Coffs community radio faces death

MORE people are tuning into community radio stations than ever before but more than a decade of under funding is stopping local stations from growing, according to an industry body.

The recently released 2008 Community Radio National Listener Survey found 36 per cent of Coffs Harbour listeners aged between 16 and 34 regularly listen to local station CHYFM, while 57 per cent of listeners aged 15 and above listen to community radio each month, an increase of 10 per cent in the last two years.

Community Broadcasting Authority president Deborah Welch said the results are a testament to the high standard of community radio and the important role it plays in the media landscape.

“Community radio attracts a huge number of listeners for the specialist music programs, local news and information,” Ms Welch said.

However, despite growth in the number of listeners, funding has stagnated for community radio, according to Ms Welch.

“Local MPs need to get behind their local radio station and stand up for local content and the work of all their fantastic volunteers,” she said.

CHYFM host Jordan Oppy said listeners prefer community radio because the station is more likely to respond to the community it serves.

“Community radio provides a great public service and also gives budding local radio enthusiasts and journalists a chance to get a start in an industry that is unlike any other,” Mr Oppy said.

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