Information about Coronavirus

Information about Coronavirus 

This page features advice and information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for our members and the wider community media sector.  We will endeavour to keep this page updated as the situation develops.


Overview

The Community Media Association has published the support that we can offer to people and organisations within our sector – that information can be found below.

The Government’s latest advice on the coronavirus outbreak is published here as to the personal steps that we each can take to help combat the epidemic.

Our support

Our number one priority for the foreseeable future is to support people who work in the community media sector and their projects and organisations. We want as strong a sector as possible for when we emerge on the other side of this crisis.

These are the first steps that we are taking to help community radio stations and other community media projects:

  • We will liaise with Ofcom and act as an effective conduit of information between the regulator and the sector. We have already published information here with regard to fulfilling Key Commitments.
  • We will liaise with DCMS and act to convey our sector’s needs and requirements to the Department.
  • We will liaise with Public Health England, NHS England, and the other equivalent health bodies to ensure that our sector has up-to-date information on the current situation for broadcast.
  • For Ofcom-licensed community radio stations and other funded projects, a priority is to stay in business. We advise that all current contracts are fulfilled with funding bodies and other third parties.
  • We ask that our sector thinks about what help they can offer their communities with regard to the current health crisis.

Community media projects can consider contacting their local councils who will have an emergency team in place and will have a coordinating contact. Community radio stations and other community media organisations might decide to liaise with their local council offices to see if they can assist with any local information and press releases.

We intend to collect intelligence from across the sector so that we can understand what is needed and we will do our best to communicate to the DCMS and Ofcom about the short and long-term financial implications for the sector.

Government’s 2020-21 Budget Announcement

The government announced its budget for 2020-21 on Wednesday 12 March. This included a pledge of £12 billion worth of support for public services, individuals and businesses that may experience economic disruption due to Coronavirus. This includes a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. More information on this can be found here.

Plan and prepare

We advise everyone that it would be prudent to prepare and consider adjustments to your business plans in the event that the actions noted above are taken. Consider the level of disruption that might be caused. If you have public-facing premises then you may have to consider closing for a period of time, cancel planned events (such as outside broadcasts), or take action if staff are taken ill. We have an example community radio station action plan here.

Keep in touch

If you represent an Ofcom-licensed community radio station then please contact the Broadcast Licensing Team at Ofcom in the event of any possible change to your station’s ability to meet its Key Commitments.

We have also set up a central email address for enquiries on this matter – you may email the CMA using covid19@commedia.org.uk.

We will be collating all queries on a central basis. This will make it easier for us to feedback to DCMS on where our sector requires further help and guidance.

Further guidance

The best way to keep abreast of the latest news can be found at: www.gov.uk/coronavirus

In addition, more information on specific areas can be found here:

We will endeavour to keep this page updated as and when guidance and information changes.


Updated by Bill Best on 5 April 2020.