Introduction: Best practice

This section of the website is mainly – though not exclusively – intended for community radio station workers, trainers, managers, etc. You’ll find here resources to help you get going with training, find funding and bid for contracts and to support you to deliver the best training possible for young people.  There are also resources here on using social media and mentoring.

Below is an introduction to community radio, and what makes it so special. The rest of this section includes pages on:

If you have any information or resources that you think would be helpful for others concerning any of these topics then please do post them in your blog space, tagging them as ‘best practice’.


What is Community Radio?

Community radio is different.  It can enable your community to change itself, to connect with itself, to realise its full potential.  It is also fun.  It is incredibly satisfying to make radio like no one else is making but also to help transform your community whilst doing so.  Community radio can help you to express yourself, to feel empowerment and engaged in what’s going on around you and to make new friends and contacts.

Here’s Phil Korbel of Radio Regen on why community radio is so unique, and great!


A brief history: Community radio in the UK

The Community Radio Order 2004 established the final legal framework for full-time, long-term community radio licences in the UK. Throughout this process, the British community radio sector, in negotiation with state regulators, has come to a broad consensus about what community radio should actually be. At its simplest, it has two crucial features:

  • It is not run for financial profit;
  • It is made by a community, for the benefit of that community.

If a station is being run for profit, or it is being imposed upon a community from outside, then it is not a community radio station. Community radio should also serve two principal functions:

  • Access: an outlet for cultural, political and artistic voices and opinions which are excluded elsewhere;
  • Development: social, cultural and educational gain for the community as a whole and for its individual members.

If a radio station is not offering access to voices which are under-represented elsewhere, and if a station is not of practical benefit to its community, it is not a community radio station.

Remember community radio is all about:

  • participating,
  • giving information,
  • entertaining,
  • learning and sharing new skills
  • diversity,
  • playing a variety of music,
  • presenting opinions that allow listeners to exercise choice
  • providing a platform for community groups
  • educating
  • networking and empowering individuals

Final word to Mary Dowson of Bradford Community Broadcasting who puts it succinctly: “we create community through community radio”…

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