Community Radio Stations Grow Newsroom Collaboration

Community Radio Stations Grow Newsroom Collaboration

Joshua Cole, 14th November 2023

The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) is supporting the growth of news collaboration among some of the leading community radio stations around Australia through the News Network Project.

The News Network Project aims to create a more sustainable and comprehensive national community radio news ecosystem. This will deliver more relevant, accurate, and accessible news and information to underserved Australian communities.

Community broadcasters produce trusted, independent, locally relevant news and current affairs programming. This is particularly important for underserved communities in a media landscape seeing continued consolidation and suffering from a lack of diversity.

With the generous support of a grant from the Lionel & Yvonne Spencer Trust, the CBAA has employed a consultant to co-ordinate news planning across 30 community radio stations.

Participating stations already include; 4ZZZ and 4EB from Queensland; Bay FM 2UNE, 2SER, and Hope Media from NSW; RTR, Curtin FM and Ngaarda Media from WA, Bay FM, 8CCC from the NT, and Radio Adelaide from SA.

The collaboration importantly includes Canberra-based political reporter Amanda Copp, producers of National Radio News (NRN), national current affairs program The Wire, First Nations Media Australia (FNMA) and the National Indigenous Radio Services (NIRS).

The new collaboration will;

  • connect news producers, journalists and stations from 30 community radio stations for news planning,
  • share news content through a cloud-based platform,
  • recruit new freelance community news journalists as contributors; and
  • provide news production training.

Australians value and trust community broadcasting news and information.

4.7 million people listen to community broadcasting each week. According to leading market research, the primary reason Australians tune in to local community radio is for local news and information.1

Australian community broadcasters are supported by over 18,000 volunteers and local staff who work to ensure that community broadcasting is a critical platform for voices that reflect the diversity of the Australian community, including First Nations people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people with disability, youth, seniors, LGBTQIA+ and faith-based communities.

Community radio news services are particularly valued in regional and remote areas, among culturally and linguistically diverse audiences and by people with a print disability.

Greater collaboration between news producers assists participating community radio stations to cover a range of matters relevant to their audiences across national, state and regional affairs.

This coordination will ensure local issues receive national attention and national issues are reported in a manner that is most relevant to local communities.

1. 48% of listeners to community radio, McNair Yellow Squares

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