Global Dialogues on Community Media in the Post-Pandemic World

The UNESCO Chair on Community Media announced the launch of a series of online Global Dialogues on Community Media in the Post-Pandemic World. Tune in from mid-June for informative and engaging conversations with practitioners, advocates, and network representatives from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and the Americas.

IJP CEE Bursary

The German non-profit organization IJP (International Journalists’ Programmes) would like to announce its second special fellowship for journalists interested in reporting in the field of climate and energy.

Journalists, who are granted the climate & energy bursary, will receive a deeper and more detailed insight into the field and get the opportunity to work and specialize topically and internationally alike. They are also welcome to pursue a transnational research on a common topic during their fellowship.

The bursary offers this opportunity for ten journalists from Germany, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia and Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania with a passion for climate and energy topics.

The scholarship programme starts with a thematic introductory conference. Subsequently, the participating journalists will begin their stay at their respective journalistic host organizations. Journalists from Germany will stay at a host media in one of the other countries for the time of the scholarship while the journalists from those countries will spend their time in a media in Germany. These media are selected by the IJP in consideration of the interests, qualifications and wishes of the fellows.

While being embedded partly in the workflow of the host media, the scholars will work on their own journalistic projects and mainly report for media in their home country. During the six to eight weeks of the stay, the journalists will get to know the host country better, establish contacts to local journalists and deepen his or her knowledge about climate and energy issues.

Grant Information Each fellow will receive a stipend of 3.800 Euro to help cover travel costs, accommodation and personal expenses during his or her stay. The participant must cover any additional costs.

Criteria The application is open to any journalist from the above mentioned countries, working for any print, radio, online or TV media (employed or freelancer). 

Fluency in German or one of the other countries’ official languages is not expected, though helpful for successful application. At least workable knowledge of English is essential.

Applications should include:

  • CV, incl. photograph
  • letter of recommendation by an editor or supervisor, supporting the application
  • four written samples of work (TV and radio journalists are asked to send a comprehensive list of contributions).
  • scholars from Germany should select three media and countries they would like to stay and journalists from the other countries should come up with at least three possible host media in Germany they would be interested being located at.

For more information, visit

Radio Stations That Lift Spirits in Hospitals

Volunteer-run broadcasters are a British tradition. The New York Times reports that among the hundreds of community radios in the UK, hospital radio stations are one of the less well-known: tiny operations, staffed by volunteers, that you would never know existed unless you’d been a patient here.

Despite the proliferation of technologies for listening to audio, hospital radio has ironically become more popular among patients, due to its unique position for personalization. Lisa Wells, a nurse treating Covid-19 patients at the Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham, said in an email that she had been happy to collect requests because the radio was good for patients’ families as much as for the patients themselves. It gave people peace of mind “that somebody’s just gone that extra mile to personalize what is such a dreadful time,” she said.


Local Media Matters

Journalists, citizens, and politicians are calling for any future stimulus package for the Covid-19 crisis to include funding for local journalism. Advocates argue that communities across the U.S. are at risk of losing their source of news because of the pandemic. Commercial, public service and community broadcasters are essential sources of news and information for the communities they serve, offering a variety of viewpoints, and are often considered more trustworthy than social media.


Community radio WORT in Madison, Wi. offers a typical example. WORT local newscasts present alternative viewpoints – both in the sources it uses and the stories it covers. Newscasts include local and state news, weather, and regular features. It also aims to give underrepresented people a voice.

RadioExpert recognizes the tremendous value that local news provides to communities, and supports the inclusion of local media in future funding initiatives.

The Value of Student Radio

As the media landscape evolves and embraces digital convergence, so too have innovative student radios. These organizations are expanding their output to include text, images and video. Student Radio R in Brno, Czech Republic embodies this approach, and is continually evolving to meet the interests and media habits of the upcoming generation.

Another important element of assuring the future of student radio is to maintain adequate financial, political and social sustainability. At WSUM student radio at the University of Wisconsin, general manager David Black says the key is to focus on the mission statement; making sure everyone agrees and promotes it accordingly.

Whether through innovative programming, or focusing on sustainability, student radio in all it's forms must adapt and evolve to continue providing a real training ground for future professionals in media.

Radio Gains in Diversity in Most of Africa

The Center for Media, Data and Society reports that the radio sector has been thriving in Africa in recent years, significantly diversifying in terms of ownership, content and access platforms. "Having a diverse radio framework helps deepen democracy" said Lumko Mtimde, former head of the Media Diversity and Development Agency (MDDA) in South Africa.

UNESCO Chair on Community Media

Largest US Broadcaster Cuts Local Radio Again

The largest radio conglomerate in the country, iHeartMedia, initiated a round of mass layoffs this week, cutting enough people that one former on-air host described Tuesday as “one of the worst days in on-air radio history.” The layoffs were concentrated in small and medium markets, where staffs had already been reduced, striking another major blow to local radio - according to an article in Rolling Stone magazine.

“We’ve gotten so far from local owners that radio is almost unrecognizable now,” said Karen Slade, vice president and general manager of the independently owned KJLH in Los Angeles, in a 2019 interview. “It’s dominated by massive corporate structures, and the communities that we need to service get lost in the shuffle between the giants.”

One former employee is quoted: “Any smaller to medium market in the country lost, in all likelihood, most, if not all, of their on-air staff. As far as the music stations go, there’s not a single local talent [left]."

iHeartMedia was able to wipe away much of its local presence thanks to a recent decision made by the Federal Communications Commission. In 2017, the FCC succeeded in getting rid of “the main studio rule,” meaning that stations were no longer required to maintain a studio or any staff near the location of their broadcast license.

“REC Europe” Meeting for Creative Understanding of Sound and Social Inclusion

RadioExpert, together with hosts Media Commun Occitanie and NGO's from around Europe, conducted a new project through the EU Erasmus+ Youth programme.

“REC Europe” seminar brought together social workers, trainers and activists to present their work and experiences within their communities and explored together the different forms, aspects and realities of new forms of art education.

This seminar combined theoretical and practical elements on sound for participation and social inclusion, attaching special value to group work. Theoretical inputs alternated with practical sessions in different areas of sound education, such as sound/music activities, connected with our different national uses of the methods.

The process created occasions for discussing the use of art as a methodology for participation and inclusion. Art education methods provide learning opportunities for personal and social competences, and are important tools for continued use in youth work.

You can listen to a podcast from the project here.

UK Community Radio Needs Better Funding

The Community Media Association of the United Kingdom is calling on its members, their friends and family, and the wider public to ask for more support and recognition for community radio from prospective MPs.

The announcement comes ahead of the deadline for all prospective candidates to submit their nomination for the upcoming General Election.

The CMA highlights three possible initiatives that will benefit current and aspiring community radio stations:

1. To call for a substantial increase in the Community Radio Fund to better meet the needs of current community radio stations and to support the new digital community radio stations to be licensed from next year.

2. To support a commitment from central and local Government to recognise that community radio is a low-cost and effective medium for reaching underserved communities and to direct a proportion of government advertising to community radio stations.

3. To commit to supporting a call to DCMS and Ofcom that community radio continues to be licensed on FM spectrum in parallel with the future rollout of licences on the new Small Scale DAB platform.

The appeal, published on Radio Today, notes that The Community Radio Fund, established by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and administered by Ofcom, has remained static at £400,000 for many years whilst the number of potential beneficiaries has grown significantly to nearly 300 stations.

Ofcom’s 2019 Communications Market Report shows that average income for community radio stations has fallen for another consecutive year to circa £49,000.

The CMA says Community Radio reaches underserved communities and should therefore be considered as a platform to carry local and national public service announcements.

USA FCC - One Step Closer to Defunding Community TV

The USA regulator FCC is one step closer to a rule change that threatens to de-fund community media and technology, by undermining a long-established principle that cable and internet companies owe rent to municipalities for use of the public right-of-way.


Sabrina Roach, board member of the Alliance for Community Media Foundation, joins the Radio Survivor podcast to discuss what’s at stake. The future of public access, educational and government TV channels and community media technology centers hangs in the balance.

Europa On-Air Visits the Czech Republic

The EU project "Europa On-Air" recently visited the Czech Republic for its 4th and final event - a weeklong series of cross-cultural experiences and broadcast journalism trainings for high school and university students; hosted by RadioExpert.

Participants from Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and France produced interviews and reportage for programs on themes such as culture, technology, and gender.

The programs were then broadcast live via internet Radio R at Masaryk University in Brno, and via radio streams based in participants' home countries.

Community Broadcasting Serves Bangladesh in Cyclone Emergency

When Cyclone "Fani" recently devastated parts of Bangladesh, community radio was there to help. The community radios of Bangladesh stayed on the air during and after the storm, serving their communities with important news and information.

The community radio stations delivered critical information shared through radio broadcasting and mobile phones with the radio listeners club, who are representing their communities. They also broadcasted Public Service announcements and recorded interviews with local government representatives and disaster management committees.

For more info, contact Bazlur Rahman at Bangladesh Radio Network.

Community Media in the Digital Age

Dr. Nico Carpentier from the Media Studies Department at Charles University in Prague recently hosted a seminar on community media.

RadioExpert director Henry Loeser presented his exploration into the future of community broadcasting, and its potential for contributing to the future of local journalism.

Can community broadcasters effectively transisiton to online forms? And what are the keys for success and sustainability for community media in the digital age? You can see the answers to these and other questions in the full seminar video here.

The Native Public Media 2019 Summit

The Native Public Media 2019 summit will be held on the homelands of the Gila River Indian Community at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler, Arizona.

This year’s theme, Native Voices • Native Media • Native Truths, speaks to the critical role those broadcasters and media makers have in creating and sustaining a robust Native media ecosystem that connects Tribal nations and citizens.