Welcome to Community Media
News #35 January 2020
For this first edition of Community Media News of 2020, we have a bumper edition to kick off a new year and a new decade.

In Sector News, we have the date and location of the 2020 Community Media Conference. Additionally, the current CMA Chair and Council has been confirmed.

In Community Updates, the story of BCfm's recovery from the fire is told. And for Veganuary, Future Radio in Norwich hosts the UK's First Vegan Radio Show. For anyone interested in sharing their content with the BBC, BBC Upload has recently launched and we also share a guide from the Engaged Journalism Accelerator on reporting stories in a way that is representative and inclusive of our community. 

In Strategy, Policy and Licensing, Tracy Brabin has been appointed Shadow Secretay of State for digital, culture, media, and sport. Ofcom has a new look to its Broadcast & On-Demand Bulletin. News of analogue community radio updates is to be found in Ofcom's Monthly Communications Update. The CMA is asking for your thoughts on Ofcom's work plan for 2020/21. And DCMS has an open consultation of the future of analogue commercial radio licences.

In Events & Training, there's news of the next Fantastic Noise podcast recording.  There's an upcoming event to be held in Bristol about accessing the media industry. And 13th February sees World Radio Day again.

In Funding & Awards, the Media Trust is hosting a training day for women. And it's that time again to enter the New York Festivals International Radio Awards which usually sees some community radio successes. 

In Podcast, Audio & Digital, we share the inRadio Manchester Conversations recorded at the 2019 Community Media Conference and the latest podcasts on community, social and sustainable media from Decentered Media. We also have some tips for introducing mobile journalism into local newsrooms and making more of your digital content. 

In Tech Corner, there's a look ahead to why 2020 looks good for digital radio and we have some trends and predictions in journalism, media and technology for the year ahead. 

As always, do check the CMA Chat Forum for 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
Save the Date: 2020 Community Media Conference
Saturday 27th June Luton
The date for the 2020 Community Media Conference has been confirmed -  Saturday 27th June at the University of Bedfordshire in Luton!  Best book your hotel accommodation now!

The CMA is interested in hearing your views on the sort of sessions you would like to see at this year's Conference. Post your suggestions here. Given the current media landscape with increasing consolidation and centralisation of broadcasters and the demise of local newspapers, a strong theme is again likely to be citizen journalism. And of course, SSDAB will be an important subject this year with the first SSDAB licences to be issued. 
Following the Annual General Meeting of the Community Media Association (CMA) last November and the first meeting of its newly elected Council on Saturday 11th January, the CMA has confirmed the re-appointment of Danny Lawrence of Gateway 97.8 as the Chairman. Janey Gordon of the University of Bedfordshire and Richard Hilton of the Community Radio Fund will also continue in their roles of Vice-Chair and Treasurer, respectively. Other members of the CMA Council for 2020 are Dom Chambers, Lol Gellor, Gloria Khamkar, and Javed Sattar.

Danny Lawrence said "I'm delighted to be re-appointed Chairman of the Community Media Association for a second year. The CMA and the sector had a very busy year in 2019 and we look forward to continuing the pace for the year ahead. The CMA ran six successful outreach events on the theme of citizen journalism, we held an outstanding Community Media Conference at BBC MediaCityUK in Salford, and we finished the year with more than 40 community radio volunteers trained at Sky News Headquarters in Isleworth.

2020 will be a pivotal year for community radio with the first licences for small-scale DAB to be awarded. And more community radio stations on FM continue to be licensed as Ofcom continues its fourth round of community radio licensing. The CMA ran a well-received high-profile campaign at the end of the year calling on more support from the Government for community radio and we will be taking that campaign forward with immediate effect. I'm looking forward to working with my Vice Chair, Janey Gordon of the University of Bedfordshire, and with the rest of the CMA Council and staff".

Bill Best, Operations Manager of the CMA said "I'm delighted to be working with Danny in his capacity as Chairman of the CMA. Last year, the CMA's emphasis has been on delivering outreach events and training for the sector and we look to build on that record of activity for year ahead. With Danny as Chairman working with the rest of CMA Council, 2020 promises to be yet another exciting year for community radio".
Community Updates

BCfm - The Phoenix from the Airwaves

BCfm – Bristol Community FM had its fair share of drama in 2019 when a fire broke out 'on air' and destroyed most of its studio equipment and left the community radio station looking for a new home!

Listen to their story on The Untold, the award-winning, observational documentary series on BBC Radio 4. The episode, called ''Phoenix from the Airwaves'' makes for compelling radio, with story-telling techniques such as scenes, characterisation, narrative, suspense and resolution.

The drama begins; "In a community centre in inner-city Bristol, next to the nursery, and the café and the hall for local meet-ups and yoga, sits a very special place. The BCfm – Bristol Community FM – radio station. From their studio next to Easton community centre’s Reception, 204 volunteer radio presenters broadcast to the city of Bristol and beyond. Dezzi Rankin (the resident Sunday morning reggae host), Shout Out (LGBTQ+), Silver Sound (for the older listener), Mid-Week Sports bar, Real Women – they’re all here...

Future Radio Hosts the UK’s First Vegan Radio Show!

With Veganuary well underway and more people then ever cutting down on their use of animal products for ethical, environmental and health reasons, one local community radio station, Future Radio in Norwich, is leading the way on the airwaves with the UK's first radio show dedicated to all things vegan!

Presenters Laura Richardson and Ben Tonks, along with Vegan news reporter Emily Moore, broadcast the Future Vegan show every other Thursday, with a repeat available to catch up on Saturdays. Through regular guest interviews with vegan food producers and lifestyle promoters, the many facets of veganism are discussed, tackling the issues that are important to the vegan community such as health and lifestyle, environmental concerns and animal rights. You can also listen to the show on the go via the’s Listen Again pages.

BBC Upload

Upload is your chance to showcase your talent on the BBC. Upload any kind of content: audio, video, text and images. The BBC will watch, read, or listen to everything you upload. Content that catches their attention will go on air or on local BBC digital platforms. Click here to for further information.

A New Guide for Telling Powerful and Inclusive Stories with Underserved Communities

The Engaged Journalism Accelerator, in collaboration with On Our Radar, has published a guide to reporting stories in a way that is representative and inclusive of our community. How are we challenging stereotypes that have persisted until now? What’s the best way to make use of the lived experience, access and insight available? And, crucially, how do our reporting processes support the emergence of new narratives?
Inside the guide you will find:
  • The ‘five C s' methodology – conviction, capacity, confidence, connectivity, craft – that On Our Radar practises to do a more engaged journalism
  • Concrete tools and tactics to help overcome common barriers to participation
  • Practical case studies to enable you to co-produce a project from beginning to end or set up your own reporters’ network
Link here.
Tracy Brabin Announced as Shadow Culture Secretary
Tracy Brabin the MP for Batley and Spen has been promoted to the shadow cabinet as Secretary of State for digital, culture, media and sport replacing the former deputy leader Tom Watson as Shadow Media, Culture and Sport Secretary. The MP said: "I’m looking forward to working with DCMS stakeholders as well as holding the government to account in the months ahead. With more than 30 years’ experience in the creative industries, I feel perfectly placed to hold the Government to account".
New Look to Ofcom's Broadcast & On-Demand Bulletin
There's a new look to Ofcom's Broadcast & On-Demand Bulletin. Read the latest bulletin, look at past decisions, access the Broadcasting Code - all from one user-friendly hub.

Ofcom’s Communications Monthly Update: Jan 2020

Analogue community radio updates. Licences awarded/issued, coverage improvements and extension requests - link.

Survey: Ofcom's Annual Plan 2020/21

Ofcom’s document sets out their proposed plans for the next financial year. The final Annual Plan, published in March 2020, will take into account responses from stakeholders to this document. The closing date for consultation responses to Ofcom’s proposed Annual Plan is 25 February 2020. Ofcom will be hosting a series of events to discuss their Proposed Annual Plan - more details here.

The following four themes are of particular relevance to the community radio sector:

  • Analogue community radio. We will undertake the necessary spectrum planning to maximise access for community radio and support the fourth round of licensing for analogue community radio. Ongoing.

  • Small-scale DAB. We will develop plans for the implementation and licensing of small-scale DAB, with the first multiplex licences expected to be advertised by Ofcom in early 2020. Ongoing.

  • Reporting on adults’ media literacy. We will publish our annual Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes report, looking at media literacy among UK adults.

  • Reporting on children’s media literacy. We will publish our annual Children’s Media Use and Attitudes report, providing evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, as well as information about the media access and use of children aged 3-4.

Give the CMA your feedback on Ofcom's Annual Plan 2020/21 here.

Consultation: Analogue Commercial Radio Licences

The Government has launched a consultation on whether to extend licences for analogue commercial radio stations. Although digital radio now accounts for around 57% of all radio listening, analogue stations remain an important platform for millions of listeners who still use FM and AM radio services every day. In spite of the shift of radio listening to digital, analogue radio remains an important platform for listeners and still accounts for just over 40% of UK radio listening.

The Community Media Association will gather responses to this survey and submit them to the DCMS consultation. The DCMS consultation can be found here in full.

Please submit below your responses to our survey here by Friday 7th February so that the CMA can compile them for submission to the DCMS consultation on the renewal of analogue commercial radio which closes on Friday 21st February.

Events & Training

Fantastic Noise Workshop:
Making Radio Drama, 26th Feb, Luton 

Come along to a special recording of the Fantastic Noise podcast, focusing on the production behind radio dramas, on the evening of Weds 26th February at the Luton Campus of the University of Bedfordshire. Register for this free event (and find out more) here.

Joining host Terry Lee, Senior Tutor in Radio & Audio at the University of Bedfordshire and the member of staff responsible for the award-winning Radio LaB 97.1FM, the University’s community radio station on stage will be Jeremy Howe, Editor of BBC Radio 4’s The Archers and Joel Emery, from award-winning football mockumentary podcast series The Offensive.
The recording is part of the University’s ‘Beds Talks’ series. The evening will be fun, informative and a bit different from a ‘normal’ University Talk. There will be food and drink on the evening, networking opportunities with professionals from across the radio and podcasting industries and a quiz with great prizes including Echo Dot smart speakers.
 Book your free place on this not to be missed event via Eventbrite here.

World Radio Day, 13th February 2020

Proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of UNESCO, and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as an International Day, February 13 became World Radio Day (WRD).

Radio is a powerful medium for celebrating humanity in all its diversity and constitutes a platform for democratic discourse. At the global level, radio remains the most widely consumed medium. This unique ability to reach out the widest audience means radio can shape a society’s experience of diversity, stand as an arena for all voices to speak out, be represented and heard. Radio stations should serve diverse communities, offering a wide variety of programs, viewpoints and content, and reflect the diversity of audiences in their organizations and operations. Link.

Screen Futures 2020: How to Get In and Get On in the Screen and Audio Industries, Bristol

BBC Academy is working with ScreenSkills, BBC WritersroomBECTUBFI NETWORK, Calling the Shots, Cables & Cameras and TEDxBristol to deliver an afternoon of masterclasses, screenings and information about the screen, audio and animation industries on Thursday 30th January.

In the evening, Channel 4 and a host of amazing organisations will join a networking event where you can learn about apprenticeships, bursaries, funding rounds and many other great opportunities in the city.

Employment growth in the screen industries between 2013 and 2017 was more than twice as fast as employment growth in the general economy, so if you want to be a part of this boom in creative jobs, then this event is for you.

Hosted at Watershed, the day is for people who want to get into creative careers and those already in the industry who want to further their opportunities. The day will be split into afternoon and evening sessions - and you are welcome to join the event for either or both.

Book here.
Funding & Awards

Women’s Voices 2020 – International Women’s Day

If your charity supports women and girls and is looking to reach new audiences, develop a campaign, or raise awareness about your cause then why not apply for a place at Media Trust’s Women’s Voices 2020 event on Thursday 5 March 2020, 12:45-17:30, for an afternoon of creative brainstorming and advice from your own dedicated team of media and creative industry experts. You can find out more information and register to apply here. The deadline for applications is Friday 24 January at 17:00. Successful charities will be notified by Friday 31 January. Book here.
The New York Festivals International Radio Awards
- Deadline for Entries 1st Feb 2020
The New York Festivals International Radio Awards are now accepting entries for this year’s competition. For the first time, the NYF’s Radio Awards winners will share the stage and the spotlight with NYF’s TV & Film Awards medal and trophy winners at the inaugural Storytellers Gala. The timeline for the event begins two months earlier than previous years and the closing date for entries is 1st February 2020.

Both competitions will be honored on Tuesday, April 21st at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas. For more information on the award categories and how to enter, visit the New York Festivals website here.
Podcast, Audio & Digital

The InRadio Manchester Conversations -
Recorded at the Community Media Conference 2019

In this episode of the inRadio podcast recorded at the 2019 Community Media Conference in MediaCityUK last September, host Dom Chambers talks to Mike Shaft, Phil Korbel, John Dash and Lesley Pullar on the value of local radio to community and share a range of great stories that showcase the impact radio and radio training has on people and communities. Dom Chambers said: Many thanks to the CMA for inviting me to do the inRadio podcast as part of the Community Media Conference. Travelling round the UK and having recorded conversations with amazing people and taking their stories to a wider audience is what I love doing with the podcast. I particularly enjoyed these Manchester conversations because each of my guests had such an extraordinary wealth of experience and stories that testify to the power of radio and audio as a medium that inspires and can change lives.” Listen on Audioboom here.

Decentered Media Podcasts: 048, 049, 050, 051

The Decentered Media Podcasts from Rob Watson are an off-centre look at community, social and sustainable media. With discussions about the role of media in sustainable and participatory communities that provide an alternative to mass media.

Podcast 048 - Media for Positive Social Change focuses on positive social change for 2020. We can predict, based on present trends, that this coming decade, like the last, will be one of pivotal social transformation. This means, however, that papering-over the cracks of the social and environmental dysfunction that we regard as normal today, will no longer be a practical way to deal with many of our deep-rooted social problems.

Podcast 049 – Supporting Media Innovation and Forward Looking Approaches? In this episode, Johns Coster and Rob Watson met with Roy Weller and Tina Barton at the Documentary Media Centre to discuss what future ideas and values we’ll need to prepare future media users, not for the 2020s, but for the 2030s.

Podcast 050 – Universities and the Sustainable Development GoalsMark Charlton from De Montfort University shares his insight and experience of shaping the work of the university in relation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, both locally in Leicester, and internationally. Rob Watson also talks with Tina Barton about the challenges of pursuing change locally and at a grassroots level. Thanks to John Coster for hosting the recording at the Documentary Media Centre

Podcast 051 – The How and the What of Community Media? This discussion was with Amos Bilson, who researches the role of community media in the UK as it relates to the experience of people from Africa, and Jon Woodcock, who works for Voluntary Action Leicestershire, who are launching the inVALuable Network which aims to help “charities, voluntary organisations, community groups, social enterprises & businesses to share good practice.”
10 Tips for Introducing Mobile Journalism into Local Newsrooms
"Why can a smartphone be a journalist's best friend when reporting from a crowd? Because it is lightweight and discreet. Whether you work on a community radio station or your hyperlocal newspaper, local reporters often feel pressed for time and short on boots on the ground."

In a podcast for, videographer and mobile journalism trainer Caroline Scott gives ten pieces of advice for where a smartphone can be a lifeline for typical types of local reporting - and how to crack the craft of mobile journalism. Listen to the article here.

Is podcasting the way forward?

It’s getting harder to stand out from the crowd. Matt Locke shares his top tips on how to make more of your digital content. Link here.
Tech Corner

2020 Looks Good for Digital Radio, Smart Speakers

People from various areas of the industry are optimistic about radio’s fortunes in 2020, especially when it comes to “riding the digital wave.” But some of them see challenges in radio’s ability to attract and hold younger listeners, who must be won over to keep this audio medium viable for decades to come.

An obvious forecast, particularly for the UK, is that DAB+ will continue to grow in reach, usage and popularity. Check out the feature in RadioWorld here.

Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2020

The Journalism, Media and Technology Trends and Predictions report highlights the views of digital leaders on the key issues facing the news industry and combines this with five forward-looking contributions from the Reuters Institute. The main purpose is to provide useful insights for the year ahead and to identify the most important media trends. Read the report by Nic Newman, Senior Research Associate, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism on the Digital News website here.

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