Full steam ahead at National Radio News | radioinfo

Full steam ahead at National Radio News

Wednesday 13 April, 2011
Amy Sinclair in action in the NRN newsroom

The community radio sector’s National Radio News service is facing a budget crisis, but manager Peter Hetherington has told radioinfo he is confident the service will survive. The newsroom, partly funded by Charles Sturt University and housed on the CSU campus in Bathurst, has been asked to find an extra $70,000 or be faced with closure.

 

“We have the full support of the CBAA and a guarantee of some funding from councils, so we are full steam ahead. Our service is on air seven days a week and we are very proud of what we have achieved,” said Hetherington.

 

A meeting of the NRN Board last Tuesday heard "positive contributions from all participants regarding the ongoing relationship between the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) and Charles Sturt University (CSU)" for the continuing delivery of National Radio News.

CSU's Arts Faculty Dean Anthony Cahalan has told radioinfo: "The representatives of both CBAA and CSU acknowledged the value of the NRN service to community radio stations and CSU students. A number of ideas to strengthen the long-term viability of NRN were discussed at yesterday’s meeting, and members agreed to develop these proposals to be considered in greater detail at the next NRN Board meeting in late May."

 

 

The threat of closure was made public last week via student journalists in the NRN newsroom, and has since been covered by various news outlets such as Prime TV  and  The Western Advocate. Many regional news outlets have hired CSU journalism graduates over the years.

 

A Facebook site called Help Save National Radio News, established by CSU graduate Luke Dufficy (pictured), who now works at 2CA/2CC, carried an update this week, saying the university has given the newsroom a reprieve:

Today at the meeting NRN was given around four weeks to get a case together to justify why it should not be shut down. I’m led to believe that certain people were a bit surprised by the amount of interest and support generated by this site and that this was one of the reasons we’ve been given extra time…

The main issue surrounding NRN is whether or not it will be financially stable heading into the future. As it stands, NRN needs to find about $70 000 dollars extra a year to break even (which is all it wants to do...as it is not-for-profit and is only there to service listeners and students). People within NRN have already secured funding and they believe they can eventually get the money needed, but they’re concerned they’ve been given just four weeks to do so…

For those of you wondering...NRN gets its funding from a number of sources. The majority of it comes from the Community Radio stations subscribing to the service. CSU also provides some funding and support in regards to bill paying and office space. However, I believe the university should be providing MUCH more considering the service NRN gives it and how valuable it is to, arguably, the most prestigious course at the Bathurst campus… Once again...THANK YOU!!! The support has been overwhelming to say the least.

 

NRN’s difficulties began in March when a proposal looking at the future of the National Radio News (NRN) service was accepted by the University’s Senior Executive Council. According to a university statement, the proposal followed a twelve month review of the service and was based on indepth financial analysis which looked at the ongoing viability of the service.

“CSU’s Faculty of Arts, which inherited the struggling service eighteen months ago. It is a niche service which is operating in an increasingly competitive market,” said Cahalan at the time. He promised that a “consultation period on how to return the NRN to a viable proposition will be seriously considered before any decisions are made,” which triggered the discussions and publicity surrounding the continuation of the service.

 

 

National Radio News (NRN) has been providing a news service for community radio for about 14 years. It has an accumulated audience of around 1.5 to 3 million per week according to McNair Ingenuity Research, “making it the second largest service in Australia in reach."

NRN’s brief is to report “independent, cutting edge, thoughtful alternative news,” which is “different to both commercial and public sector services.” On weekdays NRN broadcasts 14 bulletins per day, 6am to 7pm, while on weekends NRN broadcasts 7 bulletins per day, 6am to midday. 

 

See the list of NRN stations at the link below.

 

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1 Comments

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Peter Holden
14 April 2011 - 4:30am
I think National Radio News might have to update their website.

The following stations...

2TVR Tumt (Sounds of the Mountains)
3MCR Mansfield (Radio Mansfield)
4BSR Beaudesert (Beau FM)
4BAY Brisbane (Bay FM)
7BOD St Helens (Star FM)

... if I am correct, have all jumped ship to another news service.

In fact, I believe 2TVR has been with AIR News for a number of years now!


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