Griffith University study on ethnic community broadcasting sector

May 6, 2024
Sound desk console in the dark with buttons lit up and faders

Following a 2022/23 national research project into ethnic community broadcasting in Australia, Griffith University releases its report ‘Connecting communities in a digital media era: Australia ethnic community broadcasting in the 21st century’.  This study was financially supported by the CBF, National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council (NEMBC) and Griffith University.

The report delivers a number of keys findings on full-time ethnic community radio stations as well as ethnic programs within broader, more generalist stations in urban, regional and rural areas.  Surveying 100 ethnic community radio practitioners across the country in addition to interviews and audience focus groups at eight stations, the report looks at how programs worked with and within their communities and how more recent shifts towards digital platforms and the COVID-19 pandemic have changed listening habits.

The report makes seven key recommendations for stations, broadcasters, sector peak bodies and other contributors to the migrant media experience:

  • There is significant opportunity to leverage the existing licenses and networks of ethnic community broadcasting to better support the migrant settlement experience
  • Technology that enables live streaming and on-demand access should be available to all stations to ensure all community ethnic broadcasting can be listened to on digital platforms
  • A toolkit that demonstrates concrete ways for stations to engage with and service new communities should be developed – building on the 2014 NEMBC project: Engaging Communities: Involving New and Emerging Communities at Your Radio Station
  • The Multilingual News Service should be funded on an ongoing basis and expanded to all states due to the permanent nature of crisis and ongoing need for disaster management
  • The training and development of younger broadcasters needs to be prioritised.   A framework should be developed in consultation with the NEMBC Youth Committee to assist stations to develop an intergenerational succession plan
  • The ‘community hub’ nature of the community radio station is under threat in some parts of the sector.  Stations must continue to find new ways to engage with listeners and communities of interest.
  • Guidelines around CBF’s specialist funding need to be clearly and regularly communicated at the sector, station and program levels to ensure all key personnel are aware of the full range of opportunities available

Access the full report here.