Community Media Association Fri, 21 Jul 2017 19:12:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Community Radio Fund: Award of grants 2017-18 Round 1 Wed, 19 Jul 2017 16:01:30 +0000 Read more +]]> Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund Panel (‘the Panel’) met on Tuesday 20 June 2017 to consider applications in the first round of funding for 2017-18.

The Panel went through each application and awarded funding based on the information provided and with reference to the Community Radio Fund guidance notes.

The Panel also considered the new Welsh language standards when reviewing the funding requests from those applicants based in Wales.

For each grant bid the Panel decided whether to make a full award, a partial award or not to award any funding.

At the meeting:
  • 39 applications for grants were considered
  • The total amount of funding requested in these applications was £702,410
  • 10 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £142,920
  • 29 applicants were not awarded a grant
The grants awarded ranged from £2,160 up to £19,717 for individual positions, with an average of £14,292. A summary of the awards is below:


Award Purpose Station Name Location
£19,717 Business Development Manager MKFM Milton Keynes
£18,412£4,100 Business Development ManagerCommissions & Partnerships Manager Radio Cardiff Cardiff
£16,500 Deputy Station Manager/Promotions Manager GTFM Pontypridd
£16,400 Business Development Manager Somer Valley FM Midsomer Norton
£16,100 Business Development Manager RWSfm Bury St Edmunds
£15,451 Outreach &Corporate Development Manager Cambridge 105 Cambridge
£13,524 Business Development Manager Penistone FM Penistone
£13,052 Business Development Manager Radio Newark Newark on Trent
£7,504 Fundraiser Eden FM Penrith
£2,160 Listener Survey KCR Keith

The second grant round for 2017/18 will open during October 2017.



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Ofcom invites applications for community radio licences Tue, 18 Jul 2017 10:15:48 +0000 Ofcom has today opened invitations for applications for new community radio licences for areas within, or those that overlap with, the coverage area of existing community radio services. These applications will be for services operating on FM only:

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 24 October 2017 at 3pm.

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Five AM community radio licence awards: May 2017 Fri, 19 May 2017 09:35:43 +0000 Read more +]]> Ofcom has awarded five medium wave (AM) community radio licences in May 2017.

The licences are for stations serving different communities in Glasgow, West Leicestershire, Leicester, Suffolk and northern parts of Essex, and Yeovil and South Somerset.

A licence award has been made to each of the following:

Ark AM (Noah’s Ark Glasgow), Glasgow
Ark AM will be a radio station for the Muslim population living in Glasgow. The service will deliver community information, relevant local content, news and opportunities for discussion, broadcasting in English with some content in Urdu, Punjabi and other languages. The service will be speech-led, with inspirational, religious and world music.

Carillon Wellbeing Radio (Carillon Wellbeing Limited), West Leicestershire
Carillon Wellbeing Radio will broadcast to people in and around West Leicestershire who suffer from or are at risk of developing long-term health conditions. The applicant is a long established local hospital radio group with extensive experience in broadcasting, healthcare and other relevant areas. It has a long history of providing a radio service in the area and has an existing asset base including premises and equipment.

Radio Caroline (Radio Caroline AM Broadcasting Ltd), Suffolk and northern parts of Essex
Radio Caroline will serve the over-45s in Suffolk and northern parts of Essex, who wish to hear album tracks from the 1960s onwards. Ofcom noted that the application was from a well-established group with a long history of providing a radio service, and was satisfied that it had demonstrated its ability to maintain that service.

Radio Ninesprings (Radio Ninesprings), Yeovil & the District of South Somerset
Radio Ninesprings will serve the population of Yeovil and South Somerset. Ofcom noted the considerable experience of the applicant group members and volunteers, which Ofcom considered would help enable Radio Ninesprings to maintain its proposed service.

Radio Seerah (Seerah Academy (Radio Seerah)), inner-city Leicester
Radio Seerah will serve the diverse Muslim and wider ethnic minority communities within the broadcast area of inner-city Leicester. Ofcom considered that through a combination of stable resources, existing assets and members with a range of broadcasting and other professional experience, the applicant demonstrated its ability to establish and maintain the proposed service.

The decision-makers for these licence awards were Ofcom’s Director of Content Standards, Licensing and Enforcement, and Ofcom’s Director, Broadcast Licensing.


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Ofcom response – Community radio: future licensing and technical policy Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:47:25 +0000 Read more +]]>

Ofcom has published a statement following its review of community radio: future licensing and technical policy:

Ofcom has been awarding community radio licences for more than a decade, and there are now nearly 250 stations on air in the UK.  These stations are small, not-for-profit services which bring a range of benefits to their target communities, and are run with the help of volunteers.Ofcom will now proceed with a further round of analogue community radio licensing.

Applications will be invited based on evidence of demand in different locations, and those which do not overlap with existing stations will be prioritised. The closing date for applications is 3pm on Thursday 27 July 2017.Ofcom will also amend its technical policy, to remove references to set coverage areas for community radio stations. We will adopt a more flexible approach, and applications will be considered for wider areas where applicants can clearly demonstrate the proposed coverage area will better serve its target community, where it is technically possible.

Ofcom will also consider requests to improve coverage within existing licensed areas. This can help a station overcome poor coverage due to interference or local terrain issues.

For those considering applying for a community radio licence, this video provides technical and practical information about the position of your transmitter/aerial.

Today’s statement follows the consultation in October 2016.


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Community Station Sedgemoor FM Saves The Breeze Thu, 13 Apr 2017 21:15:19 +0000 Read more +]]> Sedgemoor FM, a community radio station based in Bridgwater Somerset are committed to all aspects of their community, including what some might consider, rival commercial radio stations. In a gesture of good-will and community support, Sedgemoor FM have ensured that the commercial station, The Breeze, (operated by Celador and broadcasting across Bridgwater and surrounding areas) were put back on air and back to full service only hours after a catastrophic power failure in their transmission system.

On Tuesday 11th April 2017 the whole of Bridgwater, Somerset suffered power outages, which took both Sedgemoor FM, and The Breeze off air as they share the same transmission site. Sedgemoor FM’s own engineering team were first on-location as the company tasked with maintaining The Breeze (Radica) are based some 3 hour’s drive away in Hove, on the south coast.

After diagnosis and consultation with Celedor’s own in-house engineering team in Southampton, Sedgemoor FM’s techies were able to restore temporary power to The Breeze enabling them to restart and then continue broadcasting, minimising any further inconvenience to their listeners and of course, valued commercial clients.

Of the act of kindness, Sedgemoor FM’s Grant Francis says “We value every aspect of our community whether its a not for profit group, school, club or a business in Sedgemoor. The Breeze are part of our community and we couldn’t leave them stranded. We were in a position to help them out so we did what we could to get them back on-air. I’m sure they would do the same for us and, where possible, support what we do too.”

It is understood that The Breeze’s own engineers will be attending to the transmission system to replace the equipment damaged by the power outages in the coming days.

Sedgemoor FM, can be heard on 104.2FM in Bridgwater and online at and is a shining example of community radio.

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Community Radio Networking & Information Day Fri, 07 Apr 2017 16:46:48 +0000 Read more +]]> Vale of Belvoir community radio station 103 The Eye welcomed broadcasters from other stations as far afield as Essex, Hampshire, the West Midlands and Norfolk to a networking and information day in the Civic Suite at Melton Borough Council’s Parkside Offices in Melton Mowbray.

It was the third time the station had held the annual event whose purpose is to enable directors and managers of Ofcom-licensed community stations to get to know each other and to exchange information and advice on a variety of topics – ranging from programme content to technical and legal issues.

There was a civic welcome by Melton’s Mayor Councillor David Wright who was accompanied by his wife Maureen, the Mayoress. This was followed by several speakers.

Sue Herlihy from the Melton Aurora Rotary Club praised the work of 103 The Eye and described how community stations could work with their local Rotary Clubs to mutual benefit. Jack Hogan and Devon Elliott from Cotgrave-based CROC FM spoke about the partnership between 103 The Eye and their school, Candleby Lane, now in its ninth year.

Shirley Ludford, from Swindon 105.5 explained how a local company and the police had donated a purpose-built mobile studio and outside broadcast equipment to their station in recognition of its community work. Bill Hensley from Huntingdon-based Community Radio Media about a new national advertising scheme to generate much-needed income for participating stations.

Hugh Morris, from sponsors J L Morris (Insurance Brokers) Ltd warned against the growing threat of cyber crime, and Danny Lawrence from co-sponsors The Radio Hub explained how his organisation had been formed as a self-help group for community stations as a direct result of the first networking day held by 103 The Eye two years ago.

Bill Best from the Community Media Association gave an update on DAB broadcasting and Christopher Smith invited entries for the Community Radio Awards. There was also a specially-recorded video from East Midlands MEP Andrew Lewer, who is currently in Brussels, and spoke about funding for community radio both pre and post-Brexit.

Providers of studio and broadcasting equipment demonstrated the latest products during the informal networking time and visitors were also able to see a traffic reporting system in action and listen to voiceover work.

103 The Eye executive director Patrick McCracken said the event had grown in popularity since its inception to mark the station’s 10th anniversary in 2015. “It’s good to see community stations developing strong links with their neighbours and also their counterparts further afield to help each other, and we are regularly in contact with several stations with whom we have built firm friendships.”

Broadcast Warehouse


Community Radio Awards

Image credits: Jonathan McGrady/JM News.

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MKFM shortlisted for Milton Keynes Inspirational Award Mon, 03 Apr 2017 12:04:05 +0000 Read more +]]> Milton Keynes local radio station MKFM has been shortlisted as one of five for the ‘Most Charitable Business’ award at The MK Inspirational Awards 2017.

The awards are taking place at Jury’s Inn Milton Keynes on 10th June and are set to be a spectacular red carpet event. Organisers say the event will give recognition to inspirational and established individuals and groups from the local area.

In addition, four of the five nominees for ‘Best Radio Presenter’ at the awards are currently working with MKFM.
Over the last five years, MKFM has attended over 500 local events and has helped raise over £1 million for local charities. The station continues to promote local events on our website and on air for free in addition to running regular interviews with local charities.

Darren Dorrington, Managing Director at MKFM said “We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award. Over the last five years we must have attended almost every main event in Milton Keynes and have helped raise some much-needed funds for so many great causes.”“We are also delighted to launch one of our biggest ever community challenges in April with a target of collecting 50,000 tins of food for the MK Food Bank. Winning the award would be great recognition for our team who have given up their time to support our community.”

Voting for the awards is now open via Facebook at

You can comment ‘MKFM for Most Charitable Business’ on the post to vote for the radio station.

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Media Against Hate video contest – Announcing the “Favourite 5” Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:47:46 +0000 Read more +]]> March 21st, 2017

Media – in all their forms – play a crucial role in the shaping of identities, in the promotion or inhibition of dialogue, solidarity and recognition. Which strategies and tools can empower counter-narratives and challenge mainstream perceptions of refugees, of migration, of marginalized groups in general?

The Media against Hate campaign invited professional journalists, community media practitioners and media students in Europe to document how their daily work helps fight discrimination and counter hate.

Participants from across the European Union sent their videos, including Italy, Germany, Poland, Spain, Greece, Austria and Czech Republic. Entries were evaluated for originality, impact, clarity of message, cinematography and educational potential. The jury commented that “It was difficult to choose, as contest entries demonstrated countering hate and discrimination from a variety of well-informed and relevant perspectives.”

On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, March 21st 2017, the Media against Hate campaign is happy to present the selected “Favourite 5” videos:

Solomon are a group of people with different backgrounds that, through media, aim to promote an alternative perspective of the local community. The core team consists of talented people who live in Athens, Greece and originate from many countries. One of their projects is the Inclumedia Lab, where tandems of im/migrants who are willing to become journalists or used to work as journalists in their home countries pair up with local students of journalism.

The video “I am a humanist. Hate is not for me” was produced by a group of students of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Warmia and Mazury, in Olsztyn, Poland. The students of the Department are studying history, philosophy, journalism, philology or international relations and are thus called “humanists”. The second Media against Hate international Media Literacy workshop will take place in Olsztyn on their wonderful academic campus, on June 8th and 9th 2017.

Termini TV is “the only online channel in the world specialized in narrating life stories from train stations”. They explore the edge between travel and migration, travelers and migrants. Francesco Conte is also one of the mentors of the Council of Europe Div-A Diversity Accelerator project. is Vienna’s community television station, training over 1000 volunteers yearly as video journalists, moderators and studio producers, and engaged for an inclusive and intercultural society.

Michal Majzner is an industrial project engineer and civic activist. He has co-founded several volunteer initiatives, including Prague Maidan, “President, leave!” and Refugee Stories (“Příběhy uprchlíků”). Refugee stories records refugees’ stories for a Czech audience, through volunteer visits to nearby Dresden. The core of the project is built upon the We Can organisation, in cooperation with Umweltzentrum Dresden.

The producers of the “Favourite 5” videos will be invited to participate to the Media against Hate workshops in 2017 and to the final conference in March 2018 – where they will meet their jury.

Two more videos received an “honourable mention” for the educational intent of the producers (Vincenzo Agosto and Gustavo Gomez).

Follow the campaign activities at #MediaAgainstHate

The project is financially supported by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union, and co-funded by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (U.S.) and the Media & Internet Division of the Council of Europe.

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Third Annual Community Radio Networking and Information Day – Saturday, 1 April 2017 – Melton Mowbray Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:18:26 +0000 Read more +]]> 103 The Eye is holding its third annual Community Radio Networking & Information Day in Melton Mowbray on Saturday, 1 April 2017 and those involved in the sector are very welcome to attend.

This event follows the success of two previous events held by the award-winning station which is in its 12th year of broadcasting to the Vale of Belvoir on the Leicestershire-Nottinghamshire border.

The Networking & Information Day is aimed at directors and managers of community radio stations – those already broadcasting on FM, AM or DAB and those who are applying for Ofcom licences but are not yet on the air.

Speakers include Danny Lawrence (The Radio Hub), Andrew Lewer MEP (East Midlands), Bill Best (Community Radio Association), Shirley Ludford (Swindon 105.5), David Morris (JL Morris Insurance Brokers), Bill Hensley (Community Radio Media), Christopher Smith (Community Radio Awards), Sue Herlihy (Melton Aurora Rotary Club) and Jack Hogan (Scratch Radio). Topics will include radio advertising, the impact of BREXIT on funding, insurance matters, support via corporate responsibility and inter-station co-operation.

103 The Eye would like to thank J L Morris (Insurance Brokers) Ltd for their continued sponsorship of this event for a third year, and also new sponsors The Radio Hub for their support this time.

During the informal networking time, broadcast and studio engineers will demonstrate some of the latest equipment and provide advice on technical matters. In addition, individual radio stations can share their success stories and there will be exhibition space where they can mount a small display if they wish.

The Networking Day takes place in the Civic Suite at Melton Borough Council’s Parkside offices, in Burton Street, adjacent to Melton railway station. There is ample inexpensive parking nearby. Doors open at 10 am for informal networking and the speaker session begins at 11.45 am with a civic welcome from Melton’s Mayor Councillor David Wright.

This is followed by a complimentary buffet lunch and the afternoon is then devoted to informal networking until 4.30 pm. The event is free to attend, but attendees must book a place. To register email by Wednesday, 29 March.

Sponsored by:

The Radio Hub JL Morris Insurance ]]> 0
Chelmsford Community Radio launches 18th March! Fri, 17 Mar 2017 17:57:05 +0000 Read more +]]>

Chelmsford Community Radio (CCR) is pleased to announce that on Saturday 18th March 2017 at 8am the station will officially launch on 104.4FM.

On-Air Director Hal MacLean (52) adds:

“Through FM we are committed to share, showcase and celebrate what is going on in and around Chelmsford, whilst providing the opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to access, develop and build radio skills. This is an exciting time for the City and we are very proud to be here.”

Off-Air Director Matthew Eaves (37) said:

“This is a big moment for our volunteers who have worked very hard these past three years to bring local radio home to Chelmsford. Launching on FM is the latest phase of our five year plan for the station; the next phases include the refit of our studios, building our fundraising Coffee Shop into a Community Hub, setting up Radio Centres in local schools, launching our new website and app plus the launch of our second radio channel, CCR2.”

Tune into 104.4FM from 7am for a build up to 8am when the Station will officially launch with Luke Barnard (21) presenting, and special guests and supporters throughout the day.

  • CCR produces over 80 hours of live locally produced shows each week from two studios in Moulsham Mill on Parkway
  • CCR is a Community Interest Company run entirely by unpaid Volunteers and unpaid Directors
  • Station is funded by profits made from ‘Coffee at the Mill’, our Coffee Shop based in Moulsham Mill
  • Station Patron is Princess Elettra Marconi
  • Broadcasting online continuously since January 2014 (, Tunein)
  • Ofcom awarded CCR Community Broadcast Licence in July 2015.
  • 78 volunteers are active at the station, the youngest is 13, the oldest 74
  • Drive at Five is anchored by volunteers under the age of 18
  • Eight volunteers have moved onto jobs in commercial radio
  • Every show is produced in Chelmsford, with the exception of one from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and one from Backnang in Germany (Chelmsford’s Twin Town)
  • Takeover Programming includes shows by The Girl Guides, InterAct charity, Chelmsford Rotary and Chelmsford Talking Newspaper
  • Station has an outside broadcast unit (you may have seen it at Chelmsford Firework Night, Pride, Fling Festival, Admirals Park)
  • Aerial funded by volunteers fundraising, and a contribution from The Inclusion Trust
  • Disability Studio funded by National Lottery Awards for All
  • Community Hub funded by National Lottery Awards for All
  • Fully licensed (OFCOM / PRS / PPL) and insured
  • Waiting list to join CCR as a volunteer, freeze until August 2017
  • Catch up on entire CCR archive online (over 9000 shows) at
  • Twitter: ChelmsfordCR
  • Facebook: ChelmsforCR
  • Youtube: ChelmsfordCR

Chelmsford Community Radio C.I.C is a Community Interest Company registered in England and Wales. Community Interest Company Number: 8586315.

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SSDAB & Community Radio: Past, Present, Future University of Bedfordshire, Luton – Saturday 25th March, 11am to 4pm Mon, 06 Mar 2017 19:29:37 +0000 Read more +]]> SSDAB & Community Radio: Past, Present, Future
University of Bedfordshire, Luton – Saturday 25th March, 11am to 4pm
This FREE event is for community radio stations, commercial radio broadcasters and individuals interested in small-scale digital audio broadcasting (SSDAB) and community media.
Find out what has been happening so far with this transformational technology and what’s next for radio stations and the sector as a whole.
The programme:
  • The story so far – hear from participants in Ofcom’s technical trial
  • What’s happening now with the legislation and the upcoming consultation
  • Where we go from here – funding SSDAB, innovative business models, broadcast content, how to make SSDAB work for community radio
  • Networking with industry professionals
Hear from practitioners and influencers in small-scale DAB and air your views, share your thoughts, explore the issues and ask questions. Speakers include:
  • Steve Buckley, SheffieldLive (innovative business models and multiplex funding)
  • David Duffy, Niocast (a commercial perspective)
  • Ash Elford, Angel Radio Ltd (pushing the technology)
  • Lawrie Hallett, Future Digital Norfolk (a community radio perspective)
  • Daniel Nathan, Juice 102.2, Brighton (the first licensed mini-multiplex)
  • Ian O’Neill OBE Head of Radio; Head of Television, DCMS (SSDAB legislation)
More speakers to be announced shortly.
“This [SSDAB] technology could open up a new, local dimension in digital radio. We’re confident that a UK-wide roll-out of these stations would be technically possible and commercially viable. Our trials have enabled groups of community and local commercial radio stations to work together, enabling new stations to serve local communities right across the UK”Neil Stock, Ofcom’s Director of Broadcast Licensing.
“Currently, about 200 smaller commercial radio stations covering small markets and 244 commercial radio stations transmitting mainly on FM and medium wave are not broadcasting on digital radio”. Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Hansard, 13th January 2017.
Sponsored by The Radio Hub:

The Radio Hub

The Community Media Association (CMA) represents the sector at a strategic level to ensure that all its members and the community media sector as a whole benefit from this milestone in the development of broadcast technology. To become a member click here.

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The Future Sounds Bright For Radio Cardiff Mon, 13 Feb 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Read more +]]> Radio Cardiff, Cardiff’s only community radio station, marks ten years of broadcasting later this year and today announces a new phase in its development as it becomes part of Voluntary Community Service (Cymru) with enhanced community engagement and training capacity, along with a refreshed schedule.

Each week more than 60 volunteers are involved in putting together a wide variety of programmes that demonstrate the station’s commitment to offer listeners a real alternative to commercial and mainstream BBC output, with a mix of music shows blending Soul, Reggae, Jazz, Blues and other genres that reflect the Capital’s diverse multi-cultural population; together with Cardiff news and community interest programmes on topics such as local history, mental health & wellbeing; cultural identity, women’s issues; arts, science and community sports.

Former Kiss FM DJ Rahiem Makani  (pictured below) has taken over the popular drive-time slot with an upbeat daily show with music and features to entertain on the drive home, while at Breakfast, listeners’ favourite Georgina Sammut – who has been with the station since it started  - wakes the City up with her unique blend of music and humour. Between those two ‘flagship’ shows the station offers a line-up of accessible music and talk shows hosted by the largest and most diverse team of presenters at any community radio station in Wales.

Radio Cardiff is not only the City’s sole community station but is actually the only terrestrial station of any kind that broadcasts exclusively to the Capital. After a challenging couple of years caused by a lack of funding, it approached VCS – Cardiff’s long established volunteering service – with a proposal to combine resources. VCS has been serving Cardiff since 1964, and as well as supporting the station with volunteers, it has been producing programming on the station giving a platform to the City’s voluntary & community sector – a role it also carried out for Cardiff’s original local radio station – CBC – in the 1980′s.

Radio Cardiff will maintain its distinctive identity with its own management structure and a Management Committee that reports to the VCS Board. The two organisations have been co-located since last December, and from 6th of February VCS has become responsible for the operating licence and for the stations ‘Key Commitments’ as a community station to Ofcom.

Donna Zammit, Head of Radio said:

“Radio Cardiff has constantly evolved over the years, but always kept its roots firmly in the community. We think we have a distinctive and unique sound – and very much a Cardiff sound. Getting VCS behind us makes us better able to deliver the community engagement and training parts of our service – something we’ve wanted to be able to do more of for a long time, and with our refreshed schedule we think the station sounds better than ever, and the reaction we’ve had from our listeners suggests they think so too.”    

 Jeremy Rees, Director of VCS Cymru said:

 “Radio Cardiff has become a really important part of our City’s life, and VCS is delighted to help it strengthen and thrive. In a market where so much media is being centralised, community radio is growing in importance as a means of reflecting its audience. Radio Cardiff does that really well, it does not sound like any other station – it’s unique. The sheer diversity of the large number of local people from all sorts of backgrounds, and across the age range, who volunteer with the station is testimony to that.  Since VCS was established in 1964, it has always been a grassroots organisation that serves to connect groups and people in the City, and together we’ll continue to do that, but even better – as well as playing some terrific music!” 

To arrange an interview with Donna Zammit or Jeremy Rees, or for more information please contact Mike Scott on 029 2132 2627 or email

Rahiem Makani ]]> 0
Oxford Media Convention 2017, 8th March – 20% discount for CMA members Tue, 07 Feb 2017 16:49:07 +0000 Read more +]]> Oxford Media Convention 2017
Britain’s Media: Our Place In The World

The UK’s media is at a crossroads. Will it continue to evolve a European- style mixed media system based on public ownership, public value and public service alongside a dynamic market? Or should it evolve into an American model of a free marketplace, or even perhaps devise a new settlement for the media that is unique to this country?

The political events of 2016 present a range of opportunities and challenges for the media. Not only will the coming months determine how and to what extent the existing EU framework for media regulation will continue to apply domestically, but the export environment for UK producers will also be transformed. Such a profound shift will challenge the very foundations of the existing model for broadcasting, telecommunications and the creative industries, and upset existing settlements for public service and media freedoms.

The Oxford Media Convention 2017 takes place at a crucial time in the unfolding process. Join national and international experts from government, regulation, academia and civil society to debate the challenges facing the sector at this time of major change.

Speakers include:

  • Sharon White, Chief Executive, Ofcom
  • Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP
  • Helen Milner OBE, Chief Executive, Good Things Foundation

The CMA has obtained a 20% members’ discount for this event. Please contact us for more details.

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Community Radio Fund: Award of grants 2016/17 Round 2 Fri, 03 Feb 2017 09:50:47 +0000 Read more +]]> The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) confirmed a total of £392,500 was available for the Community Radio Fund for 2016/17. The amount awarded in the first round of grants was £201,365, leaving £191,135 for the second round of funding.

Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund Panel (‘the Panel’) met on Wednesday 18 January 2017 to consider applications in the second round of funding for 2016-17.

The Panel reviewed each application and awarded funding based on the information provided, and with reference to the Community Radio Fund guidance notes. For each grant request the Panel decided whether to make a full award, a partial award or not to award any funding.

At the meeting:

  • 64 applications for grants were considered
  • The total amount of funding requested in these applications was £994,231
  • 13 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £191,135
  • 51 applicants were not awarded a grant

In this round the grants awarded ranged from £10,100 up to £19,240, with an average of £14,703. A summary of the awards is at the end of this statement.

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World Radio Day: 13th February Tue, 31 Jan 2017 18:21:52 +0000 Read more +]]> World Radio Day partners: How to get involved

UNESCO invites all radio stations and supporting organisations to sign up to join in on 13 February for World Radio Day
2017, a chance to celebrate radio and how it helps shape our lives!

Radio is still one of the most dynamic, reactive and robust media there is, informing and transforming us through information, entertainment and audience participation. Having a radio means you are never alone – you always have a friend in radio.

UNESCO has launched a brand new website where you can promote your World Radio Day event or broadcast, and access exclusive content and resources to help you serve your community. Sign up now to be invited to join!

World Radio Day 2017 Theme: “Radio is YOU!”
The theme for 2017 is all about audience participation and engagement – providing your listeners with a voice, not simply
on-air, but in the policy and planning of your station. Where social media and audience fragmentation can put us in media
bubbles of like-minded people, radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and promote positive dialogue for

By listening to its audiences and responding to their needs, radio provides the diversity of views and voices needed to
address the challenges we all face.

World Radio Day 2017 Flyer

World Radio Day 2017_Engaging_Audiences

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Media Against Hate – project launch Thu, 22 Dec 2016 16:34:08 +0000 Read more +]]> Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) is partnering with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), ARTICLE 19, Media Diversity Institute (MDI), Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA), Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo dei Paesi Emergenti (COSPE) and Community Media Institute (COMMIT) in the Europe-wide campaign Media Against Hate, to counter hate speech and discrimination in the media, while maintaining respect for freedom of expression.

The media and journalists play a crucial role in influencing both policy-making and societal opinion on migration and refugees. As hate speech and stereotypes targeting migrants and refugees proliferate across Europe, balanced and fair media reporting is needed more than ever. Despite some good journalism practices and courageous journalists speaking out against hate, additional training and resources for media professionals and media organisations are needed in order for them to uphold ethical standards when reporting sensitive subjects.

A website will gather the latest news related to ethical standards, freedom of expression, media diversity and resources for media professionals and civil society organisations (CSO) to fight against hate in the media. A series of trainings and workshops will be organised for media professionals, community media, representatives of CSOs and media regulators across Europe to exchange best practices and promote mutual learning and cooperation activities.

In addition, a video contest will be launched in January as part of the campaign to collect a diverse range of best practices with counter-narratives fighting stereotypes and discrimination in the media.

For more information and regular updates, please visit the website and the hashtag #MediaAgainstHate on Twitter.

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Expression of interest in applying for a community radio licence – deadline 22/12/16 Wed, 21 Dec 2016 12:47:34 +0000 Read more +]]> Ofcom is considering whether and how to invite further applications for community radio licences.

PDF online:

Information required
In order to assist our planning for future community radio development, Ofcom is inviting prospective applicants for a community radio licence to submit an ‘expression of interest’ outlining their intention to apply.

An ‘expression of interest’ should include the following information:

  • the name of the organisation and its contact details
  • the area the group wishes to broadcast to;
  • a short description of the target community; and
  • the proposed location of the transmitter.

The submission of an ‘expression of interest’ will not form part of any subsequent licensing scheme, and it will not be taken as a binding promise on the part of its author to apply for a licence. Equally, an invitation to apply for a community radio licence will not be limited only to those who have previously submitted an ‘expression of interest’.

The ‘expressions of interest’ will help Ofcom to decide whether to invite applications, and if so to help to design a licensing process which takes account of the pattern of expected demand in different parts of the country, as well as anticipated FM frequency availability.

Next steps
Following the closing date of this consultation Ofcom will evaluate the responses to the questions in the consultation as well as these ‘expressions of interest’ before publishing a statement relating to possible further community radio licensing. (We recommend that interested groups monitor the Ofcom website or sign up for broadcasting web alerts for further news

How to respond to this invitation
Please send your ‘expression of interest’ by email or letter to , or by post to:

Community Radio Licensing,
5th Floor, Ofcom,
Riverside House,
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA.

The closing date for the submission of ‘expressions of interest’ is Thursday 22 December

For further information on community radio licensing, please see the website here:

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2017 Sandford St Martin Awards opens for entries Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:02:20 +0000 Read more +]]> The Sandford St Martin Trust is calling for entries to the UK’s most prestigious awards for radio, TV and online content exploring religious, spiritual or ethical themes.

Applications are encouraged from news, current affairs, drama, music, arts, children’s and comedy genres, as well as from specifically ‘religious’ commissions. Stephen Fry’s controversial interview for RTE in which he denounced God as “utterly evil, capricious and monstrous” was one of the programmes shortlisted for an Award in 2016.

Defending the place of programmes that challenge as well as support faith among those recognized by the Awards, Anna McNamee, Executive Secretary of the Trust said: “Religion plays a key role in some of the world’s biggest issues today. Through recognising programmes that effectively explore those big questions encompassed by religion and ethics, who we are and why we’re here, the Sandford St Martin Awards aim to highlight the growing importance of understanding people from all perspectives.”

Bishop Nick Baines, Chair of the Trust said: “Religion is a prime motivator of individuals and communities, inspiring and informing their political, economic, ethical and social behaviour. In addition to raising awareness of the different cultures and alternative viewpoints that make up UK society, broadcasters should reflect and interpret the many religious communities that exist in the UK with the aim of building a better understanding of the beliefs people hold both between those communities and by UK audiences as a whole.”

Speaking at the 2016 Awards ceremony, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby called on broadcasters to treat religion “with the same seriousness as other genres like sport, politics, economics or drama.” The promotion of religious literacy, he said “should be a specific duty.”

The deadline for entries is Friday 3 February 2017. Winners will be announced at a special ceremony at Lambeth Palace on Wednesday, June 7th 2017.

For details on how to enter, go to:

For more information please contact:

Anna McNamee (Executive Secretary):   020 7898 1796 or 0789 980 0758
Twitter: @sandfordawards


1) The Awards   

The following award categories are now open for entries:

  • Sandford St Martin Television Award
  • Sandford St Martin Radio Award
  • Sandford St Martin Children’s Award
  • Sandford St Martin Interview Award

Entries for the 2017 Awards must have been broadcast for the first time between 1 January and 31 December 2016.
Entry forms and full criteria for the awards are available on the website:

The deadline for entries is Friday 3rd February 2017.

2) The Sandford St Martin Trust   

The Sandford St Martin Trust is an independent, non-profit organisation. It has been making annual awards for the best
programmes about religion, ethics and spirituality since 1978.

The Trust engages with a wide range of media organisations and individual journalists, filmmakers, broadcasters and other media
figures, many of whom give their time and expertise voluntarily to support the Trust’s work. This includes contributing to and
participating in conferences, festivals and training as well as on-going public consultations and debates on the future
of broadcasting

You can read more about the Trust at

3) 2016 Awards

Information about the 2016 Sandford St Martin Awards, judges, full shortlists and links to winning programmes can be found here:

2016 winners were:

  • TV WINNER: MY SON THE JIHADI (True Vision Productions for Channel 4)
  • TV RUNNER-UP: BAZ THE LOST MUSLIM (Brown Bread Films for RTE2)
  • RADIO WINNER: OBJECTIONS AT THE WEDDING (Whistledown Productions for BBC World Service)
  • RADIO RUNNER-UP: NOT NOW (BBC Radio Scotland for BBC Radio 4)
  • RUNNER-UP: MR ALZHEIMERS AND ME (Tigerlily Productions for CBBC)
  • Radio)
  • 2016 TRUSTEES’ AWARD: JOAN BAKEWELL (author, journalist and broadcaster).
  • 2016 RADIO TIMES READERS AWARD: CALL THE MIDWIFE (Neal Street Productions for BBC One)
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Raidió Fáilte – another step forward Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:19:43 +0000 Read more +]]> Raidió Fáilte, Belfast’s award-winning Irish language community radio station took another major step forward in its plans to build a new Irish language media, broadcasting and training centre, when planning permission was granted by Belfast City council for the proposal.
The planned new centre, at the junction of the Falls Road and the Westlink, will house new facilities for the Irish language community radio station as well as visitor and community spaces.  The capital investment of almost two million pounds has received support from Belfast City Council, Department for Communities and An Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge, as well as from the NI Housing Executive and Department for Infrastructure.Caoimhín Mac Giolla Mhín, director of Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge, who are contributing £375,000 to the project, is delighted that the project has reached this important milestone.
“This has been a long bureaucratic process and Ciste has been proudly behind this project for almost five years. Comhghairdeas mór to all the team at Raidió Fáilte who have worked tirelessly for so long. This is only the beginning as Ciste are involved in £6.2 million of Irish language community capital projects in West Belfast,” added Caoimhín.Fergus Ó hÍr, station manager of Raidió Fáilte said, “The new centre will be a major boost for the growing Irish language community throughout the city and further afield and will prove to be a major asset to learners of the language and those interested in Irish music and culture generally.” The new building, which will be known as Líonra Uladh, will contribute to a major refurbishment of the Lower Falls area and Divis area.

Councillor Jim McVeigh said,“We are delighted that the new Raidió Fáilte – Líonra Uladh project has received planning permission. Belfast City Council have funded this project from our City Investment Fund. We contributed £1 million to the project.

We are confident that this project will be a fantastic community facility that will promote our language but also create employment and training opportunities for our young people.”

Raidió Fáilte is a community station which was awarded a community broadcast licence 10 years ago. As a community station Raidió Fáilte has been giving a strong Irish language voice across local communities and has been providing skills training to many people who are interested in broadcasting with the station as volunteer broadcasters. Many of those who received training with the station have gone on to take up important media positions at home and abroad. The exciting new facilities will allow the station to increase and improve its service both in terms of broadcasting and training.The high standards achieved by Raidió Fáilte has been recognised by a number of prestigious awards which the station has won. The most recent award was in September when Raidió Fáilte received the 2016 Silver Award at the Community Radio Awards in Birmingham.
Above pictured from right to left – Fergus Ó hÍr (Bainisteoir Stáisiúin Raidió Fáilte 107.1FM), Paul Reid (Senior Principal Officer NIHE), Councillor Mary McConville (Sinn Féin) Michelle Bagnall (Project Sponsor Officer Belfast City Council) Caoimhín Mac Giolla Mhín (Stiúrthóir An Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge) sitting, Councillor Jim McVeigh (Sinn Féin)
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Community radio: future licensing and technical policy Mon, 31 Oct 2016 13:55:47 +0000 Read more +]]> Ofcom has published a review of its community radio licensing and technical policy.

Ofcom has been awarding community radio licences for more than a decade, and there are now nearly 250 stations in the UK. These stations are small, not-for-profit services which bring a range of benefits to their target communities, and are run with the help of volunteers.

As Ofcom comes to the end of its third round of community radio licensing, the regulator is seeking views on proposals to:

  • run a short, focussed fourth round of community radio licensing; and
  • revise their technical policy to allow improvements to coverage areas for community stations, taking into account individual stations’ requirements.

This consultation closes on 22 December 2016.

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Community Media, Social Housing and the NHS Sustainability & Transformation Plans – An Opportunity to Change the National Wellbeing Landscape? Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:04:58 +0000 Read more +]]> For those of you who were able to attend the CMA’s Community Media Conference this year, you will know that one of the principal discussions concerned the role of community media as an essential partner in enabling and improving social change and wellbeing.

Although I don’t come from CM I believe strongly in how it can enable social change and I was delighted when Lucinda Guy and Bill Best invited me to join you. I had several conversations at the conference about audience engagement, both direct and in partnership with others such as housing associations. I learnt a lot about how these two essential national services are collaborating, with the common goals of improving both social cohesion and community wellbeing. I was also able to share my knowledge and experience of a current national change programme within the NHS and how it could provide additional, funded partnering opportunities; the Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STPs).

For context, 44 STPs have been established covering all counties in England. Their purpose is to enable local delivery of the national NHS Five Year Forward View through three core activities being, closing the:

1.    Care and quality gap
2.    Health and wellbeing gap
3.    Funding and efficiency gap

One of the principal tenets underpinning all actions taken by the STPs is to “think about populations, not institutions or organisational form”. What’s exciting about this, is that this is what community media does!

I think it’s important to state the obvious here in that you help your neighbourhoods establish and develop community-based conversations for empowerment, cultural expression, information and entertainment. You do it through online radio and television, free-to-air community and local television and community film makers. It is a crucially important delivery enabler for achieving local aspirations and improving wellbeing and these outputs, are remarkably consistent with what social housing aims for too.

You may be saying “so what”? For me, the response to this is that the ducks seem to be lining up!

Two national organisations can demonstrate concrete examples of collaborative working for the purpose of enabling/improving local wellbeing. This is happening at a time when the NHS has been allocated additional funding (circa £1.8bn) and instructed to roll its’ sleeves up and find partners to enable the delivery of the local STPs. An opportunity exists now (2016/17), through collaboration, which could put CM at the heart of enabling and improving health and wellbeing across the country.

What Next?

  • We (CMA and me) would like you to tell us about any current or recent collaborations; whether or not these have been with social housing providers; which have focused on activities to do with improving health and wellbeing in your communities
  • Please send your responses to me, Keith Hackett, and I will collate your feedback as part of research I am doing with the CMA on how CM facilitates the development of community wellbeing
  • These examples will be used to:
  • Make government departments, including DCMS, more aware of the social impact of community media, for the purpose of obtaining funding
  • At a local level, where CM and social housing collaborations are currently active, build a business case for local funding from the relevant STP
  • Show the BBC that community media is its essential local partner and should be funded accordingly
  • Potentially, encourage other funded collaborations with social housing providers and other partners


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Sell-out success for the Community Media Conference 2016 Wed, 14 Sep 2016 17:38:47 +0000 Read more +]]> Volunteers, students, and professionals who are passionate about improving their communities met in Birmingham on Saturday 10th September, to learn from, and inspire, one another.

The event was the annual Community Media Conference, and those who came represent small independent radio stations, TV channels and publishers from all over the UK. The Conference was hosted by Birmingham City University, where staff and students share the same passion as those who came along – for bringing all kinds of people together to create local, not-for-profit media.

Professor Tim Wall of the University welcomed delegates at the start of the day and the Conference featured speakers from the Arts Council, BBC, Bristol Cable, the British Library, Ofcom, PPL, PRSfM, Radio Academy, Radio Regen, and more.

The event is the UK’s premier community media conference and was a great opportunity for delegates to network with other industry professionals and catch-up with the issues currently influencing the sector.

Lucinda Guy, Chair of the Community Media Association, said:

“We wanted to celebrate the many achievements of community media, but not shy away from the difficulties. Ten years on from the launch of the community radio licence in the UK, many of our members are struggling. It makes such a huge difference for us to come together like this and learn from one another, and to meet stakeholders such as the BBC, Ofcom and Arts Council England face to face. There was a real buzz at this year’s conference, and a friendly, festival atmosphere. Awkward questions were asked, and we laughed and learned together“.

Bill Best, Operations Manager at the Community Media Association, said:

“This year’s Conference was one of our most successful ever due to a number of factors including the venue location, the Conference programme, and our association with the inaugural Community Radio Awards. We look forward to making next year’s event and even bigger success – work on 2017 has started already”.

Martin Steers, CMA Council member and Awards Chair, said:

“This year was one of the best CMA conferences I have attended, a fantastic lineup of speakers with great panels and breakouts, the theme and discussions at this year’s event really work with what community media projects are achieving in their communities.

I am so happy that we had the Awards after the Conference – what a great way to continue the conversations and networking but also bring those people together with more for the awards to celebrate community radio”.

The Community Media Conference 2016 had a packed programme including two keynote panel discussions on:
1) How Ideas and Individuals flow between Mainstream and Community Media” with:

  • Chris Burns (Chair of Radio Academy and Head of Group Operations, BBC Radio),
  • David Holdsworth (Controller, BBC English Regions – responsible for the BBC’s local output and news-gathering across England)
  • Michael Umney (Production Manager at Resonance FM, radio features producer for the BBC and Poetry Society podcaster)
  • Siobhan Stevenson, Birmingham City University School of Media

This panel was chaired by Lucinda Guy of Soundart Radio and Chair of the Community Media Association. A key takeaway for delegates from this session is that David Holdsworth extends an open invitation to every community radio station to get to know their local BBC Radio Editor better over a cup of tea.
2) Community Media for Social Change: how hyperlocal media can deliver positive social benefits with:

  • Dom Chambers – Somer Valley FM and Radio Academy Affiliates group
  • Dave Harte – Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University
  • Koel Mukherjee – representing the Bristol Cable Media co-operative, created and owned by over 1,200 people in the city
  • Dean Puckett – film-maker at Grasp The Nettle Films

This panel was chaired by Caroline Mitchell (author, academic and researcher on the Transnational Radio Encounters project) who also took the opportunity to show delegates the prototype of a map browser for online community radio stations.

The Conference also featured breakout workshop sessions on

  • Accessing Arts Council funding – Peta Murphy-Burke & Alison Vermee
  • Health projects on community radio – Phil Korbel, Radio Regen
  • Ofcom licensing and technical review – Graham Plumb & Susan Williams
  • PPL & PRSfM licensing – Lucy Cousins (PPL), Laura Mullinger (PRSfM)
  • Save Our Sounds national archive – Luke McKernan, British Library
  • Small-scale DAB update – Dean Kavanagh, Switch Radio

Delegates were also informed about a new initiative to develop a national community radio advertising scheme by Bill Hensley from Huntingdon Community Radio for which over 50 new sign-ups were recorded.

Feedback from the delegates has been overwhelming positive and the sector looks forward to 2017.

The Community Media Conference was followed by the inaugural Community Radio Awards event which was a resounding success with almost 50 entries from across the country being recognised.

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Arts Council England and Community Media – some post-conference reflections Wed, 14 Sep 2016 11:43:11 +0000 Read more +]]> In the lead-up to this year’s conference, we contacted several funders to invite them to have information stands and network with our members. On the whole, replies were along the lines of ‘too busy’ – except for the Midlands team from Arts Council England. They got back to us straight away, were positive, enthusiastic and on the ball.

Peta Murphy-Burke is the relationship manager for Creative Media. She explained that some years back the decision was taken that film and radio could no longer be supported by Arts Council funding because film has the BFI, and radio has the BBC.

This sounds like a very unbalanced creative media landscape to many of us. In the visual arts, theatre or music, we understand that a few larger organisations will always be funded, such as English National Opera or Tate Modern. But so will a great number of small, community-based and independent projects. Here is culture at its most cultural (in the bacterial sense). New ideas, messy projects, things that take creative risk, collaborative artworks. Media needs this too – the BBC and other large broadcasters are the opera houses of broadcasting. As Siobhan Stevenson from Birmingham City University said in our morning panel discussion, “Actually, the BBC needs us more than we need you.”

It is in community media that new ideas and approaches are generated, tried and tested. For example, a station such as BBC Radio 3 can be a great platform for the arts, but is less able to explore radio as an artistic medium in itself.

So where next? Radio stations can still apply for funding from Arts Council England, but a radio-only project is unlikely to get support. Partnering up with other arts organisations is a better strategy for now. In the short term, we need to learn to play the game, speak the funders language, and perhaps even down-play what we actually know to be the best ways to get new art to new audiences. But in the long term, we need change at a strategic level, to ensure community broadcasters can keep making important, creative and innovative work.

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Community Media Changing Lives – CMA Strategy 2016 – 2021 Mon, 05 Sep 2016 15:10:22 +0000 Read more +]]> The digital revolution has brought media production into the hands of many people, but not always the opportunities to create, share and consume content on community-owned, not-for-profit platforms. Not content with simply being the audience, or subject matter, communities around the UK want to tell and distribute their own stories.

The Community Media Association has underpinned the democratisation of media for 33 years. Thanks to funding from Big Assist (NCVO) awarded in November 2015, we have been able to work with the Foundation for Social Improvement on an in-depth process of member consultation and review of community media, and the role and direction of the CMA.

Please download our new Strategy document from here:

In a rapidly changing digital and economic landscape, we recognise the need to reassess how we can best continue to support our members to thrive, in the most efficient and effective way we can.

In order to do this, we need to encourage and facilitate collaboration, and improve how we measure and celebrate the benefits to society that community media in all its forms brings, with as much emphasis on the processes as the products.

Lucinda Guy, Chair of CMA Council

Summer 2016

Community Media Association

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Creativity, Diversity, Wellbeing – what’s behind our conference theme Wed, 31 Aug 2016 20:46:54 +0000 Read more +]]> Over the last year, discussions at CMA Council meetings have often been about how we could help to change public perception of community media. Are we amateurs, playing at radio, TV and print? No! We are professionals, working in community development. We have found the ‘magic bullet’ for transforming the lives of individuals, and improving things for our town or area – it’s getting people together to create and distribute their own media. We all see the incredible changes that take place, and dedicate our lives to making it happen, often underpaid, under appreciated and over worked.

As the Council has worked on a new strategy for the CMA, with the tag line ‘Community Media Changing Lives’ we’ve thought about how to get the message across to stakeholders and the general public. Thinking towards this year’s Conference, we wanted to take time to celebrate what is really amazing about community media, whilst acknowledging the problems, challenging those with influence and improving our skills to help all of our organisations become more sustainable. We need everyone to be part of this conversation – those rooted in community media, and representatives from the BBC, Ofcom, PRSfM/PPL, funders and others.

I’m not the only person who has felt underwhelmed by talks delivered by someone high up in their profession in mainstream media. They may not really understand what we do, and no-one likes being talked down to. Let’s avoid those situations, and instead, invite all kinds of people to discuss things together, and share skills. Our annual conference can be a place where new ideas are generated, new connections made. Moving to a mix of panel discussions and workshops will help this to happen.

Our theme of ‘Creativity, Diversity, Well-being’ sums up all that is best about what we do. Creative risks can be taken, with people making content that wouldn’t be found anywhere else. Some of these amazing ideas gradually seep into mainstream media. Diversity here isn’t just tokenistic – some of the most marginalised and misunderstood groups have real ownership and control of media platforms. And the well-being of many people around the UK is being transformed by locally owned, non-profit, grassroots media outlets.

My hope is that the Conference itself not just looks at these points but lives them. Let’s have a creative event, where we are buzzing with ideas. Let’s have a good range of people speaking, diverse in every sense. And let’s look after one another on the day. Take time to welcome new people, listen to one another’s points of view, and have a positive shared experience that helps us to thrive over the coming year.

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