Edition #55 September 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of Community Media News

Welcome to the August edition of Community Media News.

We kick off with Sector News and share details of the upcoming CMA Community Radio Networking Meeting taking place this Saturday 25th September (on Zoom and free to attend). There's news of Local radio Day 2021 on 15th October. And some details of the CMA's recent meetign with BBC Scotland.

In Strategy, Policy & Licensing, we have news from Ofcom's Round Two SSDAB licensing and details of Round Three. The results of Round 1 of the Community Radio Fund have been announced and the CMA reports success with its CRF Assistance Service.

In Community Updates, Gloucester FM celebrates 21 years of broadcasting with a celebratory awards event and fundraiser dinner and dance. Caroline Community Radio will be broadcasting from Radio Caroline's Ross Revenge  - and you can win two tickets for a special tour. Angel Radio joins the regional DAB multiplex for Surrey & South London, Hot Radio partnered with Yellow Buses in Bournemouth for the AIr Show. And Michelle at Chelmsford Community Radio has been recognised with a national anti-violence award.

In Audio & Digital, the Prison Radio Association is looking to recruit a Head of Podcasting; applications are open for the Radio Academy's RAMP mentoring programme and we share tips for incorporating more audio into your reporting. We share Spectrum Sounds - new music commissioned by the BBC for Culture in Quarantine; details of the BBC's Radio1 Christmas takeover, and the latest news and views from Ireland from the Wireless Flirt blog and radio show.

In Events & Training, Internews teams up with Radio Network Afghanistan to discuss the Future of Media in Afghanistan (Wed 22nd Sept)  and we share details of Ofcom's "ALL IN: Diversity in Broadcasting" Virtual Event (Thurs 30th Sept). The next RadioHub event is taking another look at presenting skills on Sun 3rd Oct. Get involved in World Mental Health Day which is on 10 Oct and the free to attend the World DAB Summit takes place on 9 Nov.

In Awards, the deadlines loom for both the Audio Production Awards and the Voice Tracker of the Year Award.

In Funding, we have details of the Community Shares Booster Programme, how charities can apply for free sims to tackle digital exclusion, information on grants from the Thomas Wall Trust, and the next round of funding from the Audio Content Fund.

Lastly, in Tech Corner, we share broadcasting lessons from 9/11, best equalizer settings for podcasts, and the history of radio jingles.

As usual, there's too much to cram in here so please check out our Chat Forum for more information and check out our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook) to keep up to date with more news and information.

We also have a wiki site to try to manage the wealth of information relevant to the current situation such as advice on FundraisingBusiness Continuity, the BBC Local Radio Content Scheme, and other General Information.

Do you have a story about your community radio station or community media project to share? Email your news, press releases, event details, and stories to

CMA Community Radio Network Meeting
12pm, Saturday 25th September

The theme of September's CMA Community Radio Network Meeting at 12pm on Saturday 25th September is Local Radio Day 2021 with Dom Chambers, CMA Chair, and Maxine Stride from the Local Radio Alliance.

Local Radio Day is on Friday, 15th October this year and the day, organised by the Local Radio Alliance since 2019, is an occasion to not only celebrate but also strengthen the connections that local radio brings – to communities, to industry professionals, and to individuals. Local Radio Day was created in 2015 by UKRD and brings together local stations on a national level. In recent years, local radio has achieved new heights of relevance; the need to unite during isolation, to join meaningful and supportive networks, has never been greater. Local radio has proved an invaluable medium to facilitate such connections.

The Local Radio Day Zoom session starts at 12pm on Saturday 25th September.

The session is free to attend and open to all in community radio so put the date in our diary and we look forward to seeing you in the call. To reserve your spot book here:

Local Radio Day is Back for its Sixth Year on Friday 15th October
2021’s Local Radio Day celebrates the theme ‘Love Your Place’, announces organisers, the Local Radio Alliance.

On Friday 15th October listeners and presenters can share their favourite locations - the special spots which have meant the most during challenging times. Local Radio Day is an occasion for celebrating and strengthening the connections between listeners and their communities that local radio provides in spades.

Maxine Stride, Director at Local Radio Alliance says, “Wherever you feel you belong and wherever makes you happy, we want to know about it. This will highlight what is special about where we live; from local businesses to arts, sports, countryside, and urban spots. Use #LocalRadioDay to join the conversation on Twitter and brighten our feeds with your participation this year.”

This year’s celebration is supported by The Radio Academy, Community Media Association, the Local Media Network, BBC Local Radio, and hundreds of radio stations across the UK.

Dom Chambers, founder of the Local Radio Alliance said, “I think it’s important that we have a day when we can celebrate and mark the achievements of local radio. There’s never been a greater need for local radio than now, and I think the pandemic has shown this. There are many ways we can feel connected, but radio is such a powerful and potent way. It’s about tuning into those locally trusted voices to hear about what is going on in your community.” 

Read more on the Chat Forum.

To find out more and sign your station up head to

CMA / BBC Scotland meeting August 2021

Last month, CMA Chair Dom Chambers met with Ian Hamilton and Vicky Lee-Middleton of BBC Scotland.

BBC Scotland had contacted the CMA earlier this year with a view to developing better links between BBC Scotland and Scottish community radio stations.

Up for discussion was the potential for content sharing between BBC Scotland and Scottish community radio stations - particularly regional content that might have a focus outside of the big cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The CMA is working on developing a CMA / BBC Scotland Memorandum of Understanding to build upon and extend the template set by the CMA / BBC English Regions MoU.

It is hoped that BBC Scotland might share some training events with community radio stations in Scotland. For example, legal and compliance training could be delivered as an activity that is of relevance to both BBC and community radio broadcasters.

The CMA expects to strengthen its links with BBC Scotland with a view to developing a joint event possibly to be held next year to bring Scottish community radio stations into better contact with BBC Scotland.

SSDAB Licensing: Round Two & Round Three News

Ofcom has now published the applications received to operate small-scale radio multiplexes in North West England and North East Wales.

A total of 30 applications were received for 18 of the areas advertised. No applications were received for: Chester & Ellesmere Port; Clitheroe; Rhyl, Ruthin & Mold; and Wirral. Read more on the CMA Chat Forum here.

And the list of multiplex licence areas that Ofcom plans to advertise in Round Three of small-scale DAB licensing is now available.

Advertisements for multiplex licences in London and South East England, originally planned for Round Four, are now likely to be published at a later date. This is because of delays in obtaining international spectrum coordination agreements in this part of the UK. Read more on the Chat Forum here.

Ofcom Community Radio Fund
Award of Grants 2021-22 Round 1

Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund Panel met on Wednesday 11 August 2021 to consider applications in the first round of funding for 2021-22.

At the meeting, 72 applications for grants were considered and 23 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £221,467.

In 2020-21, grants were provided as emergency cash funding to support stations facing severe financial difficulty due to the coronavirus outbreak.  The Fund has now returned to supporting the core costs of running Ofcom-licensed community radio stations, as set out in the guidance notes.

A summary of the awards is available here.

Community Radio Fund Assistance Service

The Community Media Association (CMA) set up the CRF Assistance Service back in June to assist CMA members who were applying to Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund (CRF). It is a free and confidential service.

Nine stations contacted our Service. One of these got in touch too late for us to be able to help. A further three decided not to proceed for various understandable reasons. The CRF Assistance Service will contact these unsuccessful stations in time for the next CRF Round.

Of the remaining five, four were successful and one was turned down. The one that was unsuccessful submitted an application probably best suited for other funding bodies. Of the four successful applications, one received a relatively low award but had been generously funded in the emergency rounds, and was very satisfied by their award.

Of the other three, all were in the top ten by the amount awarded. In total, the CMA assisted stations that received just under 25% of the total funds awarded.

An application form to apply for help with CRF applications is online here.

Read more on the Chat Forum here

Gloucester FM is celebrating Black History Month and 21 years of broadcasting with a spectacular evening of entertainment at the GFM Awards and Fundraising Dinner on on Saturday 23 October 2021.

From the very first day of broadcast on 6 October 2000, the aim of GFM has been to empower, educate and entertain the citizens of Gloucester with music, news, information & advice. Since then, hundreds of Gloucester residents have joined the city's only voluntary run and managed community radio station.

Tickets for this worthwhile and fabulous fundraising event cost £45 which include a 3 course meal and complimentary drink on arrival. Buy a table of 10 and get 1 seat free. Tickets are available via or Telephone 01452 525425.

Caroline Community Radio Broadcasting
from the Ross Revenge

Former pirate radio station, Radio Caroline, has invited presenters from a community radio station Caroline Community Radio 94.7FM in Essex to get a taste of what it is like to be an offshore DJ!

Presenters from the community radio station will be spending three days on board the historic radio ship 'Ross Revenge' and broadcasting live on the 9-10 October.

Radio Caroline station manager Peter Moore said: “Caroline Community Radio is an independent community radio station which is supported by Radio Caroline with training and technical expertise. As part of our support we will be handing the studios on Ross Revenge over to the community presenters for the weekend and they will be shown the ropes by Radio Caroline DJs staying with them on board.”

There will also be an opportunity for local residents to visit Ross Revenge during the broadcast on October 9-10 and be shown around by Radio Caroline DJs.

Enter to Win Two Tickets to the Broadcast
from the Ross Revenge

Up for grabs is a chance to win a gift voucher for two people to visit Radio Caroline's former pirate radio ship Ross Revenge during the Caroline Community Radio live broadcast that weekend.

One lucky winner and their guest will be taken out to the ship on a tender from Bradwell Marina to Ross Revenge, which is moored on the River Blackwater, between Bradwell and Mersea Island.

On board there will be a chance to see Caroline Community Radio presenters broadcasting from the ship studios as guests of Radio Caroline, and you will be given a tour of the legendary ship by Radio Caroline DJs who are staying on board with them. To enter, just email your name, address and telephone number to with 'Ross Revenge' as the subject.

The deadline for entries is midnight on Friday 24 September. Please note: Ross Revenge is a working former fishing trawler and visitors should therefore be reasonably able-bodied. Unfortunately, this trip is not suitable for anyone who is partially sighted for safety reasons.
Congratulations to Havant-based nostalgia station Angel Radio on joining the Surrey & South London regional DAB multiplex this month. 

The community radio station is staffed mainly by people aged between 60 and 90, Angel Radio also recently began broadcasting on the new Channel Islands DAB multiplex.

Later this month, the station will be moving its FM transmitter to a new higher site and changing frequency from 89.3MHz to 98.6MHz to enable it to share a commercial radio station's Lindenblad antennas.

Hot Radio &Yellow Buses Partner for Air-Show

Yellow Buses were delighted to partner once again with local community radio station Hot Radio for the recent Bournemouth Air Festival weekend which saw hundreds of thousands of visitors descend on the area for the four-day extravaganza, back this year following an absence due to the pandemic. Read more on the CMA Chat Forum here.

Chelmsford Community Radio presenter recognised with National Anti-Violence Award

The National Monument Against Violence and Aggression, known as the Knife Angel arrived in Chelmsford's Central Park on Monday 6th September. The British Ironwork Centre's touring sculpture, which is made from 100,000 blunted blades, travels around the country with a mission to turn the tide on violent and aggressive behaviour.

The sculpture's first visit to Essex was being led by youth organisation Keep it 100 Essex Youth CIC with support from a range of partners, including Chelmsford City Council, Essex Police, and the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit. The 27-ft Knife Angel will stay in Central Park until 4th October and a series of events and outreach is planned throughout September.

Chelmsford Community Radio has been following the build-up to the Knife Angel's visit and working alongside Keep it 100 Essex founder Luisa Di Marco to help with radio coverage, broadcasting a range of interviews across its scheduled shows. Volunteer breakfast presenter, Michelle Durant; who has been liaising with Luisa regarding getting guests on air was one of a number of local people presented with a National Anti-Violence Award.

The Awards given recognised the positive impact the recipients had given to the community addressing the blight of knife crime and help in raising the profile of the Knife Angel.

Michelle was overwhelmed to receive the Award and hopes that sharing this news might inspire other community radio stations across the country to help with the fight against knife crime.

“The issue of knife crime is not just one area's problem. It’s everywhere and by encouraging discussion rather than avoiding the subject, we can help make people think twice before carrying a blade”
On Monday 6th September Ribble FM said farewell to a cherished presenter and friend who sadly passed away recently. Guest presenters came together for a special broadcast of the Ribble Rebel Show to play an eclectic mix of music from their dear colleague Matt Evans' music library. 

As well as presenting his own show on Ribble FM, Matt was a music promoter who gave the Arctic Monkeys one of their first gigs. He also worked for Sheffield Newspapers before going into public relations and events management. He was also the driving force behind the ‘micro’ music festival Cloudspotting, the 10th anniversary running of which was held in July. Matt is survived by his wife Judy and his two sons. More local press coverage here.
Culture in Quarantine - Spectrum Sounds

Spectrum Sounds is a collection of seven short pieces of music in the colours of the spectrum. The BBC commissioned it as part of the Culture in Quarantine programme.

In this blog post, composer Andrew Hugill explains how the piece arises out of lockdown but also from his hearing and listening, both as an autistic man and as someone with severe unbalanced hearing loss. Andrew worked on this composition remotely with several musicians, many of whom are also autistic or have hearing differences or both. Find out more and listen to Spectrum Sounds here.

Job Opportunity - Head of Podcasts
Prison Radio Association

The Prison Radio Association is looking for the right candidate to run its brand-new, Lottery-funded Podcast Network.

You will need to have a proven track record in developing and leading successful podcast projects in a professional environment. The Prison Radio Association is the charity that runs National Prison Radio, the world’s first national radio station for prisoners.

In recent years it has been crowned Independent Production Company of the Year (Audio Production Awards), Charity of the Year (Third Sector Awards), and won Gold at the radio industry’s prestigious ARIAS. It’s also been nominated for a string of British Podcast Awards. It is now developing a Prison Radio Podcast Network.

A key part of its strategy is to use audio to support people impacted by the criminal justice system. To find out more and download an application pack, visit the Prison Radio Association website here.

Applications Open for RAMP Mentoring Programme

The Radio Academy mentoring programme is for mid-career radio and audio professionals based in the UK, with a minimum of five years’ experience, who are ready to take a significant step in their career. Applications from all disciplines are encouraged including production, presentation, journalism, technology, craft, commercial and support roles.

Mentoring is a personal and professional development partnership in which someone shares their experience and knowledge with someone who wants to grow and progress. It is a two-way confidential partnership of learning, dialogue, development and challenge.

The scheme runs for six months, during which time mentees will receive six hours of mentoring contact with an experienced industry figure. In addition, mentees will benefit from being part of a supportive cohort, experience peer-to-peer feedback, and have access to seminars and networking events designed to boost confidence, enhance skills and provide ongoing support. Find out how to apply on the Radio Academy website here.

Nine Tips for Incorporating More
Audio Into Your Reporting

Some useful tips on how to incorporate more audio into your reporting from Damian Radcliffe, formerly of Ofcom, and curently the Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism at the University of Oregon.

1. Tell The “Story Behind the Story”. Sharing your reporting processes can help newsrooms be more transparent about what they do and how they do it.
2. Offer Previews / Allow Audiences to Dig Deeper
3. Use Long-form Storytelling
4. Offer Exclusive Content
5. Highlight Archived and Evergreen content
6. Use Text-to-speech Services
Reach Audiences in New Spaces
7. Share Audio Snippets on Social Media
8. Monitor the Smart Speakers’ Trend
9. Get Ready for Social Audio Services

Read the more in depth article on these tips on the Global Investigative Journalism Network website here.  

Presenter Opportunity Alert -
It's BBC Christmas Take Over Time

Presenter opportunity alert! The BBC Radio 1 Christmas Presenter Takeover is currently open to applicants. If you have presented radio in some capacity before and have an interest, visit the BBC website here to find out more.
Don't forget you need to upload your demo by 12pm 22nd of Sept!

Wireless Flirt - Radio About Radio from Ireland

Wireless is a radio programme and podcast from Ireland all about radio. In the September 2021 Wireless, Flirt FM manager Paula Healy gives an overview of community and student radio to the Limerick Media and Arts Conference. Director of the Hearsay International Audio Festival Diarmuid McIntyre talks about the state of radio and audio today. We look back at the history of the campaign to save RTÉ radio on longwave and a tribute to pirate radio veteran Robbie Robinson who died recently. To listen to this and previous episodes visit

The Future of Media in Afghanistan - Virtual Event

Join this conversation with Nasir Maimanagy, President of Salam Afghanistan Media Organization (SAMO) and Salam Watandar Radio Network, Afghanistan's largest network of radios, as he discusses the latest developments in Afghanistan and the future of media in the country with Internews CEO Jeanne Bourgault on Wednesday, September 22 at 5:00 pm BST. Register for this FREE event on Eventbrite here.

ALL IN: Diversity in Broadcasting Virtual Event: Thurs 30th Sept

This year, Ofcom will publish its fifth report on broadcast workforce diversity. These five years have seen their fair share of change for broadcasters and viewers, and more than ever we need a broadcasting industry that reflects our diverse society.

Join the free to attend virtual event in collaboration with broadcasters, key stakeholders, and commentators. Throughout the day there will be voices from across TV and Radio, including: Russell T Davies, acclaimed screenwriter; Freema Agyeman, UK actress; June Sarpong, the BBC's first Director of Creative Diversity; Charlene White, Broadcaster and television presenter, (ITV News and Loose Women); Anne Mensah, Vice President for Original Series at Netflix,  and Ade Rawcliffe, Group Director of Diversity and Inclusion at ITV, who leads and develops ITV’s D&I strategy. Ofcom will share the latest research in this area, discuss what has been learned over the past 5 years, hear personal experiences from people in the sector, and set out a vision for the future. Register here.

The Radio Hub - BBC Presenter Workshop

The theme for the next meeting from The Radio Hub is on presenting.

12pm-2pm Sunday 3rd October on Zoom.

If you would like to attend please email Danny Lawrence and your name will be added to the attendee list.

This workshop is for your presenters – newbies or people wanting a refresher. The workshop is provided by Ian and Steve of Scruton Wyatt Media and from BBC Radio Essex.

The Radio Hub is a networking group for radio stations across the UK. It meets regularly to discuss industry developments, best practices, routes to grant funding, and more. The regular workshops host guest speakers and industry experts to share insights into compliance, presenter technique, and more.

World Mental Health Day 2021 - 10th October

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year. This year's theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is 'Mental Health in an Unequal World'.
WorldDAB Summit 2021 (open to all)
9 November  08:00 – 13:00 GMT
The WorldDAB Summit 2021 will take place on 9 November, bringing together digital radio experts from across the radio industry.  In one day you will have the opportunity to:
  • Connect with expert speakers through LIVE questions and answers 
  • Get inspired by keynote sessions from industry leaders 
  • Join in from anywhere around the world
The Summit is free to attend and is open to non-members and members. More details and registration information here - stay tuned and save the date!

The 2021 Audio Production Awards are now open!

And the 2021 Audio Production Awards will take place on the 24th November 2021, at the BFI.  

The entry fees for the Audio Production Awards have been capped for the fourth year in a row, reflecting the challenging circumstances many of us find ourselves in. Entry for the Grassroots Production Award is free and there have been several entry fee discounts for freelancers.

You can find out more, and enter here

Voice Tracker of the Year Awards returns for 2021

Have you hosted a voice-tracked radio show at some point in the last year? If so, simply complete the form via the link below and upload a maximum 5 minutes of audio – showcasing your best work to be in with a chance of winning a cash prize!

The Judges are looking for shows that sound live, local, custom to their station and market, whilst still providing warmth, personality and a one-on-one relationship with the listener.

Entries close 30th September and winners will be announced shortly after. To find out more visit:

Community Shares Booster Programme

The Community Shares Booster Programme is open to new and existing community businesses in England that are soon planning to make, or have recently launched, community share offers.

They are particularly interested in community businesses that will breathe new life into high streets through the regeneration of historic buildings.

What funding is available?

  • Development grants – up to £10,000 to prepare a community share offer: financial planning, governance support, marketing costs and being awarded the Community Shares Standard Mark.
  • Match equity investment – typically matching pound for pound up to £100,000 invested by the Booster Programme, providing that the minimum share offer target is achieved.

Click here to find out more. 

If you have a charity that needs support for digital inclusion programmes, you can apply for free Vodafone SIMs, each loaded with 20GB data plus unlimited calls and texts to be used over 6 months. They could be used for things like staying in touch with service users who have to isolate, or delivering training to people in need. Full details here.

Thomas Wall Trust Accepting Applications

Grants up to £5,000 to established registered charities for specific projects or core activities that support literacy, numeracy, digital and additional skills for learning that are likely to assist employment prospects. 

Proposals are particularly welcome which target people experiencing multiple deprivation or other groups demonstrably facing major hurdles to employment, such as women, people with physical, mental, or learning disabilities, refugees and asylum seekers.

They are currently accepting applications for their November meeting. Full details here

Audio Content Fund, Round 8: deadline 4th October

The next round of funding for the Audio Content Fund opened on Monday, 6 September and you have until 4th October to submit your bids with decisions coming back mid-November. So if you've got amazing ideas for transmission in 2022, now's the time to get your broadcast partners on board!

To find out more visit the Audio Content website here.

DR/BR Lesson From 9/11:
Have Backup On Backup On Backup - And a Plan

During the last few weeks we’ve been reminded about the events of 11 September 2001, now known universally as “9/11”, when the World Trade Centre twin towers collapsed.

All broadcasters operating at the site had several layers of hardware backup in the transmitter room.  Main and standby transmitters, parallel link paths, duplicated processors, signal and control path switching, supported by backup power generation and multiple antenna arrays.  As you would.  No chance of going off-air. Sure: despite all the equipment duplication, there was only one mast on the building, but that mast was comfortably engineered to take all the services.

Read more here.

Best Equalizer Settings for Podcasts:
A Guide to Voice EQ

EQ, short for equalization, is the manipulation of levels over the audio frequency spectrum. Frequency is essentially the rate at which an audio signal vibrates per second and can be measured in Hertz (Hz). The higher the frequency, the faster the audio signal is vibrating. The audible frequency range is from 20 to 20,000 Hz, this is the frequency range we are concerned with when we EQ.
An Audio Engineer may also be responsible for applying EQ to podcasts, of which there is a range of reasons why EQ should be applied to the speech recordings on podcasts, which will be discussed within this article.

It’s tempting to assume that jingles were born along with the radio itself. But, actually, there is some evidence that earlier models date as far back as Shakespeare’s day. In Elizabethan England, roving minstrels or musicians would entertain passers-by in the street. Many had a sponsor, a local trader who often asked the musicians to pen and perform a song about them – a very modern-sounding concept!

Read more about the history of the radio jingle here.


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