R.O.A.R. (Race On Audio & Radio) Webinar
Edition #42 August 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of Community Media News

Welcome to the August 2020 edition of Community Media News - and, as usual, there's a lot going on.

In Sector News, there are links to the CMA's Key Commitments Survey and the Community Radio Fund Survey. Also, CMA Vice-Chair, Janey Gordon is evaluating community radio audience research. As mamny stations as possible are encouraged to participate in those studies.

In Community Updates, Gateway 97.8 is the latest proud recipient of a Princess Royal Training Award and Johnny Jenkins at Gateway interviewed Iain Dale of LBC. Dom Chambers of Somer Valley FM, the CMA, the Radio Academy, and Local Radio Day is profiled.  A project run by Station House Media Unit at HMP Grampian is covered and Vectis Radio gets a power boost.

In Strategy, Policy and Licensing, we have Ofcom's Community Radio Fund end-of-year report and the latest advice about working safely and reopening workspaces.

In Podcast, Audio & Digital, there's a link to the Journalist's Toolbox. The BBC documentary on Britain's unlicensed radio scene is available to watch again until the end of August and it features a few community radio people.

In Funding & Awards, Ujima Radio are recruiting Black & Green Ambassadors for the city of Bristol. We also have plenty of information on some upcoming awards and some deadlines for grant funding.

In Events & Training, the Radio Academy is holding two free webinars entitled 'R.O.A.R - Race On Audio & Radio'. There's news of Local Radio Day 2020 and links to Audiotrain's useful series of webinars.

Finally in Tech Corner, there's an article on 12 apps that journalists can use to record interviews remotely. And there's news of an update to Twitter to make it a more pleasant platform to use.

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

We have also created 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.

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

The Community Media Association is surveying its members and the wider sector on the delivery of stations' key commitments during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. We are collating responses to be presented to Ofcom later this month and all replies will be anonymised for confidentiality. Please complete the survey here.

The Community Media Association is surveying community radio stations that have previously received a grant from the Community Radio Fund with a view to providing positive evidence to support an increase in funding for the sector. Survey data may be shared with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. Responses or results from this survey will not be published publicly. The deadline is very tight as a case has to be presented to this year’s Comprehensive Spending Review shortly. We therefore ask you to complete the survey below by Friday 21st August Click here to complete the Community Radio Fund Survey.

We appreciate that some stations have changed names or changed personnel so please complete the form on a ‘best endeavours’ basis, giving as much detail as possible, referring to the project that was supported by the Community Radio Fund.

We need to collect as much positive feedback as quickly as possible as this is our chance to take the argument to Government to substantially increase the Community Radio Fund. Spending rounds are organised on a three-year basis so what will be announced in this Autumn’s Budget will set the parameters for the next three years.

Therefore, please complete the survey to tell the story about the good things that your grant from the Community Radio Fund helped your station to achieve.

Dear CMA members,
On behalf of the CMA,  I am a part of a group under the auspices  of the DCMS looking at patterns of radio listening now and in the future.  I have been asked to see if I can find existing research that community radio stations have done in the last few years that might be a starting point for us. 
I know that many stations do audience research in various forms, noting dedications, volunteer questionnaires, Survey Monkey etc and that these are helpful indicators.
However, we would be particularly interested in hearing from any stations that have used an outside organisation to conduct research for them and who  would be able  to share the final report with us. All material would be treated confidentially, but would give us some indicators to what methodology has worked well and provide a starting point for some more generic  community radio listener research. This could  prove enormously beneficial for the  whole sector. 
Please contact me directly if you think you may be able to help.
Janey  Gordon 
Vice-chair CMA 
Community Updates
Gateway 97.8 is the latest proud recipient of the prestigious Princess Royal Training Awards. The radio station, which celebrates its 10th birthday next month, triumphed following a rigorous assessment process. The award, which has been personally confirmed by HRH The Princess Royal, is given to those who are an exemplar of the best employee learning & development. Gateway which provides quality local radio to Basildon and Thurrock on 97.8FM, is already a winner of The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, and was the first community radio station in the UK ever to achieve The Big Society award from no 10 . It offers training to under 18s through its regular Saturday Radio Club, giving those memberof the community the opportunity to become the radio presenters of the future. 
Confirming the award, HRH The Princess Royal said: “You have further demonstrated that investing in your people through training and skills development has delivered real and tangible impact and benefits, and it is appropriate this will now be recognised through your Award. “The commitment of your organisation to the development of your employees, especially during these acutely difficult times and as we aspire to recovery post Covid-19, demonstrates that you will be well prepared to play your part in the nation’s economic recovery.”
The station directors, staff and volunteers are delighted to accept the award. Director, Danny Lawrence said: “After months of writing this bid and interviews, I am delighted that we have achieved this status which reflects the diverse volunteer talent we have in our community”. Director, Ros Connors added:"This wonderful award comes just as Gateway celebrates its tenth birthday, and couldn't have come at a better time. "I believe it is testament to Gateway's continued commitment to media training which has always been second to none, and that which offers young people valuable life-skills through team building especially in these challenging times. "I am therefore delighted HRH The Princess Royal has recognised the marvellous efforts made by our excellent training team, and bestowed upon us this cherished award."
“For many around the Somer Valley he is the voice of local radio. That is not a surprise because Dom Chambers brought the station to air, he is a high profile campaigner and at the last election he was the only local journalist to get to question the local MP. But he is more than just a voice - or the man who tuned in Somer Valley FM and made the station what it is today. He is a passionate campaigner for local radio, he has mentored hundreds of young radio hopefuls and continues to lend his voice to the power of radio.” Nub News had the pleasure of asking Dom about his incredible story – read more here.

LBC presenter and author, Iain Dale, joined Johnny Jenkins on Gateway 97.8 Drivetime to discuss his new book, Why Can’t We All Just Get Along.

The book, which has been published recently, encourages you to shout less and listen more.

Iain discussed the new book and commented on the latest news when he joined Johnny on air. Link here.


A fascinating profile here of the Media Access Project (MAP) run by the Station House Media Unit (shmu), a long-standing CMA member based in Aberdeen. MAP supports prisoners in HMP & YOI Grampian to return positively into the community, having used media as a unique development platform to address and overcome a range of issues prior to release.

The 12-week courses are specially designed for the prison, with the radio and film courses leading to an SQA level 5 qualification.

Here, ‘W’ is talking about MAP at HMP Grampian where people can take part in radio, music, film and magazine production: “This is the activity that takes away the bars the most … it kind of reduces a bit of the anxiety you get from prison life”. Read more here.

Following full technical clearance from the regulator Ofcom, Isle of Wight community radio station Vectis Radio 104.6FM based in Newport will be raising its transmitter power this month from the current 25 Watts to 150 watts. This should improve the community radio station's coverage to many of the outlying areas.

Station Manager Ian Mac said, “we applied to Ofcom in 2019 to increase our official service area to include many of the villages on the outskirts of Newport. They agreed to our request to do this by a power increase and issued a set of technical requirements for us to meet. As a coastal station, it was necessary to get international approval for our power increase and although this arrived earlier in the year, lockdown stopped us progressing any further for the time being. I am pleased to say that we have set Tuesday 18th August for the work to be carried out.”

Director Kelvin Currie said, “All being well we will have the new aerial and transmitter installed and tested during that day. There will inevitably be some interruptions to our FM Broadcasts whilst the upgrade is happening, but these will be kept to a minimum.”
The revival in community spirit created by the pandemic marks a welcome turnaround from years of grim austerity and caustic Brexit divisions. For many at the frontline of community work, however, this spirit of social solidarity has always been there. Read more here.
Strategy & Policy
OFCOM logo
DCMS allocated £400,000 to the Fund for the financial year 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. In addition, DCMS allocated a further £30,448 to the Fund for the second round. As a result, £430,448 was available for the year. The Panel met twice during the year to consider applications for grant awards, in June 2019 and January 2020. Full report here.

The latest Government guidance on lockdown is here - Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) - to accompany recent announcements on what the situation will look like. The Government has put together an FAQ on what you can and cannot do in England here. Advice for Northern Ireland is here, advice for Scotland is here, and advice for Wales is here.

We have collated a series of four help-sheets to support organisations’ decisions making about reopening:

Additionally, we have more advice and best practice on our wiki here.

Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash

AudioUK has published some guidelines for producers to safely work on productions during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been prepared in consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) with input from audio professionals, content producers and broadcasters, the music industry, industry bodies, unions and the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Download the guidelines here.
Podcast, Audio & Digital
Journalist's Toolbox
Sign up for the  Journalist’s Toolbox newsletter. It’s published twice monthly and is full of tips, tricks, useful links, training videos and more:
And follow them on Twitter here:
In the 1980s a new generation of pirate radio stations exploded on to Britain's FM airwaves. Unlike their seafaring swinging 60s forerunners, these pirates broadcast from London's estates and tower blocks to create a platform for black music in an era when it was shut out by legal radio and ignored by the mainstream music industry.

Featuring interviews with DJs, station owners, DTI enforcers, radio engineers - and even a few community radio personalities - this is the story of how Britain's greatest generation of pirate radio broadcasters changed the soundtrack of modern Britain forever. On BBC iPlayer until the end of August.
Sophie Malcolm is an independent radio journalist who has worked for Global, Bauer and the BBC. It became clear to her that these three groups get access to tons of entertainment audio that just isn’t made available to smaller, independent, community stations. So getting hold of that audio and giving it to you (for free) has become her one woman mission.

Sophie would like to hear from you about what kind of entertainment audio you feel you don’t get good access to and what you’d like to hear more of. If you tell her what you want she will chase it up for you…

You may have seen some of her ready edited content via the hub she has created called ‘The Klaxon 1’. After the Covid lull, Sophie will be re-posting new film, music and TV stories there from September.

But right now she is keen to get up and running as your local radio entertainment journalist - so do let her know what content you’d like me to start chasing for your shows. Link.

Funding & Awards
Do you . . .
  • Feel passionate about environmental and social justice issues?
  • Enjoy communicating with diverse groups and have a sense of your communities’ needs?
  • Bring creativity and fresh ideas to your work?
  • Want to develop your decision-making, team-working and problem-solving skills?
Apply now to be a Black & Green Ambassador for Bristol - three 12-month freelance contracts available with Ujima Radio. programme, supported by The National Lottery Community Fund and co-delivered by Ujima Radio and Bristol Green Capital Partnership, will build on the work of the pioneering pilot project which began in 2016, following Bristol’s year as European Green Capital. The programme will support Ambassadors, representative of Bristol’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, to develop and deliver an extensive programme of activities intended to enable bold and inclusive action towards a more sustainable Bristol. Expected start date: Late September 2020. 2 days per week @ £87 per day (annual fee of £9,048). Deadline 27 August. More details here.
Entries are now open for the Audio Production Awards 2020 and include a new Life in Lockdown Award. The closing date is Friday 18 September 2020 at noon and the winners of all awards will be announced in an online event on Thursday 26th November. The Awards will reflect the challenging and rapidly changing circumstances of the times. This year, the ceremony will be online and included in the entry fee - which has been capped at the same level for the third year running. Entry for the Grassroots Production Award is free in order to support the important contributions made by organisations in this field and recognise the particular challenges they face at this time.

The Radio Academy has announced that the next Audio and Radio Industry Awards (ARIAS) will take place in the slightly later month of May in 2021.

The move has been made in order to shift the awards’ eligibility window to line up with the calendar year, and to allow members more time in 2020 to prepare their entries.

The eligibility window will pick up where last year’s left off, meaning that content broadcast from 1 Oct 2019 all the way through to 31 Dec 2020 can be included.

Entries will open on 4 January 2021 for five weeks, and Nominations will be announced in late March.

The National Lottery Awards celebrate the ordinary people who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding. This year, for the first time, the Awards will, honour individuals who have made an extraordinary impact in their community especially those who have adapted during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Make your nomination here.
The application portal has opened for Government’s £500 million Culture Recovery Fund: Grants. This fund is for cultural organisations affected by the Covid-19 crisis. If you’re at risk of no longer trading viably by the end of this financial year, then the fund could help you. Round one is open until 12pm (midday) Friday 21 August. Round two is open from Friday 21 August, until 12 (midday) Friday 4 September.
The Audio Content Fund has made some changes to their website, which now profiles each of the SIXTY funded projects - past, present and future - with audio highlights where available. This page lists all funded projects, and provides links to hear the output where available. Take a look and have a listen here!
The Social Enterprise Support Fund Is open until 1pm Thursday 20th August. This fund provides grants to support social enterprises during COVID-19. The eligibility criteria are here. And if you are not eligible for the Social Enterprise Support Fund, don't worry there are more funds available to help you – link.
Events & Training
The Radio Academy invites anyone working in audio and radio to join two free game-changing webinars this August entitled R.O.A.R – Race On Audio & Radio.
Webinar 1 - on 19th August, at 6.30pm In front of the mic: Talent Seen and Heard - with Trevor Nelson (BBC Radio 2 and 1Xra), Nels Hylton (Transmission Roundhouse), Aminata Kamara (BBC Radio Leicester) and Toni McDonald (BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester).
Webinar 2 - on 25th August, at 6.30pm Behind the scenes: Researchers, Producers, Technical, Management, Directors, Board level - with Lorna Clarke (BBC Radio), Niccy Logan (Transmission Roundhouse), Leanne Arie (BBC Sounds), Bernard Achampong (Premier Christian Radio) and Ivor Etienne (Etienne Media). Booking details here.
Radiodays Europe’s Podcast Day event for podcasters, innovators, creators and producers will be held online this year. The date for the event is 26th October 2020 and topics include how podcasting has evolved during the coronavirus pandemic, what audiences are listening to, predictions for the future of podcasting and more. The Main Stage will include presentations, speeches and panels covering the world of podcasting. Register here.

The Local Radio Day website is now live and the CMA is a partner organisation. The theme for this year is Community making waves: turning the tide on isolation. The day, organised by 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. UKRD created Local Radio Day in 2015 to bring together local stations at a national level.


Since March, Audiotrain has been running a series of weekly online masterclasses and courses. Sign up to be on the Audiotrain mailing list for information on these – email your details to

The webinars are free, but voluntary donations are welcome. View previous webinars here:

Tech Corner
Although most journalists prefer to conduct interviews face-to-face, the reality is that in the COVID age, that’s seldom possible.

Modified equipment has enabled broadcast journalists to record interviews while practising social distancing. But unless you really need to conduct an interview in person, don’t.

This, as the New York-based Editor and Reporter Jennifer Deseo observed, means that “Suddenly, everyone has to operate like an audio journo".

With that in mind, how can you record interviews remotely and achieve good sound quality? Here is a link to 12 recommended tools to get you started.
Twitter may describe itself as the town square, but that doesn’t mean you have to talk to everyone walking past your seat at the cafe. To increase the amount of “meaningful conversations” that take place on Twitter, and to help people weed out abuse and spam in their replies, the company announced that it is rolling out a new feature where users can limit who replies to their Tweets. Read more here.

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