I am not 100% sure who runs the community radio awards but one of our presenters has picked up on them this morning.
However it occurred to me that it only accepts Ofcom licensed community radio stations.
I don’t know who ribs it but I am assuming that there is a possibility they are either on this forum or someone on here could point me in their direction.
Anyway my point is that in the 21st century should they not also be open to internet radio stations that are clearly set up in the same spirit as community radio stations - a charitable type company structure, clear social gain aims, servicing a clear community such as town, etc. There are several of these popping up now and it seems a bit archaic to only accept groups who hold a particular license.
It is also worth remembering that several of the recent Ofcom applicants have existing successful online stations and were only refused a FM license due to lack of spectrum.
Hi Sam, I assume your talking about my community radio awards? www.communityradioawards.org.uk and firstname.lastname@example.org
We dont only accept Ofcom licensed community radio stations, yes its true for the majority of categories the entries have to come from Ofcom licensed stations, but we do have a podcast category, and also a category thats suited for internet stations. “Digital or RSL Station Of The Year” which last year was won by Radio Wandsworth, and we also have a podcast category thats open to any not for profit organisation. Although every year we do revise and consider the awards and eligibility, every year we have a feedback process thats open to all, and we ask for peoples thoughts.
There are several reasons why we have historically only accepted Ofcom licensed stations, in short because its what the sector has asked for, some feel there is a big different between running an internet station and an Ofcom station (budgets / turnover, key commitments and ofcom code) being a couple of major points. But also struggling with the classification of what community radio is, or how we easily apply that eligibility in an awards system thats run by volunteers with a low entry fee.
However, as I said we are always considering and developing the awards, looking ahead we may open up some of the categories further, and there is also SSDAB to consider (especially with the C-DSP license that might be introduced), there are also lots of other awards, including some internet only awards.
Also please dont consider any judgement on internet only stations, I know very well there are some internet stations that are doing great things, and I am also personally setting up my own community radio station, that when it launches this year will start as an internet station.
Please do feel free to ping me an email.
From my point of view I feel very strongly that the problem with these FM license applications being so heavily contested is because the community radio license itself is held as some form of prize.
This results in groups getting there license who simply want it for the status unlike groups who need it to further their social gain objectives. I am aware of at least one group that is very successful online but lost their license application recently to another group that openly says they over promised in the application form simply for the prestige of having a FM frequency.
This nonsense won’t be broken until online stations and other “new media” systems are recognised as being as effective in many cases as traditional FM.
Perhaps it is time to reconsider across the board what community radio really is in the 21st century and the awards should use a different metric to define what a community station is.
Several stations who have community licences openly and publicly day they perceive it as a small scale commercial license. They have no interest in social gain or societal benefit. Why should they be able to enter when other groups that are getting save the lives of the homeless, putting on programmes that at least three people have said has really helped them whilst in a suicidal state and other such benefits?
It’s just a cause of mine across the board to redefine community radio and remove the prestige from the FM license to make it fairer across the board.
We are now into the original groups having applied over 15 years ago. A lot has changed in 15 years, as has the definition of what radio even is. The government has already said that they see the future as digital so ignoring digital stations and promoting analog ones is nonsense.