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Voices & Vision All About Community Broadcasting

enadmin, 18th December 2014

Community broadcasting has helped shape the media landscape in Australia. It’s recognised internationally as one of the most successful examples of grassroots media.

It distinguishes itself from other media by providing the local community with access and participation in media production and management. Localism and independence are defining features.

Community broadcasting provides news, information, cultural content and entertainment to communities defined by geographical location or common interest, including Indigenous, specialist music, ethnic, educational, youth, religious and print disabled.

Australia’s community media sector is known for its size and reach. The vast number of stations spread across the country form a network that rivals commercial and public broadcasters. For many communities it is the only media producing local content in their area.

Reflecting Australia’s immense cultural and linguistic diversity, it creates an array of services and programs, and broadens the media choices available to all of us.

Community broadcasting is taking every opportunity to expand into new online and free-to-air digital platforms. Our skills and experience working on the ground in diverse communities are providing unique and exciting contributions to the digital economy.

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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.


This paper examines the changing contribution of local radio to the democratic process in Australia. It takes the whole local area approach suggested by the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, to examine all the services available in three regional areas to assess their potential in facilitating public sphere discussion, disputation and deliberation, and (since the common assumption is that deregulation severely curtailed these processes) it does this in a historical frame, comparing the changes in services from 1976 to 2001. Because of its strengths in the analysis of relationships between the state (public) and private sectors, Habermas’s public sphere theory is used to frame this discussion. Recent theoretical extensions have also seen the welcome elaboration of issues of power (Fraser, 1992, 2000) and the inclusion of a new and subtle range of cultural issues (Peters, 1993; McGuigan, 1997, 2004; Keane, 1998) inside its developing literature.


The Minister for Communications, Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, today released a report which recommends establishing a Digital Radio Planning Committee for regional Australia, chaired by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).