Supporting Content Framework

Each year the CBF provides over $3 million to support community radio and television content and related online activities.

Our content grants celebrate place and identity, bring culture to life and help independent voices speak their truth. For broadcasters and their audiences, the outcomes can be life changing, helping people find a place to belong.

Content in community media is as diverse as the audiences it engages. From amplifying the voices of marginalised people, providing a channel for independent opinions, preserving language, celebrating place and identity or bringing culture to life, community media provides an avenue for content that is not available in other media.

For producers, our content grants help them tell important stories using creativity and perspectives not covered by mainstream media outlets. They also provide them with opportunities for skills development and career advancement. For audiences, the stories brought to life in community media entertain, inform and educate. They can also be life changing – enhancing health and wellbeing by creating connection.

And for stations, content grants provide the opportunity to broadcast new compelling content ensuring audience retention and engagement and providing an attractive proposition for sponsors.

About our Supporting Content Framework

This framework is informed by consultation and reflects the principles outlined in the Community Radio Codes of Practice and the agreed community media sector vision as expressed through the Sector Compass. Our Supporting Content Framework also aligns with our values and our theory of change to help us positively impact Australian society. As community media evolves, we will review this Framework every two years.

Guiding principles

We support the production of audio, video and related content that is distributed by Australian community media organisations. We invest in the creation of content that:

  • improves access and equity, enhancing the diversity of programming choices for audiences
  • contributes to a strong democracy by broadening the range of opinions, ideas and perspectives expressed
  • is an active expression of diverse stories, arts and cultures
  • advances the reputation of community media as a source of creative and compelling content including the content that showcases new ideas and innovative approaches to content creation
  • is broadcast either locally or shared with broader audiences via multiple community stations, developing the sector’s national profile.
  • demonstrates multi-platform engagement, such as digital and/or analogue radio, digital TV, podcasts, vodcasts, social media, web-series, live events, art forms and online distribution
  • is guided by the principles of self-representation, i.e. people telling their own stories. These stories feature perspectives and aspects of culture not adequately represented in other media, such as:
    • local stories by local content makers valued by local communities
    • alternative views and community-focused content
    • under-represented producers and/or participants in Australian media including women, young people, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people living in poverty, LGBTIQ+ people, and people with a disability
    • projects that acknowledge the unique status of First Nations people as First Australians, and include people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities as the drivers of projects; and adhere to the CBF Indigenous Engagement Protocols.

What we support

For examples of projects we have helped bring to life, read Our Stories.

To find out if you and your content project are eligible for a CBF grant, read the:

  • Content grants guidelines
  • Specialist Radio Programming guidelines

Specialist Radio Programming maintains and develops ongoing radio reading programs for people with a print disability and radio programs for ethnic and Indigenous communities.

Our targets for CBF-funded content projects

  • To maximise the impact of our investment, we aim for at least 50% of all content funding to benefit First Nations, culturally and linguistically diverse and LGBTIQ+ communities, people with disability and people living in poverty.
  • To address gender inequity in Australian media, we aim for 60% of the producers supported through Content grants to identify as women.
  • To increase participation and diversity in community media, we aim for 20% of producers supported through Content grants to be people with a disability.

Investing in long-term impact

Community media organisations produce and deliver some of Australia’s most dynamic, compelling and relevant content. We have proudly invested in these projects since 1984, helping to bring a number of important Australian programs to life. Whether distributed locally or nationally, we invest in content that demonstrates its impact on the target audiences and to those that help create it.

We aim to balance investment in established programs with seeding support for new and innovative content.

New and innovative content embraces creative ideas and approaches to the crafts of storytelling and sharing of culture and perspectives. It can also involve new and emerging technologies, platforms and distribution methods. This may be community media organisations making content for any medium(s) or involve independent producers creating content to be aired via a community media organisation.

In the case of independent producers, we only support those who demonstrate a commitment to community media and good community consultation practices.

We recognise there can be strong value in continuing to support established programs. Established programs can provide:

  • entertainment, information and community connection
  • continuity of structured program content that encourages high levels of access and participation, enhancing valuable skills development
  • assist organisations to continue to serve its community of interest
  • in the case of local programming, their role in audience retention, engagement and growth at a station level
  • at a national and multiple station level, enhanced community radio and TV sector profile.

In some instances, we provide multi-year funding support. Multi-year funding provides financial stability to assist organisations and producers to develop and enhance partnerships and other support, encouraging greater sustainability. Applicants seeking multi-year support are asked to show what effect longer-term funding will have on the programs/projects over the funded period and beyond. They are also asked to demonstrate the program’s relevance to their audiences.

In order to receive multi-year funding support, the program/project must:

  • have broad impact e.g. a program reaching multiple communities
  • be collaborative involving multiple stations and/or project partners in the production of content; and/or
  • demonstrate potential for growth – his could be financial, audience, partnerships or other opportunities.

Our approach

We recognise that managing grants and content projects requires considerable planning and resources to produce good results. As such:

  • we provide a flexible project-based model for content production and distribution that can include program and content resources, salaries, production resources, content and access coordination and project management, along with other costs necessary to produce and distribute the required content
  • we endeavor to fund projects adequately to ensure they are delivered successfully
  • in order to address inequities in the competitive application process we use priority loading to increase support for regionally-based and lower-income community media organisations.

Further reading

CBF Strategic Plan 2017-2021
CBF Vision and Values
CBF Theory of Change
Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice

Each year there are a number of grants available that you can apply for including support for Content (including Specialist Programming), Development & Operations and Major Projects (sector investment). Quick Response grants may also be available when regular grant rounds are closed.

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