There is always going to be demand for locally produced content that is unique to a very small local group of listeners. The question is – how will local community radio deal with the wake of new technology, changes in people’s lifestyle and tough competition?
As many people who are involved in community radio I work as a volunteer. I’ve been first involved with my local hospital radio station and then started to work with Phoenix FM. I am very passionate about my local community and I know the people that I get to work with feel the same – and here is the first advantage – community radio stations are run by whole heartedly committed individuals that are passionate about what they do. This passion translates into great relevant content that is unique and so highly sought after. I am not saying that commercial radio stations are’t run by passionate people – what I do say however is that there is a difference in being passionate about the radio and being passionate about your own community.
Future of Community Radio
There are many ways in which community radio stations can become a first choice to the listener. At Phoenix FM we organise local events, liaise with local businesses and deliver only local content. We invite locals to talk about issues close to their hearts and make people feel that they are part of the community – and in a way I feel it is the duty of a community station to do so.
As to the new technology – was there not such a debate when the internet was firstly introduced, or when AM was switched to FM? As always we will cope and adapt – for as long as there are people who want to be part of local community there will be a space for us.
As it is with community radio stations – there is little or no budget for decent radio imaging – which is so important to help make a great listener experience. I spend money from my own pocket to get my Saturday breakfast show sound great – Music Radio Creative makes it possible as I can easily hire professionals to become a part of my show.