Americans Could Barely Buy A Coffee With What They Spend Per Year on Public Media

Do you value journalism? In countries around the world, public broadcasting fills the need for journalism when commercial media fail to do so. From Europe to Australia, the average country spent $86 per capita on public broadcasting in 2014. However, in the US, it was just $3. In many states, it’s even lower.

In 2017, US president Donald Trump attempted to zero out the line item for public broadcasting, threatening to leave the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with little to distribute to hundreds of local television and radio stations, and prompting CEO Patricia Harrison to warn it would mean “the collapse of the public media system.” But Congress, which controls the budget, kept the funding level at about $445 million. Trump’s 2019 budget proposal again proposed to eliminate nearly all of the funding for public broadcasting.

KIPI-FM for the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota

South Dakota’s newest commercial FM, the one just signed on at 93.5 by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, will host an open house this week. KIPI Eagle Butte is licensed as a Class C1 FM radio with 100,000 watts at 203 meters (666 feet) of height above average terrain. KIPI “provides the first strong signal to the Cheyenne River Reservation” according to media tracking site Northpine.

The radio station will provide relevant general information, news, weather, and a variety of music while promoting a greater cultural understanding through educational programming for the Cheyenne River Reservation and general listening population.

Saudi Feminists Launch Online Radio

Operating out of a small room in an unknown country, a new internet radio station Nsawya FM (Feminism FM) broadcasts a programme aimed at campaigning for greater women's rights in Saudi Arabia, according to a report from the BBC.

Nsawya FM has two presenters and nine women producing content. All but two of the women are Saudi nationals, and some of the women live in Saudi Arabia. The women say communication between them is difficult because they live in different time zones and some have other demands on their time, including studies or work.

"We started this project to archive this phase for history, so that people would know we were real, we did exist," explained Ashtar, a Nsawa presenter who did not want so share any details about her own identity despite living outside the kingdom because she feared reprisals.

At least 17 human rights defenders and women's rights activists critical of the Saudi government have been arrested or detained since mid-May, according to the UN. Several of them have been accused of serious crimes, including "suspicious contact with foreign parties", and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.


Local Community Journalism in South Africa: "The audience is there and the infrastructure is there.”

At Paul McNally’s first community radio station in South Africa — in Orange Farm, about 40 kilometers from Johannesburg — 350,000 people tuned in each week for bulletins about protests, service delivery issues, and the general happenings of their neighborhood. The hunger for information was so strong that, after the station aired its first legal advice show, people lined up around a schoolyard to ask their own questions. This and other examples of effective local community radio in South Africa are detailed in a new report from Nieman Lab at Harvard University.

Community Media as the Ideal Solution for Local Journalism?

"Even as polarization, corporate consolidation, and eroding trust between communities and the media threaten to damage democracy, there are inspiring innovators hard at work repairing it. These innovators are known as social entrepreneurs, and they marshal the resources of local communities to solve local problems."

So says a new report “The Bottom-Up Media Revolution."

"Europa Schools On-Air" travels to Bordeaux

A RadioExpert team of Czech students travelled to Bordeaux, France recently to join other students from partner schools for a week of activities in the Europa Schools On-Air project. Groups from Madrid, Bordeaux, London, Salerno, and Brno visited local media institutions, the wine center, and even ate freshly prepared oysters at the seaside!

The main activity of the meeting was a live broadcast by teams of radio producers/presenters comprised of participants from each partner school. Students and teachers alike reported very positive results from the meeting, and we look forward to the next project mobility in October 2018 hosted by l’Université Complutense à Madrid.

USA Community Radio Flourishes on LPFM

Community radio in the United States has been on an upward trajectory for years. Despite the malaise of commercial radio, new community stations are being licensed and debuting on Low Power FM every month.

The National Federation of Community Broadcasters also offers an interactive map tool to locate their active members. Local communities across the US are discovering the many benefits of community radio.

Support for Community Media - Australian Style!

The Community Broadcasting Foundation is an independent non-profit funding agency that distributes and administers funding to support the development, creativity and sustainability of community broadcasting in Australia.

The foundation provides more than $17 million annually to about 230 community broadcasting organisations and over 800 program production groups all around Australia. The result? One of the most vibrant and sustainable community media sectors in the world!

Can Community Media Learn from Religious Broadcasters?

The Educational Media Foundation owns and/or operates 245 "christian" radio stations in the USA under brands such as "K-Love" and others. Registered as a not-for-profit educational organization, it enjoys tax-free status, while taking in $160 million in donations annually from individuals and businesses.

So what can community broadcasters learn for this phenomenon? That people who believe in your mission will pay to support it, and that building relationships with those supporters is accomplished using effective management. What do you think - is this model informative for community broadcasters?

KBBG Radio Celebrates 40 years of Serving the Black Community

Founded by labor pioneer Jimmie Porter in 1978, KBBQ  community radio has successfully served the African American community of Waterloo, Iowa for 40 years.

Now under the leadership of GM Deborah Berry, KBBQ enjoys financial stability and a new sense of purpose. Congratulations to all the folks contributing to 40 years of great community radio, and best wishes for continued success in the future!

For more on this story, go here.

San Francisco Community Radio

RadioExpert Partners with High Schools and Universities to Develop Media Skills and Cross-Cultural Understanding.

Europa Schools "On-Air" project aims at having students from various European countries collaborate and prepare multiple radio broadcasts while gaining experience in intercultural communication and practising tolerance towards other ethnicities.

Teams of students and teachers from 5 European destinations go on mobilities together to four partner cities. Members of the project are secondary schools, a university and radio NGOs from France, Italy, Spain, Great Britain and Czechia respectively. In each mobility the host organization prepares a program of sightseeing, culture events, radio excursions and workshops. At the and a joint broadcast takes place presenting all teams‘ mobility projects. Between the mobilities regular multiplex broadcasts are made including all partners.

The first mobility was in October 2017 in Salerno, Italy with Liceo Classico Francesco de Sanctis as the host organization. The second takes place in March 2018 in Bordeaux, France whose Lycée Gustave Eiffel de Bordeaux is not only a host but the general authority and manager of the Europa On Air project. The following mobility is planned in Brno, Czechia for autumn 2018.  The last one takes place in Madrid, Spain in spring 2019 with La Universidad Complutense de Madrid hosting. London Radio Red Tower is the last partner organization to the project.


BBC Reaffirms the Value of Local Radio

The BBC director general, Tony Hall, has made a surprise U-turn and cancelled about £10m of planned cuts to local radio in order to help the corporation combat fake news. The move was announced on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the corporation’s first local radio station, BBC Radio Leicester.

In a speech at a radio awards event in Coventry, the BBC director general said: “For many years the BBC has been reducing its investment in local radio. The development of new technology and the growth of smartphones has seen many people getting their local news, weather and traffic information digitally.

“But the rise of digital technology has also seen the rise of fake news, not just on a global level but on a local one as well. That’s why the role of BBC local radio is actually becoming more important – not less.” Hall said he wanted a “renaissance” in local radio to help better understand the UK.

“England’s changing. It’s always been a patchwork of communities, with quite distinct identities. While Newcastle’s population is getting older, Bradford’s is getting younger and Birmingham is becoming one of the most diverse cities in Europe. Decision-making is being devolved too – there are mayors in some of the big metropolitan areas and that’s having an impact.

“I want to hear the sound of England as it changes. So while other media are becoming creatively less local, I want us to become even more so and to connect with our audiences in new ways.” He added: “Local radio is in the DNA of our communities. I think that is more important than ever.”

Jabari Gray Is Youth Radio’s New Executive Director

Jabari Gray is stepping into a new leadership role as Executive Director of Youth Radio. He will join Ellin O’Leary, Youth Radio’s President and Chief Content Officer in leading Youth Radio’s launch of a new four-year strategic plan, with the goal of propelling the organization as a national media leader.

“Youth Radio sets the gold standard in youth-driven media, and it is my full intention to protect and grow its legacy in my new role,” says Gray. “This is a company that actually delivers on its promise to bring honest, diverse, and compelling content to American audiences. For the last 25 years, Youth Radio has assembled teams and partnerships that provide the best out-of-school digital communication education around, consistently producing award-winning journalism.”

Beyond its critical role of providing education, technical training, and professional development for emerging media talent, Gray says the organization serves a larger purpose, creating a crucial platform for young people at this defining moment in our nation’s history.

Los Angeles Public Radio comes to Berlin

The Media Authority of Berlin-Brandenburg (MABB), Germany’s equivalent to the FCC, announced Thursday that KCRW Berlin, affiliated with KCRW in Los Angeles, will begin broadcasting Oct. 1 on 104.1 MHz.

KCRW “jumped at” the opportunity to program the Berlin station because the German city and the station’s home of Los Angeles share similar art and culture, KCRW President Jennifer Ferro said. KCRW creates programming “that would have relevance to the community in Berlin,” she said.


The format will include programming from NPR, KCRW and other public radio entities, in addition to programs produced in Berlin. Music will account for about half of the station’s programming. which “translates really well, especially if you’re broadcasting in a multilingual society,” Ferro said. At first, the music will be hosted by the station’s Los Angeles DJs, but Ferro said she hopes Berlin-based hosts will join the lineup “very soon.” Los Angeles–based hosts may also visit Berlin for special events and vice versa.

Locally produced programming will include a weekly local current affairs show and a monthly show about German and European politics.