Our theory of change

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Why is our work important?

The Community Broadcasting Foundation supports community media to create a stronger society through greater participation, engagement, inclusion and cohesion.

Australian media ownership is increasingly concentrated, mass media is heavily influenced by commercial interests, and ‘fake news’ has alarming impact.

It has never been more important to have diverse, independent media that can amplify independent, authentic voices who speak their truth.

Community media organisations are producing curated, local content powered by people, not by algorithms. Over 31,000 volunteers share diverse ideas and opinions – a trusted source of local news, information and cultural content.

Community media’s strength is its locally-owned and operated media hubs active in hundreds of Australian communities. Spaces for people from different backgrounds to come together and collaborate to create content enjoyed by more than five million Australians every week.

The Community Broadcasting Foundation strengthens independent community media. Each year we help people share local stories and create connections through radio, television and online to increase and diversify the voices heard in Australian media.

Why is community media so important?

Community media is key to Australia’s cultural landscape – content for the community, by the community. At a time when traditional mediums, such as newspapers and commercial television are faltering, audience engagement with community media is increasing.


Thirty-one percent of Australians aged 15 years and over listen to community radio weekly. Listeners typically tune in for 14 hours per week.

Audiences tune in because they value an independent and local source of information, news and entertainment that’s not owned by big business or government.

Community media contributes to diversity, provides a unique range of services and programs and enriches the social and cultural make-up of Australian society. It plays an important role in providing a voice for every community, creating connection, a sense of belonging and social cohesion.

All of this is achieved with most stations managed by teams of volunteers. Many of the smaller stations operate 24-hours, seven days per week on less than an average annual salary. These dedicated volunteers are creative, innovative, agile and most importantly, driven by their passion for making a difference.

Community media is characterised by low resources and high output. Additional funding leverages existing investments and is a critical catalyst for further innovation, sustainability and development.

Why support us?

Supporting us helps to ensure there is a strong community-owned and operated, independent media for Australia.

Digital disruption of the media landscape has created challenges as well as opportunities in meeting the information needs of our society. As many as 3,000 journalism jobs are estimated to have been lost in Australia this decade(1), the vast majority of which have come from newspaper newsrooms. The consequences of this decline have been profound for our democracy, as evidenced by increased commercialisation of news, less in-depth reportage and reduced trust in media.

However, while people are spending less time-consuming television, newspapers and magazines(2), radio remains resilient. More people are turning to the independent voices on community radio, pushing audience levels to new highs.

Listener growth presents an opportunity for community media to underpin an informed society.

Against the backdrop of rapid change in the broader industry, community media offers itself as a force for social good through an expansion of its highly-valued capacity to deliver local news and information. Developing stronger local journalism will expand community media’s social contribution at a critical time.

Investment in the Community Broadcasting Foundation provides opportunities that ensure a broader range of voices are heard in Australian media. Donations received by the Community Broadcasting Foundation empower us to grow an independent, diverse and inclusive media sector and safeguard Australia from the very real threat to democracy posed by an increasingly monopolised media.

By investing in us, you will help to bring people together and amplify diverse, independent voices speaking their truth. Community media enables greater civic participation and engagement in the media, strengthening our society.  Help us develop Australia’s community media as a potent and influential force for good.

1 https://mumbrella.com.au/new-research-reveals-how-australian-journalists-are-faring-four-years-after-redundancy-555612
2 http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/7069-more-time-watching-television-than-using-internet-at-home-australia-september-2016-20161129160

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