sheerness, United Kingdom

New York Festivals Awards - Deadline 15th March

The New York Festivals 2019 Radio Awards are now open for entries. The Awards honor radio content in all lengths and formats and across all platforms from radio stations, networks and independent producers from around the globe. 

Following on from the success of Dave Woods from Community radio station Swindon 105.5 who received a finalists award in 2017, the 2018 New York Radio Awards recognised Emma Casson from student radio station Spark at the University of Sunderland and Stuart Russell at Resonance FM, as well as awarding two of the five top ‘Grand Awards’ to the UK. 

The deadline to enter the 2019 Radio Awards competition is 15 March 2019. See the New York Festivals website for more information and all the categories this year.


Free Online Evaluation Tool for Small Charities Launches

The 'Impactasaurus' evaluation tool has been created to offer small and medium-sized charities a simple, free way of measuring social impact.

Impactasaurus aims to help charities measure and report on their impact and has been released after two years of development and trials involving 100 charities.

The tool has no user manuals and training to make it easier for smaller charities to use and instead uses a catalogue of questionnaires to select from.

Once completed, impact reports can be generated covering the whole organisation or specific areas of work, such as a single project, location or type of intervention. Check out the article on the Digital Charity website here

The BBC Experiments with New Radio Interfaces

The BBC is building physical prototypes to demonstrate how some audio-related technologies can be used to address the needs of young people. The BBC is taking a three-part approach:
  • Start with a small group of users and find out how they use radio and sound and why
  • Work with artists and other creative people to develop ideas with the users themselves
  • Create physical objects which represent the outcome of this process, and evaluate them.
Read the full article on the BBC website here.

5 In-Camera Transitions to Make Your Social Content More Engaging

Create slick transitions and add extra excitement to your work - all you need is a smartphone. Read about the best 5 in-camera video transitions to make your social media content more engaging and watch the video with Caroline Scott, Deputy Editor of here.

Balancing Quality and Performance: Audio Advice for Voice Apps

"If you are a newcomer to working on audio within the sphere of voice, it can seem like there is a lot to learn about encoding and formats, but the truth is, a little bit of knowledge can get you a long way. Although Google’s audio format and compression recommendations are somewhat lacking, by heeding our advice and avoiding a couple of potential potholes we came across at the Guardian Voice Lab, this article should keep you in good stead for managing audio on your future voice projects."

Read the full article from the Guardian Voice Lab team on The Guardian website here.
International News

Hyperlocal Radio and Do-It-Yourself Networks Bring Information Closer To Home

Modern communications technology means many people can find anything, anywhere around the world, on the internet and via mobile phones. But people still live in communities and need information that is relevant to them.

The Grassroot Wavelengths project makes FM frequencies available for hyperlocal community radio stations, which can work off a transmitter connected to a mobile phone, broadcasting over a radius of up to 12 km, perhaps covering a neighbourhood, or a village and its surroundings.

By taking a fresh look at community radio – with an FM signal broadcast over a catchment area of only a few kilometres – researchers are finding new and surprising ways to connect remote or rural communities, even in areas where communications may be patchy.

Read the article in Horizon Magazine here.

Image: Through Grassroots Wavelengths, FM frequencies work off a transmitter connected to a mobile phone, broadcasting over a radius of up to 12 km. Image Credit - Andreea Bonea / RootIO, licensed under CC BY-NC

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