National community launch

National Community Radio

Alex White, 23rd May 2011
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On Friday May 13, a national launch event was held to celebrate the establishment of community digital radio services in mainland capital cities around the country.

Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy officially launched the event. Other speakers included CBAA President, Adrian Basso, and CBAA General Manager Kath Letch . The event was hosted by Bryce Ives with a Welcome to Country delivered by Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin, Senior Wurundjeri elder of the Kulin alliance in Victoria.

The event took place at Triple R's Performance Space and was attended by community broadcasters and other representatives of the sector from around the country, including Adam Bandt, Federal Member for Melbourne and The Honourable Tony Staley AO. The event heralded the official launch of community digital radio services in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth and was the precursor to similar smaller launches following on from the national event.

 

National community launch audience

 

Community radio in Australia has a rich history and the national digital launch was a significant moment in the development of community radio. Adrian Basso, President of the CBAA emphasized the importance of this occasion. “Every week, millions of Australians tune into community radio to enjoy information and entertainment that speaks directly to their heart and their community. So, after years of lobbying, it is a great moment to witness the first community stations enter into the digital radio age. The CBAA looks forward to working with the Federal Government and community radio stations to ensure all community stations are included in any future roll out of digital radio.”

Community Broadcasting Association of Australia General Manager, Kath Letch, welcomed the move to digital. “The CBAA is delighted to see community digital radio launched nationally for metropolitan services. It's a critical step in maintaining the role of community media on free-to-air broadcast platforms, and community broadcasters will make a strong addition to the diversity and local content of digital radio services available to communities in the mainland capital cities.”

Community broadcasting has helped shape the media landscape in Australia, distinguishing itself from other media by providing the local community with access to, and participation in, media production and management with localism and independence. Community stations provide news, information, cultural and entertainment content to communities defined by geographical location or common interest. Many stations provide services for distinct audiences with programs dedicated to indigenous communities, the vision impaired, religion, education, youth and specific music genres.

Access to digital radio services for the community-broadcasting sector has been made possible for metropolitan–wide community radio broadcasters thanks to Federal Government funding delivered via the Community Broadcasting Foundation to the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’s Digital Radio Project.

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