A new anti-community radio initiative is being formed by the media regulator Ofcom in tandem with housing agencies. Ofcom has invited interested parties “to explore the new approach to tackling the problem” by attending its 3 November summit on the topic.
The media regulator suggests that the eradication of community radio across London could save £1 million in tax payer revenue. It states “Ofcom has been working in north London, one of the UK’s most affected areas, with housing body Homes for Haringey. In 2014, 19 pirate radio stations were illegally broadcasting in Haringey. By quickly removing their transmitters and regularly patrolling and securing rooftops, pirate radio has now been eradicated in the borough.”
Ofcom failing to serve minority communities
Toyin Agbetu from Ligali said “Ofcom should back off. The tired line that “Pirate radio harms local communities and the critical communications used by the emergency services” is unsubstantiated propaganda and nothing more than scaremongering. The assertion that ‘pirate’ signals have led to the loss of control of airplanes by pilots is wholly disingenuous. Just as it is misleading to suggest that Ofcom’s promising community radio program facilitates the substantial provision of grassroots broadcasts to those without the funds to apply and sustain a licensed station.
It’s wrong for them to characterise our community radio stations as ‘pirates’ when they have failed to ensure the existing licensed networks broadcast sufficient talk, news, views and interactive debate programs for their local communities, especially minority ones like the African British community. The only place to listen to specialist music such as quality Jazz, Reggae, Soul, Soca, Lovers, Afrobeat and various other African music genres is by listening to stations that have rejected the banality of chart music. Sadly most of these stations cannot afford the extortionate prices required to migrate to a digital platform like AB and thus remain on the FM wavelength”
In January 2015 Ofcom ignored Capital Xtra’s format requirements as the station ‘urbanised’ its output and removes community speech content to favour non-African audiences.
External LinksTackling pirate radio could save Londoners £1 millionOfcom - Pirate Radio Summit
No Choice: Sharon White (Ofcom CEO) / Capital Xtra’s Urban agenda (Feat Nicki Minaj)
Ofcom allows Capital Xtra license format violationOfcom may scrutinise Capital Xtra for lack of Choice
Ligali is not responsible for the content of third party sites
Is the radio landscape in the London facing the same gentrification process that’s taken place on the streets? If so why isn’t Ofcom addressing it?
Click here to speak out
or read (8) comments about this article