Station Planning - COVID-19

Danny Chifley, 16th July 2020
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This resource contains information regarding:

  • Returning safely to studios
  • Staff/volunteer legal information
  • Work, health and safety
  • Accurate public health updates
  • Our role as media organisations
  • Links regarding financial assistance

Scroll through to find your topic of interest.

Road to recovery

As the various states and territories progressively lift social distancing requirements, community radio station boards, and management committees should consider their roadmap for safe return. Every station will be different – with each returning in the way that is best suited for their situation.

Get: Checklist for returning to community radio stations

Employers have a duty to provide a safe and hazard-free workplace for their staff and volunteers, including during a crisis. As well as using the above checklist, NFP Law has also put together a handy list of FAQs to best help you, your staff and volunteers work within studios and offices safely.

Information for your board, staff, and volunteers 
  • For the latest advice and information for employers, visit the Australian Government Department of Health. You can also call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts

  • Understand both your legal obligations to staff/volunteers. The Fair Work Ombudsman has updated resources for workplace entitlements and obligations.
Work, health and safety
Accurate public health updates

With constant media hype, and the contagious panic of the crowd it is easy to lose sight of the facts. Avoid thinking about the, “possible” or “maybe” problems that could occur in the future. Focus on what you can do now. To keep your responses helpful (and to minimise unnecessary stress) consider these tips: 

  • Aim to reduce media exposure as constant checking of media coverage is likely to keep you and those around you in a heightened state of anxiety 
  • For the latest accurate and approved advice and factual information please go to the Australian Governments Health Alert website and the World Health Organisation. Follow their recommended Health Guidelines to support your health, reduce the risk of infection and to inform you of what to do should you feel ill.

Keep up to date with the latest essential information on COVID‑19 - news, updates and advice from Australian Government agencies.

For health enquiries please call the Australian Government Department of Health Coronavirus Information Line 1800 020 080 or the health direct hotline 1800 022 222.

Our role as media organisations

The media and in particular community radio should also play a critical role in preventing and addressing the social stigma associated with COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the Red Cross have developed a guide for preventing and addressing social stigma associated with the coronavirus disease which the CBAA encourages community radio stations to use in their messaging.

First Draft is a global non-profit that supports journalists, academics and technologists working to address challenges relating to trust and truth in the digital age. They have resources available to assist journalists:

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is dedicated to informed, innovative and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy. 

Review the situation daily and follow the advice of the relevant authorities. While our licence conditions and obligations to our community call for us to provide as much live and local programming as possible, the health of our community is paramount. Be prepared to limit access to your station should you receive advice from the relevant authorities to do so.

Ensuring Your Volunteers Can Access the Station During Lockdown

While we’ve been assured that community broadcasters can continue operating under the current conditions, your personnel might still be stopped and asked what they are doing or where they are going when outside. We encourage staff personnel with business cards to carry them. For volunteers, stations can provide a letter outlining that you are a volunteer and carrying out necessary work. Download a template for you to use.

Does your station need financial assistance?

Not sure where to go accessing Federal Government, State/Territory, CBF or grant funding? Need tips for financial stress? We've set up a Financial Assistance webpage.

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The role community radio plays as a space for connection and community coming together is really being highlighted right now. While our listeners may be going outside less and less, they’re still connecting to local news, voices and updates, and being soothed with music and distraction through you and your teams.