----- Original Message -----
From: "Geeta Jatania" <[log in to unmask]>
> I think it's important to take into account that community radio can only
be as good as the resourcing that it's provided with.
> The station may not have sufficient funds to purchase quality equipment or
even maintain it adequately. Also, people who broadcast are often amateurs
and may not have been given correct training in using equipment.
> I was fortunate enough to have worked in arguably the best community radio
station in New Zealand (Plains FM 96.9). The reasons for its success were
that it was set up by experienced broadcasters and supported by qualified
technicians. It also was dedicated to giving the community a voice. The
ecclectic variety of programme content was well balanced with a dedication
from staff to provide training for broadcasters to attain and maintain a
standard. Furthermore, Plains FM successfully sought sufficient funding to
provide quality equipment to broadcast with.
> Unfortunately not all stations are lucky enough to have such a successful
formula. I think we should be mindful that many stations have limited
funding and might not have the means to use a high standard of equipment or
to train amateur broadcasters how to use equipment properly. Also it may be
difficult for them to monitor the quality of sound going to air.
> Perhaps some constructive feedback to the station might help the
announcers improve their technique.
Actually, in the US (and, I believe, in Canada) non-profit stations can't
"cut corners" as far as their equipment, which has to meet all the technical
requirements that apply to any FM station. Where they can...and do..."cut
corners" is their on-air staff, most of whom are inexperienced amateurs,
usually with minimal training. "Educational" (school-run) stations are
usually staffed by people taking courses in broadcasting and supervised
by the faculty from that department...but in many cases are obligated by
licensing agreements and school policies to be representative of both
the student body and the community, so there are untrained staff who
happen to represent a given minority group...
Steven C. Barr