MEDIA RELEASE: National Radio News to be available to community radio stations for free

Katrina Hughes, 1st April 2020

The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) is pleased to announce that the National Radio News service will be free for all member stations for the next six months, as part of a new COVID-19 subsidy partnership with the Judith Neilson Institute. The National Radio News is an independent, not for profit, non-partisan national news service, providing listeners with relevant and up-to-the-minute national, international and state-based news and sport on the hour.   

“We are acutely aware of the impact community radio stations are facing from the Coronavirus pandemic. Many stations are facing a catastrophic drop-off in sponsorship revenue. Helping stations to reduce their operating costs to stay on-air is one way the CBAA can help,” said CBAA CEO Jon Bisset.

“We need to keep the news going to community radio’s six million weekly listeners and support stations to do so. There has never been a more important time to keep our communities informed with factual information and news.”

Thanks to a partnership developed with the Judith Neilson Institute, the CBAA will subsidise each station’s subscription to the National Radio News  for a six month period. Stations will be able to keep their communities informed with 84 up-to-date bulletins throughout the week. Read more about the Judith Neilson Institute COVID-19 response and partnership with CBAA.
Executive director of the Judith Neilson Institute, Mark Ryan, said these initiatives were a temporary measure aimed at providing help as quickly and efficiently as possible where it was most needed over the next few months.

“All sectors of the economy are affected and the impact on journalism is profound,” he said. “While more people are reading, watching and listening to news, media organisations are struggling with the financial implications of the crisis.”

The National Radio News is a trusted source for local and national content, news and alternative voices. Currently more than 80 stations pay a subscription fee-for-service. Making the service free will provide cost-relief to those stations that currently subscribe, as well as providing many more stations access to the service.

The CBAA is committed to providing support to community radio stations to boost journalism by building on new and existing collaborations and initiatives across the country, ensuring more local and national news reaches more people. If you would like to access the service, please email

The CBAA are committed to assisting the sector throughout this difficult period. We will continue to look for more means to support stations.



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