Community Broadcasters

What makes Community Access radio different?

Some of the things that make Community Access radio different include:

  • Characterised by programmes made by the community as opposed to programmes made for the community.
  • The programme is put together by non-profit community groups and individuals, not professional broadcasters.
  • Editorial control resides with the community programme makers, subject only to the laws of the land and codes of broadcasting practice defined in the Broadcasting Act and promoted by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
  • Anybody and everybody in the community is a potential programme maker, regardless of colour, race and creed.
  • Special emphasis is given to programmes by groups described in Section 36(c) of the Broadcasting Act – women, children, people with disabilities and minorities in the community, including ethnic minorities, youth, religious and ethnical programmes.
  • Access radio gives a voice to those in the community whose voice is not heard elsewhere on the airwaves.
  • Access radio is ‘like a blank sheet of paper which community groups write their own words upon until the page is full’.
  • At present, approximately 60% of the station’s income may come from NZ On Air but the remainder comes from the community, principally by way of payments made by programme makers for air time. Local community grants are another important source of income but income from advertising is insignificant.
  • The programme comprises material not duplicated elsewhere on radio. Access radio does not sound like regular commercial radio, either in terms of the music played or the programming policies and practices.