White Paper: Community Radio Responds to the Pandemic

The National Federation of Community Broadcasters is pleased to announce the release of a new white paper that gives a clear sense of community radio’s impact during the coronavirus pandemic, and of a need for funders to invest in rural and BIPOC community radio outlets.

You can download the report at nfcb.org/pandemic.

In interviews and surveys with more than 100 broadcasters, NFCB found that stations serving diverse and rural communities are providing critical, consistent programming services during the pandemic. These stations pivoted from their conventional programming schedules to public safety news and public affairs programming blanketing the airwaves. Many community stations are offering reliable daily coronavirus coverage that is sourced by local experts and curated, in many cases, by producers volunteering their skills in the public interest.

For years, a perception of some foundations and funders has been one of skepticism related to community radio. NFCB’s white paper is a data-driven as well as detail-rich snapshot of how community radio stations are today addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

“Though more leaders are recognizing the urgency to support community media with programming and capacity building funds, there remains resistance in some quarters to ensure community radio stations, especially those serving rural and BIPOC communities, have needed resources to educate communities.” Said NFCB Executive Director Ernesto Aguilar. “In a moment when inclusion is the conversation in public media, we believe it is essential that foundations and others take a look at these media outlets that exemplify the engagement and creation of belonging we all hope to achieve.”

Founded in 1975, NFCB is the oldest and largest national organization dedicated to community radio stations within the public media system. NFCB is committed to enhancing collective impact in the field of community media and leading initiatives that contribute to innovation in public media’s service.

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