Thinking About Getting On Board?

enadmin, 24th September 2010

The CBAA recently caught up with Jonathan Brown to find out about his experiences over the past two years as Youth Representative of the CBAA Board.

CBAA: You’ve been the Youth Representative on the CBAA Board for nearly two years now. Why did you decide to take up this position?

JB: I really love everything that community broadcasting stands for and the sector has had such a positive impact on me. I went up for the youth rep position because I wanted to see the great experience I've had, extended to as many young people across Australia as possible. I think we've got something really special going on here and I wanted to make a contribution towards seeing that continue well into the future.

CBAA: What were your key responsibilities as the Youth Representative?

JB: The youth representative provides a really unique perspective to the CBAA board. It’s easy to forget that young people are the future of this sector. It's the youth representative's responsibility to ensure the future needs of the sector are always considered. It's all about future planning and making sure that the sector's next group of leaders are ready and prepared to make community broadcasting stronger.

CBAA: Many young people involved in community broadcasting are also studying full-time, supporting themselves financially with paid employment, pursuing passions, undertaking internships etc, etc. How did you balance all your competing interests whilst also being a CBAA Board member?

JB: My lecturers must be sick of assignments about community broadcasting! I'll be honest and say it's been a really tough juggling act at times. Between university, Radio Adelaide, the CBAA and having a life it's been a very busy, but rewarding couple of years. Being involved with the CBAA has given me opportunities I could have never dreamed of and I have no regrets whatsoever about taking up the position. It's been challenging, but the juggling act has made me stronger than I could have ever hoped.

CBAA: What did you enjoy most about your time as the Board’s Youth Rep?

JB: The members of the CBAA board and staff are beautiful and inspiring people. I've learned so much from them and I really appreciate the respect and trust that they've afforded me over my term on the Board. I've had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people in our sector and I've enjoyed the opportunity to connect with so many of them.

CBAA: What did you find challenging?

JB: The CBAA and the sector have come out of an extremely challenging period. I've been privy to a number of really tough decisions. But the determination of CBAA's board and staff to see a stronger sector and a stronger CBAA has taught me a lot. The sector is a really complex beast and it's been challenging to wrap my head around. But I think we have some great opportunities ahead.

CBAA: What are you most proud?

JB: I'm proud that now we have an award to specifically recognise young people in the sector doing great things.

I also can't wait to see what our CBloggers come up with at the CBAA conference – I'm really excited about what young people in our sector are doing and will be proud if I've made even the smallest contribution towards that end.

CBAA: What advice would you give to young broadcasters who are thinking about nominating for Youth Rep?

JB: Your voice matters and you shouldn't be afraid to speak up for the future of this sector and its values. The Youth Rep position has taught me so much. But it's also given me a great opportunity to contribute. It’s a two-way process - you have a lot to learn and a lot to contribute.

CBAA: What do you see as the key challenges for young people in our sector in the future?

JB: We must make sure that the values of community broadcasting live on in the digital age. New technologies should be an opportunity, not a barrier. But there must be people willing to fight for those without a voice.

We need to take a coordinated approach towards engaging young people in this sector and we must work harder to spread the message that our voice does matter. Our biggest challenge is to make sure that we don't take these opportunities for granted and that we help as many young Australians as possible share their stories.

CBAA: And advice for incoming Youth Representative Board members?

JB: Think big, respect your own voice and fight for the values you believe in. Community broadcasting has a lot to teach you, but you have a lot to contribute too.

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We caught up with outgoing CBAA Youth Rep, Pip Younes, to ask her what she's learnt and what you might expect in the role.


The internet provides a means for non-professional media-makers to produce and publish their own video and audio content, as community television and radio have done for several decades. While the web seems to exemplify the principles of media access and diversity championed by the community media sector, it also raises challenges for broadcast community media participants and their online equivalents, not least being the co-opting of the term ‘community media’ by large commercial interests. A symposium held in Melbourne by Open Spectrum Australia (‘Quality/Control’, State Library of Victoria, Oct 2008) brought together people with a wide range of community media experience to discuss this and other issues, particularly the possibilities for greater cooperation between broadcast and online community media participants.

This paper draws on participant contributions at the symposium to explore the relationship between broadcast and online community media. Despite shared values, we identify different, and possibly incompatible, cultures within the two groups. We argue that this disjoint stems from two different systems of control or validation (licensing and networks), as well as producer-centered accounts of community media that are out of sync with the contemporary media environment. Instead, we propose that theory and practice begin to address issues of consumption in relation to community media, including identification, navigation and the notion of ethical choice.


*Past webinar, click through to watch recording.*

Following on from the 2019 CBAA Conference Youth Forum, the CBAA is inviting the future representatives of the sector to get together as part of the Young People in Community Media Webinar for 2019.