How Healthy is Your Community Radio?

Many community radios struggle to survive, whilst overlooking the real keys to their own success. Should these operators reexamine their mission, goals and strategy, they might find the local radio landscape a much more hospitable environment.

Community radios are not just charities, they are social enterprises with a responsibility for effectiveness and sustainability. The way to achieve those ideals is to be an effective organization building strong relationships in your community to develop reliable revenue streams. Read more at the Community Radio Toolkit.

Standing up for the Safety of Media Professionals

UNESCO organized an international conference in Paris to discuss ongoing concerns about the safety of media members. This follows UNESCO Executive Board 196/Decision 31 which requests "the Director-General to convene a conference with high level representatives of news organizations from all regions, including community media and small media outlets, open to stakeholders, to be fully funded by extra-budgetary contributions, in order for them to share good practices on the safety of journalists and more proactively highlight the issue of journalist safety".

Fundraising for Community Broadcasters

Community broadcasters are generally not-for-profit organizations, but certainly they require financial support to carry out their mission. One method is for volunteer fundraisers to ask for donations, demonstrated by WORT-FM radio in Madison, Wisconsin USA.

For more info on the the people and systems for successful fundraising at WORT radio, visit their website and click the button "How to Help".

New Somali Radio launches in Minnesota

KALY is the first Somali radio in the USA, and licensed to broadcast by the FCC for FM transmission in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Somali-American radio station now broadcasting in the Twin Cities hopes to help families navigate issues ranging from where to park during a snow advisory, to how to protect their children from extremist rhetoric and terrorist recruiters. The station went on the air in October out of a small shop in South Minneapolis no bigger than a storage locker.

The humble beginnings could be the start of a vital conversation for a booming community. Nearly 14,000 Somalian refugees have resettled in Minnesota since 2003, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Media Freedom in Palestine? Apparently Not.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) reports that the Israeli government forces have shut down another radio in Palestine.

According to the MADA website:

"Ramallah-29/11/2015- early Sunday, 29th of November, IOF shut down the third Palestinian radio station (Dream) in Hebron city in West Bank within less than one month, after raiding its headquarter and destructing  its equipment and devices. However, this records a new peak of  the systematic trends of IOF to suppress Palestinian media freedoms and media outlets, especially since the Israeli threats to close up a number of  Palestinian radio stations.

Similarly, in 3rd and 21st of November, IOF shut down the radio stations of “Manbar Al-Houria” and “Sawt El-Khalil" (Hebron voice) after they raided their headquarters and confiscated the broadcasting devises and most of their equipment (both of them issued from Hebron gonvernate), for allegedly involved in “exercising incitement”. Hence, IOF handed both radio stations a decision to shut them down for a period of six months, which is also similar to what happened to Dream radio station today.

Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms “MADA” condemns the attack against Dream Radio, in addition to the previous attacks against Manbar Al-Houria and Sawt Al-Khalil radio stations. It also urges to force the Israeli occupation force to abide by International Laws that guarantee freedom of expression."


Ethan Zuckerman talks about civic media sustainability and participation models

Speaking on the Nieman Reports site of Harvard University, Evan Zuckerman of the MIT Center for Civic Media says his research focuses on the use of new media technology by activists, the distribution of attention in both mainstream and new media, and the utilization of technology for international development. "We’ve got people not just writing stories, but also making videos, making audio. Putting it up directly on the web. In that sense, a lot of what’s come out of the participatory media realm has infected mainstream journalistic culture."

He continues: "There’s an awful lot of good content out there, and if you know where to look, it’s often much, much more diverse than it would have been in earlier days."

But where to look, and how these media sites can be sustainable? You can read his take on these questions and the entire interview here.

Hromadske TV brings another view to Ukraine

The internet streaming service of Hromadske TV delivers a new independent source of news and information to viewers in Ukraine and beyond. In a counrty dealing with a long dysfunctional media sector, and a violent incursion into its territory, the need for reliable information is now greater than ever.

Media leaders spill their revenue secrets at ONA

The 2015 Online News Association Conference just wrapped up in Los Angeles. Several examples of successful strategies for sustainable public media are presented - and guess what? There is no new magic formula - just doing it the old fashioned way - and doing it well.

From advertising to major donors to individual memberships and live events, it's clearly still possible to support alternative media by remaining committed to best practices - especially in leadership and management.

Pacifica: are you listening?

NAB Joins Incubator 1776

The National Association of Broadcasters announced today that its technology division, NAB Labs, has entered into a corporate partnership with 1776, a Washington, D.C.-based startup hub providing resources and networking connections for startups within regulated industries.

"Startups today are keenly sensitive to the evolution of the broadcasting industry, and they are eager to know how they can prepare themselves," said 1776 Managing Director David Zipper.""By partnering with NAB, 1776 will be able to provide our members with a unique lens to recognize broadcasting technology needs and opportunities that would otherwise go unrecognized."

Founded in 2013, 1776 offers startup companies with high growth potential the means to build and expand their operations. Among its services, 1776 provides working space for startup members, full-time entrepreneurial educational programs, and access to an investor network and the 1776 Seed Fund.

Europe’s “Roma Decade” Didn’t Lead to Inclusion

The Decade of Roma Inclusion has ended. This unprecedented collaboration was initiated between 12 European countries in 2005 in Sofia, Bulgaria. At that time, the prime ministers of these countries made a promise to “close the gaps between Roma and the rest of society,” and committed their domestic public institutions to fulfill this promise by 2015.

Did governments deliver on the promise? In short, no. According to an article by the Open Society Institute, the daily life of Roma remains a struggle no other ethnic group in Europe faces.

The Roma Youth Radio project from RadioExpert offers the first steps in a professional career for young Roma broadcasters-in-training. We challenge the Open Society Institute and others to support our efforts to improve the opportunities for Roma in Europe.

Public Radio survey provides expected answers, and also new questions

What's the state of public radio? Are listening patterns continuing to reflect the growth of digital technologies?

Jacobs Media has released their 2015 survey of listeners to public radio in the USA. Not surprisingly, the trend to digital continues - answering the question most everyone expected. So what's new? Podcasting!

"Understanding Media" project seeks to promote media literacy in Europe

The media are a powerful force in today’s world. They profoundly influence the social, political, cultural and ecomomic directions of societies across the globe. Media literacy is the understanding of media – the “who” of ownership and power, the “why” of varying agendas,  and the “how” media affects our daily lives. RadioExpert recognizes the importance of media literacy, and continually participates in projects to promote the understanding of media by citizens. The “Understanding Media” project is funded by the European Union and seeks to examine the concept of Media Literacy in Europe.

We ask: how has media literacy been defined at European institutionals, academia and communities, and how it can be embedded in the content of the training curriculum being delivered by community media. We seek to promote better understanding of how to ‘read’ the media, and also how to ‘write’ more informative and balance content as to promote equality, pluralism and diversity, and to increase active citizenship actions through media. Phase II of the project is well underway, with the goal of building an online toolbox for any user anywhere to access media literacy tools.

To learn more about this and other projects at RadioExpert, just drop us a line. We welcome your interest!

A Community Service-Based Model for Saving Local Journalism

In the USA, the local, ad-based media business model does not generate enough revenue to pay reporters to do enough reporting. As a result, communities are not being well served by journalistic institutions. Steven Waldman writes in the Columbia Journalism Review: "It’s time for a dramatic new approach grounded in community service." That new approach leverages the idea of Peace Corps-style volunteers assigned to local news jobs supported by a mixture of funding sources. Can it work? And is there a role for local community broadcasters?

The Media Is Failing Women, Except at Public Broadcasting Service in the USA

The underrepresentation of women is a problem that has long existed in media -- in print, television, radio and online. But PBS has managed to find effective solutions by making gender equality a priority.

"PBS has done a remarkable job of finding great women, promoting great women and making sure that women are not just on the air but also behind the scenes, making decisions," says TV anchorwoman Judy Woodruff.

The full story from the Huffington Post.

Sally Kane Envigorates NFCB

Several years ago, beset with past poor leadership, debts and burned bridges, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) almost closed up shop. Sally Kane changed all that.

Since Sally became NFCB’s CEO in early 2014, NFCB has shown new vitality. It seems be playing a larger role in the public media conversation.  This is a good thing because community-based radio has the potential to become a bigger factor in American society. Now NFCB appears to be back on track as a vital and effective supporter of community broadcasting in the United States. For more info, go here.