Our number one priority during the health crisis is to do our best to help and 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 steps that we are taking to help community radio stations and other community media projects:
We’re asking you to download this template letter and send it straight away to your MP – our last campaign before the General Election was very well received.
With your help, we can all make a difference to keep our sector serving the community at this difficult time. Here’s how to do it:
We reiterated the problems facing the sector, namely:
And we have restated our call for a Community Media Support Package consisting of the following measures:
1. To substantially increase the Community Radio Fund for 2020-21 to provide an ex gratia grant of £10,000 for each Ofcom-licensed community radio station currently broadcasting that will contribute to the resilience of community radio stations that are facing serious financial hardship as a result of the current crisis.
2. Community broadcasters are providing airtime free of charge to broadcast public health information. However, government and public bodies such as Public Health England are buying advertising slots from broadcasters for public health information spots and a proportion of this available funding should be allocated to community radio and for not-for-profit local TV broadcasters to ensure that the Government’s messages get through at the community level to the public.
3. To establish a Public Health Content Fund to support high quality and accurate local public health news reporting and the production of programmes or series of programmes, made by community broadcasters, that increase public understanding and contribute to psychological support during the present public health emergency.
The CMA is also working on setting up a conference call meeting with the Minister of State in the near future.
We intend to collect intelligence from across the sector so that we can get a picture of what the sector needs and we will do our best to communicate to the DCMS and Ofcom about the short and longer-term financial implications for the sector.
We will be collating 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.
We have also set up a central email address for enquiries on community media and the health crisis – you may email the CMA using email@example.com.