Tuesday, 24 November 2009

[creative-radio] Ups and Downs for Canadian Campus Radio funding

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kevin Matthews <kevin@ncra.ca>
Date: 2009/11/24
Subject: [ncralist] Ups and Downs for Campus Radio funding
To: NCRA Members , NCRA general list


-- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --
*apologies for x-posting*
pdf version available at
http://ncra.ca/news/ups-and-downs-for-campus-radio-funding

Ups and Downs for Campus Radio funding

Effects of the recession only one factor in the challenge of sustaining
community-based radio

Ottawa, 20 November, 2009 -- Campus radio stations offer many benefits to
their student body, and campus and community radio is as relevant and vital
as ever. But communicating that value to students is a big job.

The results are mixed: On the downside, SoundFM (CKMS 100.3 FM U of
Waterloo) recently lost a student referendum to restore their student levy
to just $2.50/term, after losing their student funding the previous year in
a contentious referendum. That was a blow that amounted to more than 75%
reduction in their operating budget.

Steve Krysak is President of SoundFM and his team are working on their
options. Says Krysak: "Without financial support from our campus we have
been forced to make severe cutbacks and drastic changes to our operations.
This latest blow has made it much harder to keep producing quality
programming for our community."

All the while, every station is facing the rising costs of training,
personnel, equipment, services, and every aspect of running a radio station.

On the upside, most campus stations can still rely on steady support from
their student body. For instance, Simon Fraser University students voted
last year to increase their annual levy for CJSF (90.1 FM SFU, Burnaby).
CJSW (90.9 FM U of Calgary) is also thriving -- after years of planning and
saving up, they have just completed building their new studios. (See details
at http://www.cjsw.com/). In other demonstrations of local support, CJAM
(99.1 FM U of Windsor) and CKCU (93.1 FM Carleton U, Ottawa) both recently
surpassed their goals for community donations in their on-air pledge drives.

The reasons to support campus radio are many, and the value of community
stations goes far deeper than what is heard on the air. Programming content,
to be sure, is valuable -- and costly to create, even using volunteers.
Beyond this, campus radio stations give skills training to community
members, promotional opportunities to local artists and community groups,
support for emerging artists and new ideas, local news and information, and
a vital role in local community development. Campus and community
broadcasters are also the only broadcasters mandated to provide public
access to the airwaves.

Currently, the CRTC is reviewing their Community and Campus radio policies.
The NCRA and partners are working to build up a national funding mechanism
for campus and community radio. All this while seeking regulatory changes to
support stations' work.

Even once we're successful in these avenues, the role of local listeners is
still going to be the primary one for funding community-based radio.

Charlotte Bourne, NCRA President explains: "We do need to develop more
diverse funding opportunities for campus and community stations, because
our mission gets more and more expensive and we need to be strong and stable
as a sector. But listener support is still a core value, and we will always
have to rely on community donors -- the people who know first-hand what
we're providing to communities."

On campuses, that means students: Campus stations work best when supported
by a reasonable levy on student fees (preferably indexed to inflation), in
recognition of the training and opportunities they provide to students, as
well as local cultural support and programming, and their role in enriching
campus life.

Community-owned and operated, not-for-profit, listener-supported radio is
surviving in the face of many challenges, but it is vulnerable in many
places. In light of changes and cutbacks in the private broadcasting sector
and CBC/Radio-Canada, its mandate is more important than ever.


--30--

--
. . . . . . . . . Via / Thanks to: From: . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Kevin Matthews
National Campus and Community Radio Association
l'Association nationale des radios étudiantes et communautaires
www.ncra.ca . 1 866 859 8086 . 613 321 1440

http://ncra.ca/mailman/listinfo/ncralist_ncra.ca


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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