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CBAA awarded enhanced National News Project

CBAA Communications, 11th March 2019
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The Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF) have announced the CBAA has been awarded $2.8 million over four years to manage the Enhanced National News Project.

This project will improve the quality and reliability of news content available to the community broadcasting sector to provide audiences with respected, valued and well-utilised alternative news services.

Over the next four years, this project will amplify the diverse voices, stories and perspectives of the Australian community and build capacity for local reporting, particularly for journalists in regional and remote communities.

The project will include:

  • Development of a Network Hub, a centralised content-sharing space.
  • Development of a platform and resources to encourage and support local broadcasters to read news and contribute content to local bulletins, including ready-to-air scripts, editorial/style guidelines, as well as providing ready-to-broadcast stories and bulletins.
  • In-person and online training to enhance journalistic skills.
  • Enhancing technology and infrastructure to improve the quality and reliability of news content available for broadcast.
  • Forming a News Advisory Group of community media journalists and news producers to encourage collaboration and inclusive reporting.

More people are turning to the independent voices on community radio, pushing audience levels to nearly six million each week. This funding will enhance the news available to community radio listeners.

The CBF gratefully acknowledge the support of the Australian Government with this additional funding made available as a result of the passage of its Media Reform Package.

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Abstract
In 2004 the first, national, statistically robust, quantitative assessment of the Australian community broadcasting sector’s audience reach was undertaken. Conducted by McNair Ingenuity, this research provided a major breakthrough in the wider shift to a more audience-centred approach to managing the sector. The findings, significance and implications of this research are considered here. Following recent developments in critical cultural policy studies, this paper locates this renewed concern for community broadcasting audiences within a ‘larger cycle of decision-making’ (O’Regan, Balnaves and Sternberg 2002: 2). The particular influence of developments such as the emerging spectrum market and the imminent transition to digital transmission systems is discussed. These developments are important to understanding why community broadcasting resistance to market-based conceptions of audience is being overcome, and how audience-centredness might be used to facilitate the continuing development of this ‘third’ sector of Australian broadcasting.