The Times and How They Are Indeed Changing

What a busy summer! I’ve barely had time to recover from a wonderful Maritime summer vacation, going full time at my job (and what a life change that will be!), getting ready to move from my apartment, and just thinking about what the future holds for me. The big news that sparked all of this recuperating, reflection, and rethinking? After a year of letters, conversations, and a hearing, the CRTC issued its new Campus and Community Radio Policy in July!

It (of course) contains various regulations for campus and community broadcasters, such as how much local spoken word they need to produce, or how much Canadian music they need to play. But it also includes a mechanism for some much needed funding for the sector. And who will be managing and distributing those funds, you might ask? The organization I work for — the Community Radio Fund of Canada. What a proud moment for me. For sure, I have played my part in that. But I also think back to the summer of 2004 when four or five people first started talking about a radio fund. What a journey it has been since then. It’s amazing how it feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago.

For those who are interested and have not yet seen it, here’s the CRTC-published policy as well as a press release from my organization. And congrats to us all!

Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-499: Campus and community radio policy (July 22, 2010)

CRTC DECISION PROVIDES BOOST FOR CAMPUS-COMMUNITY RADIO, BUT A LOT OF WORK STILL TO BE DONE

A First for the Sector: $775K annually from broadcasting industry

Ottawa, July 22, 2010 — The Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) is pleased to announce that the campus and community radio sector will receive vital funding following the decision released today by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on the Review of the Campus and Community Radio Policies.

The Commission approved part of the CRFC’s request for mandatory funding from the private broadcasting sector through contributions to the Canadian Content Development (CCD). Once in place, this will mean that the CRFC will likely receive $775,000 annually. This funding will then be distributed through the CRFC’s programs to more than 140 stations and their representative associations.

“This is a encouraging step in funding for the sector,” said CRFC President Ian Pringle. “With this funding, we will be able to begin providing more meaningful support to stations across the country as they work to better serve their communities, tackle the challenges of 21st-century broadcasting in innovative ways and give voice to Canada’s diverse experience where it is the richest – at the local level.”

Since its inception in 2007, the CRFC has already distributed more than $300,000 to support 42 local programming and training initiatives across the country. From youth radio camps, to a series about local history, to training immigrant women to tell their own stories, these projects have had immediate and direct impact for stations and Canadian communities.

The CRFC thanks the Commission for recognizing the importance of campus and community stations, both in the broadcasting system and for Canadians. With this funding, our stations will be able to better serve their local communities by producing strong locally relevant Canadian content.

However, this funding is just a start in helping the CRFC fulfill its mandate. Pringle notes: “We did not get everything we asked for, but this decision remains a step forward in the growth of community programming. There is a lot of work still to be done, and we are ready to take it on.”

The CRFC also believes that this funding will have a significant and meaningful impact on the promotion of local Canadian talent. For decades, our stations have been committed to providing exposure and airplay emerging, independent, local, and/or niche musicians. By strengthening campus and community stations, the Commission and the private broadcasters are also directly contributing to the Canadian music industry.

For more information about the CRFC, please visit www.communityradiofund.org.

The 3 Best Online Radio Players For Your Desktop

Thanks to the fine folks at MakeUseOf.com. I’m thinking to check out Screamer (for PC), as it can handle most formats, it’s ad-free, and it doubles as a recorder and encoder. Cool. They’ve got suggestions for Mac and Linux as well.

The 3 Best Online Radio Players For Your Desktop

And if that interests you, you may also want to check out their article “RadioTime – Listen To & Record FM Radio Online.”

GroundWire for January 19-31, 2010

GroundWire is a twice-monthly dose of grassroots, independent journalism from the campus-community radio sector of Canada. It is a project of the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA). Visit the GroundWire website or download it through the NCRA’s Program Exchange.

This edition of GroundWire was produced by CJLY in Nelson, BC.

THE HEADLINES:

  • Canadian corporate involvement comes to light in last year’s coup in Honduras. GroundWire speaks with Journalist Dawn Paley. (David Parker | CKDU, Halifax)
  • The Gaza Freedom March strengthens solidarity. Helga Mankovitz, a member of the group Independent Jewish Voices Canada, reflects on her participation in the March and a future for Palestine.(Christopher Currie | CFRC, Kingston)
  • Workers band together in a story unfolding now at YVR Airport in Vancouver. Here are the voices of some of the HMS Host workers who are threatened by the proposed lockout. (Frieda Werden, with support from Bea Bernhausen | CJSF, Burnaby)

FEATURES:

  • The Safe Hybrid: Robin East, President of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, speaks about the dangers hybrid vehicles may pose to blind and partially-sighted Canadians. (VoicePrint/Accessible Media Inc‘s Michael Slack with thanks to Paul Daniel)
  • Parliament Prorogued: Canadian Democracy is on hold as Harper’s Conservative government orders another break for Parliament. GroundWire captures the voices of Canadians from coast to coast. Emma Godmere, Ottawa Bureau Chief of the Canadian University Press reflects on the strategy of a minority government. On the West Coast, we talk to Alex Atamenenko, Member of Parliament for BC Southern Interior. Also featured are Matthew Fava and Omme Salma Rahemtullah from York University in Toronto. (Catherine Fisher and Bessie Wapp | CJLY, Nelson. With files from Omme Salma Rahemtullah | CHRY)
  • Garbage Energy: Winnipeg has big plans to turn trash into power. How will it work? GroundWire lays out the plan with Jan Oleszkiewicz, University of Manitoba Faculty of Environmental Engineering, and Winnipeg’s manager of solid wastes, Darryl Drohomerski. (Tessa Vanderhart | UMFM Winnipeg)

Community Radio Report

  • The CRTC Campus and Community Radio Hearings are upon us. NCRA Executive Director Kevin Matthews tells us what is in store at the first policy review in ten years for the community radio sector.

This edition of GroundWire produced by CJLY in Nelson, BC. With thanks to Catherine Fisher, Jacky Harrison, Frieda Werden, David Parker. Music was provided by Faith Nolan and Mary Watkins, Zeelia, Kate Reid, and Lana Bensen.

Good show, C/C Radio. Good Show!

Last week, people from all across the country appeared at the CRTC hearing for their review of the campus and community radio policies. From the joint presentation of national associations (NCRA, ARC du Canada, ARCQ) to small rural stations to those that are in Canada’s largest cities, it was truly an event. I was even happy with my own presentation from the Community Radio Fund of Canada.

I was truly beaming with pride as I listened to presentation after presentation. Everyone was unique, and had different perspectives and solutions, which was very important to this process. But what blew me away was the sense of a national community. Simply amazing. It really felt like we were a sector. We were strong, open, honest, well spoken, and we made an impression with the Commission. Our messages were clear. We were together while still being individuals. Again, simply amazing.

When I started working at the NCRA in 2002, we had 17 members and no real relationships with other associations. The attendance at the NCRA’s national conferences was quite small, and there was not a lot of communication between the organization and the members (although there were individual board directors who certainly kept the lines open). In these last 8 years working at the national level, I’ve seen a lot of changes and a huge growth. Sure, I played my part in that, but it cannot be attributed to any one individual. In fact, there are so many that have played a part in this growth, I can’t even count everyone. And that was evident in what I saw last week at the hearing. So cheers to us all! And here’s to hoping that when the decision comes out we will all be dancing in the streets!

CRTC Community Radio Hearing starts today

Big day for campus and community radio in Canada! Stations, associations, and other organizations will be appearing before the CRTC today. I’ll be appearing with the Community Radio Fund of Canada on Wednesday.

To listen online, visit the CRTC website at www.crtc.gc.ca. Look for the text “LISTEN TO A HEARING.” And here is the complete agenda.

Good luck to everyone!