Community Broadcasters

What is Community Access radio?

‘By’, ‘for’ and ‘about’ – those are three essential words in the world of community access broadcasting. ‘For’ and ‘about’ are objectives of all public broadcasters, but the word that sets access broadcasting apart is that little one: by – pardon the pun, but it’s our by-word.

In community access broadcasting the people are at the centre of the process and there is no editor. Throughout New Zealand real people are making local radio that is vital, engaged, representative and unique, reflecting our many cultures and collectives as well as some of our most colourful individuals and interests.

Community access radio is lively, rich, passionate and enthralling radio; an affordable, accessible, and engaging medium that is effective, even transformative in people’s lives.

Community access radio stations do not make programmes – they provide the facilities, training and infrastructure that allow citizens to make their own radio. In so doing, access radio stations are both broadcasters and community facilitators.

Around New Zealand 12 community access stations are achieving great things with the communities they serve:

  • Through comprehensive training programmes, they are empowering groups with skills and voices that reflect their needs and their identity
  • Providing successful settlement outcomes for new New Zealanders
  • Preserving language and cultural identity
  • Giving voice to unheard groups
  • Airing many hours of youth radio and grey radio services
  • Access radio is a conduit for community health and welfare education it provides exposure to creative communities especially literature and music and gives expression to Aotearoa’s many belief systems.

Community access radio is participatory broadcasting democracy.