CMA Chairman's Letter, July 2019

July, 2019

Dear Friends, Supporters, and Colleagues

As the Chairman of the Community Media Association, I’m writing to give you a mid-term update. I would like to take this opportunity to let you know about some of the things that the CMA has been working on and what we are planning going forward.

All CMA members and community radio stations should have received a 2019-2020 Community Media Wall Planner to cover the financial year. The planner lists the anniversary dates of all community radio stations listed as broadcasting on Ofcom’s website correct at the end of February. If you do have any corrections to make, please send them to for next year’s planner.

We continue to lobby DCMS and Ofcom for a fair deal for community radio on small-scale DAB and we have had two meetings with both Ofcom and DCMS this year. We are delighted to see progress with the Small-scale Radio Multiplex and Community Digital Radio Order 2019 which now has a Committee date for 16th July in the Palace of Westminster.

The CMA submitted a response to Ofcom’s proposed Annual Plan 2019-20 and we consulted with the sector on Ofcom’s revisions to the Digital Radio Technical Codes. We have also supported two stations with regard to key commitments and licence changes. Ofcom has now published its consultation on licensing small-scale DAB, deadline 4th October, and the CMA is asking for sector responses to this here.

Outreach has been a key theme this year beginning with our support for The Future of Radio event in Luton in February, and there was The Radio Hub event in Kent in March. We also participated in the Community Radio Networking Day in May hosted by 103 The Eye in Melton Mowbray.

The CMA has also initiated a series of outreach events for the “Community Media Connects” project, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, in Penryn (April), Luton (May), and Nottingham (June). And we have just held a session on Saturday 13th July in Norwich. Future outreach sessions are planned for Manchester and Newcastle later in the year.

The CMA has continued to liaise with the BBC on the Local Democracy Reporters Scheme and with the British Library on the Save Our Sounds project. In the earlier part of the year, we met with the Audio Content Fund and we’re delighted to see that some community radio projects received funding in the First Round.

We coordinated the community radio sector response to the Cyclone Idai DEC Appeal back in March. And the CMA managed the not-for-profit radio sector response to the #MentalHealthMinute campaign back in May involving community radio, hospital radio, and a number of online stations as well. We also supported Local Radio Day on 24th May.

There have been eight editions of our Community Media News newsletter this year. And we continue to provide news, advice and information via our social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Our Chat Forum, also remains lively and we encourage you to visit there to look for policy information, funding news, and general advice.

In June Bill Best, our Operations Manager, attended the Engagement Explained Live event in Berlin organised by the Engaged Journalism Accelerator. We made contact with a wide range of citizen journalism projects from across Europe who are keen to work with the UK community radio sector in the future.

Ongoing, the “Transmit, Transform” project - a collaboration between the Community Media Association, Internews Europe, and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust – continues which supports community media organisations to improve their editorial offer and their financial sustainability. In collaboration with Internews, we are seeking to gauge interest in a training day to be held at Sky News in the Autumn and we ask for your expressions of interest here.

Work continues on the Community Media Conference to be held at BBC MediaCityUK in Salford on Saturday 28th September . Masterclasses in audio production and presenter skills have been confirmed and there will be much more going on. Book your tickets now here. There will be informal networking after the Conference and on Sunday 29th September, we are planning a citizen journalism workshop again to be held at BBC MediaCityUK.

And on Saturday 26th October , The Radio Hub with the Local Radio Alliance and Bro Radio will be holding the ‘Community Radio Now & Next 2019’ event in Barry, Wales. This will be a day of networking, presentations and debate to share good practice in community broadcasting to inspire sustainable future growth. Booking is essential online here.

If all that wasn’t enough, we have also produced some community radio promos earlier this year. These promos are licensed to be used free of charge by any Community Media Association station, through to the end of 2019. You can listen to them here.

We thank all of our members for their continued support and we look forward to seeing as many of them as possible this year. If you’re not a member of the CMA then please join to support our work and to keep up with what is going on in the community media sector. This year is a critical year for radio with the large commercial operators consolidating their networks and the opportunities that small-scale DAB will present - challenges to which community radio will rise.

This is a hugely exciting and important year for community radio and we look forward to having you on board for the journey.

With best regards

Danny Lawrence BEM, BCAc
Chairman, Community Media Association – 2019

Twitter: @community_media
Chat Forum:

Chairman_July_2019.pdf (475.3 KB)

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