We are a credible force in the media landscape: Adrian Basso at #CBAAConf

The community radio sector’s annual conference has begun in Terrigal NSW today, with opening comments from Communications Minister Mitch Fifield.

“With thousands of volunteers, community broadcasting is providing an opportunity for everyone to be part of a community… to access media and to start their careers…

“The government recognises the important part community broadcasting plays in our society and in the media landscape and acknowledges the important role of volunteeers,” said Fifield.

Adrian Basso, manager of 3PBS and CBAA President (pictured above), reflected on his first conference as he announced that he will stand down from the role of president at this conference.

“Back when I attended my first conference in 1999, we would have received the invitation in the mail and responded by fax. Probably the fax jammed… We still have technology problems today,” he said, reflecting on the technicla changes since his first conference.

“There are two fascets to community radio – the station and the sector. No two stations are the same,” said Basso, who looked at the past, present and the future in his opening address.

Moving to the present he spoke about recent funding battles: “We have fought off threats to abolish community radio funding… When the government wanted to abolish funding for the community sector we mobilised and within a few days 25,000 emails went into the Minister’s inbox. We convinced the government to listen and back off… community radio was saved…

“United we can achieve so much. We are a credible force in the media landscape.”

At present, another big issue for us is the review of the CBF. “It is a review which the sector asked for and the CBF has responded to that,” said Basso.

Looking to the future Basso asked, what will community broadcasting be like in 20 years time? “I have no idea, no one does,” he said.

“We need to plan for the future but also be flexible enough to adapt to things that happen quickly… The answer to what will our future be, will be shaped by the people in this room.”

The full conference program is at this link.

Speaking at a later session, David Crosbie from the Community Council of Australia said funding is decreasing and asks “what are we doing about it.” Are we too afraid or myopic to take action or do something different. He played this great video to exemplify the point.


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