Community radio gets Lords blessing

The House of Lords passed the Community Radio Order last week, giving the official go-ahead for the provision of a new tier of not-for profit radio stations. As a consequence this has led to a new arena for the development of radio journalism.

Debating the draft of order on 23 July, which was laid before the House on 15 June, Minister for Media Lord McIntosh of Haringey said that community radio would “increase training and work experience, and improve social inclusion, as well.

“Such services can be an invaluable addition to the radio ecology, supporting and complementing the commercial sector and the BBC,” he added.

Lord McIntosh extolled the virtues of community radio stations already in operation, including Bradford Community Broadcasting “which runs training courses and encourages local people to present their own programmes and become actively involved in all aspects of the station.”

He emphasised that the new tier was complementary to local commercial radio.

“We believe that there is also room for an additional tier of very local radio services along the lines of community radio. Properly introduced and regulated, community radio will complement existing commercial radio stations rather than compete with them.”

By Wale Azeez

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