Community radio in Australia is at risk of becoming non-existent if next week¡¯s federal budget cannot sustain it in the digital broadcasting future.
Community stations are locally produced, non-for-profit organisations, which broadcast a wide range of content and topics including music, arts, religion, media, human rights and politics, and give a voice to underrepresented communities such as Indigenous Australians. There are 362 licenced community radio stations in Australia, including Melbourne¡¯s popular Triple R.
Community radio programs contribute to national culture, identity and diversity in a way that national and commercial radio services cannot. It is important to promote this sense of community and preserve the production of local culture.
On Tuesday, musician Gotye wrote an urgent letter to Stephen Conroy, Minister for Communications, pointing out the important role community radio played in his international success and pleading him to ensure its future is sustained in the digital media economy.
¡°Like millions of Australians I am also a listener to community radio and I love it. We are fortunate to have one of the most diverse and vibrant community radio landscapes in the world,¡± he said.
¡°I value very highly the opportunity to connect with communities and cultures not regularly represented in mainstream Australian media through this network of volunteer-based, not-for-profit organisations.
¡°I urge you Minister, rectify this budget shortfall. It will be a commitment to a vibrant, interesting and intelligent Australia.¡±
Independent radio helps preserve national culture and promote diversity. The message being perpetrated by the Commit to Community Radio organisation is an important one, so read Gotye¡¯s full letter and find out more by heading to their website and go to the Act Now tab if you want to be involved in he petition to increase the federal funding for digital community radio.