The CMA has received a grant from DCMS for 2017-18 to undertake some strategic sector development work. Our priorities will be as follows:
Small Scale DAB is a matter of urgent priority for us, and a huge opportunity for community media in the UK. We held an event in March to raise awareness amongst the radio sector and we are planning another event in July.
We want to make sure we can support all licensed stations, and will be marketing to the few who are not CMA members. We want to increase the number of members, and ensure we continue to represent the majority of licensed stations. As we do this we will build stronger relationships with government and third sector, looking for opportunities for our members.
Advice and support for community radioThe CMA will be developing its support services for all stations, targeting those most in need, and intervening in closures when we can. We are also supporting enquiries about the 4th Round of licensing and SSDAB.
We will repeat the survey exercise of 2016 and will invite community media organisations to respond to a new survey, to enable us to compare the two years. This will inform us about audience and demographics, as well as what community radio stations need to sustain.
Newsletters and case studies
For many years we have run an email list based forum, which over 700 people subscribe to. We are moving this to the ‘Discourse’ platform, which we feel will inspire more people to regularly contribute, and help us to access information from previous posts more easily. We are also sending out a monthly newsletter, with case studies that celebrate the work of community radio.
We will be proposing revisions to the CMA-BBC Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) based on feedback from our members. We are gathering information on working relationships between community radio stations and local BBC editors, and planning a collaborative project later in the year.
We want to grow both the CMA and community radio together. The sector needs to be well-organised, professional and investment ready. A vital piece of work will be creating an up-to-date database of community radio, including audience and demographic data. This will make it far easier for our members to carry health and social campaigns, and for us to target the right communities. We see this as one of the most effective routes to financial sustainability for both the CMA and its members.