Can a Commercial Radio also be a Community Radio? Meet the Hybrid in Upstate New York.

Radio Woodstock’s introduction of a new listener-supported hybrid campaign that solicits funding from the audience, as well as a commercial load, is one that experts and independent broadcasters are watching carefully.

While advertising sales is a critical funding channel for community radios in the United Kingdom, it is outlawed for not-for-profit broadcasters in many countries, including the USA. But soliciting donations - long the exclusive province of not-for-profits, is a new and some say innovative development for commercial operators. Time will tell if this hybrid approach proves successful in the USA.

C4D Modules in University Courses?

  Writing in the Communication Initiative Network blog, author Caroline Hungwe of Tanzania argues that college graduates are ill-prepared for communication for development (C4D) careers.

"Every year universities channel out Journalism/Public Relations/Marketing graduates who then get C4D jobs in UN or international NGOs etc... These graduates are often lacking knowledge and skills for application of C4D strategies. As such there is a gap that exists between the academia and field.The challenge is that in most cases the targeted beneficiaries end up with knowledge about the existence of a certain project /programme in their area, but this does not translate to change in practices.

Well-trained human resource is key to making a case for C4D budget lines at proposal development, and this will help to upscale C4D in the field. They can contextualize issues and help answer questions such as “what can the beneficiary do with what they have physically, financially, academically and socially at their disposal".

The 2017 NFCB Community Media Conference - Denver, USA

The National Federation of Community Broadcasters will hold its annual conference July 17-20 in Denver, Colorado.

This signature annual event is aimed at inspiring, energizing and moving you to make your community broadcasting station better. From tech innovation to development to storytelling, it is your chance to learn skills, to talk with attorneys on issues related to your station, and to get face-to-face time with key leaders and trailblazers.

The conference theme, A Place Called Community, speaks to the role community media plays in uniting neighbors, convening conversations, and bringing out the best in all of us. Click here for more information.

UNESCO Chair on Community Media updates Toolkit

 
The Community Radio Continuous Improvement Toolkit version 2.0 is ready for download. The toolkit can be a valuable resouce for the effective and sustainable operation of community radios.
 
 
The toolkit was created and recently updated by the UNESCO Chair on Community Media at the University of Hyderabad; led by Dr. Vinod Pavarala. You can learn more about their important work here.
 
 

A Gem on the California Coast

Effective leadership and best practices are keys to the success of community radio KWMR in Pt. Reyes, California.

Pictured left to right: Mia Johnson (fundraising), Lyons Filmer (program), and Katie Eberle (community affairs).

KWMR has grown to become an integral and important hub for community activity in West Marin County, developing a sustainable organization which deploys the people, systems and materials necessary to insure continued success.

As one of the world's best-run community radios, they are a role model for community radios everywhere to emulate.

U.S. Congressman Introduces Bill to Defund NPR and Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Upon the filing of H.R. 726 and H.R. 727, Representative Douglas Lamborn (R - Colorado) said congressional Republicans need to prove they take fiscal responsibility seriously: “American taxpayers do not want their hard-earned dollars funding superfluous government programs just because that is the way things have always been done,” Lamborn wrote on his congressional webpage.

The Coloradan introduced the bills to “permanently defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. CPB received $445 million during Fiscal Year 2016, and this money could be put to better use rebuilding our military and enhancing our national security.”

     

CPB is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting and the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online and mobile services.

CPB’s mission is to ensure universal access to non-commercial, high-quality content and telecommunications services. It does so by distributing more than 70% of its funding to nearly 1,500 locally owned public radio and television stations.

CPB by the numbers:

  • 410 grantees, representing 1,123 public radio stations
  • 170 grantees, representing 366 public TV stations
  • 220 of the total 580 grantees are considered rural
  • 99% of Americans have access to public media
  • More than 70% of CPB’s federal funding goes directly to local public media stations
  • Less than 5% of funding is spent on CPB operations
  • $1.35 – Average annual cost per American for public media

CPB strives to support diverse programs and services that inform, educate, enlighten and enrich the public.  Through grants, CPB encourages the development of content that addresses the needs of underserved audiences, especially children and minorities. CPB's core values of collaboration, innovation, engagement, and diversity, help to inform program investments system-wide.

Radio Free Europe launches new Russian-language TV channel

U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty launched a new 24-hour Russian-language channel on Tuesday to offer Russian speakers living home and abroad a new alternative to government-run media.

The channel, Current Time, is available on cable, satellite and digital platforms and aimed at millions of Russian speakers in Russia, the Baltics, Ukraine, the Caucasus, central Asia and elsewhere.

"We believe our objective and balanced channel will serve as an alternative to disinformation and lies that sometimes we see coming from Russian state-sponsored outlets," Kenan Aliyev, executive editor of Current Time, told Reuters.

"We are not counterpropaganda at all. We are objective and balanced, verified news. We are an open platform for anyone who wants to engage in a civilised discussion."

You can read more from Thompson-Reuters here.

50 Years Since the Rebirth of USA Public Broadcasting

As the 50th anniversary approaches of the rebirth of public broadcasting in the United States, a new president questions its legitimacy and perhaps threatens its survival.

Signed into law by president Lyndon Johnson, the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the transition from educational to public broadcasting that included information, opinion and entertainment. This article from Nieman Center looks back half a century at the forces that animated and informed the rise of today’s public media system.

"Once in a Lifetime Opportunity"

In 2016 the U.S. Federal Communications Commission launched an auction that will allow broadcasters to sell all or parts of their broadcast spectrum, which could then be purchased by wireless carriers looking to expand their reach.

Some analysts initially projected that just public TV stations could bring in as much as $2.3 billion, according to reported federal estimates.

The advocacy group Free Press is encouraging public broadcasters to invest their earnings back into local news and information. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Mike Rispoli, the New Jersey director of Free Press. “There is a crisis in local news and how people get information now. This is a lot of money to infuse and support local journalism and information needs.”

Read all about it at the Nieman Lab site from Harvard University.

 

The Birthplace of Public Radio

100 years ago public radio was born from "The Wisconsin Idea" - the progressive political philosophy adopted from a book by University of Wisconsin political science professor Charles McCarthy; published in 1912.

McCarthy described legislation that would strengthen the middle class through laws regulating business, improving education, establishing workers’ compensation, protecting the environment and limiting child labor. The university agreed that the new radio be used to serve these goals.

Theodore Roosevelt’s introduction to McCarthy’s book described Wisconsin as “literally a laboratory for wise experimental legislation aiming to secure the social and political betterment of the people as a whole.”