The National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council (NEMBC) has called for honesty in the dispute over the Community Broadcasting Foundation’s “radical changes” to its funding and governance model.
The call is due to the CBAA’s recent statements claiming that broadcasters are united in support of the CBF’s changes.
“This is clearly not the case,” says the NEMBC.
NEMBC President Dr Tangi Steen says:
“The recent media release by the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia shows that they do not have the support from the Indigenous or from the Ethnic and multicultural community broadcasting sector, as no major players from these groups were part of the CBAA statements.
Ethnic and Indigenous funding makes-up almost half of the core funding that is administered through the CBF, and these groups have the potential to lose the most from the CBF’s changes.”
NEMBC Board member Joe De Luca, a representative at the CBF Roundtable is concerned:
“The CBAA are making misleading statements about the Community Broadcasting Sector Roundtable meetings. The NEMBC who sat at the Roundtable meetings asked for direct funding as an option to bypass the CBF and did not agree, as stated by the CBAA, to the ‘continued management of federal government funding, including ethnic community broadcast funding by the Community Broadcasting Foundation.”
Steen believes many of the CBAA’s supporters named on the media release “will gain from the changes, but unfortunately at the expense of Ethnic and Indigenous communities, which will be mainstreamed into a general system and will lose the opportunity for direct policy input.”
“Many of the supporters for change, and even the CBAA, do not have a thorough understanding of how Ethnic or Indigenous community broadcasting funds are distributed and the benefits they bring under the present system.
“While RPH (the Radio Reading Network) and other sector organisations can make statements supporting the CBF’s changes, they cannot speak on behalf of the Ethnic or Indigenous broadcasters. Similarly when Christian Media Australia say the changes will be ‘positive’ – again they are only speaking for themselves.
“The CBAA may be the lead agent for community radio stations, but they are not the voice for Ethnic and Indigenous community broadcasting. The NEMBC is the peak body representing ethnic community broadcasters and many of our views have been neglected by the CBF.
”Unity in community broadcasting is about understanding difference: unity in diversity. The CBAA statements do not display unity, instead it is a wedge that creates more division and does not create a ‘healthy environment for the sector to thrive,” says Steen.
The following Ethnic and Indigenous stations and organisations are mostly CBAA members and they don’t agree with the CBAA’s point of view, says the NEMBC:
Northern Indigenous Media Alliance (NIMA) (is not a CBAA member)
3KND Indigenous radio Melbourne
Queensland Remote Aboriginal Media – Black Star.
1CMS Canberra’s full-time ethnic station,
2000FM Sydney’s full-time ethnic station
3ZZZ Melbourne’s full-time ethnic station
4EB Brisbane’s full-time ethnic station
5EBI, Adelaide’s full-time ethnic station (is not a CBAA member)
6EBA, Perth’s full-time ethnic station