News — February 21, 2013 at 11:02 am

Australian Community Digital Radio at Risk

by

Community radio

The future of Australian community digital radio is under threat. Community radio is a significant and crucial sector within the Australian broadcasting industry, with its diverse and unique programming, specialised services and high volume of local content. It has recently been announced that the Australian government will be cutting funding to community digital radio by AU$1.4 million per annum.

The lack of funding means that the number of unique services that are provided to the public will be significantly reduced, and that at least two of the capital cities’ digital radio stations will be forced to be shut down. Over 4.4 million Australians (25% of radio listeners) tune in to community radio every week. Also many Australians rely on these unique services provided; including people with print disabilities who rely on digital radio stations like 2RPH that feature daily readings of major newspapers, magazines and books.

With already dedicating their scarce resources to support the development of digital radio program content and services, the non-for-profit community stations cannot afford the cost of digital radio transmission. As the future of radio broadcasting is digital, community radio stations must have an affordable access to digital radio. This is why the Australian government must give community radio the required funding to ensure a digital future.

For more information, and to find out how you can “commit to community radio”, visit www.committocommunityradio.org.au.