The UK Community Radio Network has presented written and oral evidence to the DCMS Select Committee on the sustainability of local journalism.
The Committee opened its inquiry into the topic in February to examine the challenges facing local news organisations and what support should be put in place in order to maintain their democratic function.
The DCMS Select Committee invited the UKCRN to attend the inquiry in person to give evidence, as a representative of the sector, to hear about what Community Radio Stations do local journalism-wise, and understand the issues that may impact its future.
As one of the key focus areas of the UKCRN, its co-founder Martin Steers attended an oral evidence session on Tuesday 17th May, alongside Owen Meredith, Chief Executive of News Media Association and David Powell, Chair at Local TV Network.
The UKCRN was originally created as a group to support managers of licensed community radio stations but has since developed to provide a voice for the sector and opportunities for stations to come together and collaborate.
The organisation also took the opportunity to meet with a number of MPs, including Shadow Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, Chris Elmore MP, as it continues to strengthen its links with the UK Government.
Following the session, Martin Steers said “It was a nervous but a worthwhile experience, expressing the concerns of the community radio sector regarding the sustainability of journalism. Our thoughts, comments and input seemed to be well received by the Select Committee, and I hope it can help start further conversations to secure more opportunities for the sector”
The session follows the UKCRN welcoming Switch Radio Manager Dean Kavanagh onto its Board, as it looks to continue its growth and development of digital projects.
UKCRN co-founder Barry Clack said: “Dean’s technical knowledge is unrivaled from successfully adapted unique websites and content to fulfillment of programme delivery.”
“He’s an asset not just for the UK Community Radio Network but the community radio sector.”
On joining the UKCRN, Dean Kavanagh said: “I’m delighted to join the UKCRN team and to help push the cause of Community Radio in the UK. The last few years have shown us the importance of local services and relationships, and I’m relishing the opportunity to work with the team to help drive community radio forward into this space in the future.”
The UKCRN will shortly be announcing the dates of its next two Connecting Communities Regional Network Events, along with a National Conference in the Winter, alongside the Community Radio Awards.
You can watch the Oral Evidence session and find out more about the DCMS Select Committee inquiry into the Sustainability of local journalism via this site.