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Special Interest (Aboriginal) public radio station

Public radio: planning guidelines
Public radio was introduced in Australia with these objectives:

  • to make broadcasting accessible to individuals and sections of the community seeking access, particularly those who do not obtain access to other media;
  • to enable community organisations to own, operate and control their own independent broadcasting services, thereby diversifying control of the media;
  • to expand meaningful and programming choice to satisfy a wide diversity of needs and interests of listeners, whether numerous or not. (Department of Communications, 1985: 1)

Explanatory notes (definitions)
The Community service is defined as a broad-based service, designed to serve a geographic area as its "community of interest", and providing for the participation in programming and management by a variety of community groups and interests in that area.

The service should allow for such participation even if the initial impetus for the service arose through a special interest or need.

The Special Interest Service is defined as a service clearly focused on a particular interest or need, or group of common interests or needs (e.g. educational, musical, sporting, ethnic religious) within an area.

While not obliged to provide the broad-based service expected of the Community service, it should nevertheless involve, draw on, and be accessible to, a range of different groups and interests under the umbrella of its special interest(s). For example, a sporting service should embrace as many sporting interests as possible, and not concentrate on one or two to the exclusion of others; a religious service should broadly reflect in its programming and management of the religious interests represented in its service area, and so on.

Special Interest (Educational)
A service primarily designed to broadcast educational programs (e.g. school-based, community, adult or distance education) and including where appropriate, material designed to enrich the cultural life of the audience.

Special Interest (Ethnic)
A service designed to broadcast multilingual programs by and for ethnic communities, and including, where appropriate, multicultural programming designed to enrich the cultural life of a wider audience.

Special Interest (Aboriginal)
A service designed to broadcast programs by and for Aboriginal communities, and including where appropriate, multicultural programming designed to enrich the cultural life of a wider audience.

Special Interest (Radio for the Print Handicapped (RPH))
A service designed to meet the information needs of people who, by reason of physical or other disability, do not have access to printed material. (Department of Communications, 1985: 5)

Multicultural programming
Ethnic community broadcasters provide 70% of all ethnic broadcasting in Australia. There are now 87 stations producing in excess of 1600 hours of local programming each week in 92 languages. This broadcasting takes place at 48 regional and 39 metropolitan stations across Australia, including six full-time stations.

Ethnic TV
Television and Radio Broadcasting Services Australia (TARBS) is a multicultural pay TV station. In 1999 they were issued with seven broadcasting licences to deliver their services using satellite and microwave frequencies. Unlike apparatus licences or other service delivery permits, these licences do not have geographical limitations. Therefore, a service licence is valid throughout Australia as long as the programming on that service is the same in all areas of reception. Where the service differs in a location, a separate service licence is required.

TARBS broadcast 24 hours a day in some languages on both radio and television. TARBS currently broadcasts Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, Italian, Filipino, Greek, Macedonian, Korean, German and Spanish as well as several English language channels.

Radio for the Print Handicapped
2RPH was established in 1983. Approximately 80% of print handicapped people in Sydney listen to the station. A print handicapped person includes stroke sufferers who cannot hold a book, people who have difficulty reading English, people with dyslexia. Volunteer readers read publications live on air. Publications include: local newspapers, New Idea, The Sydney Morning Herald or Rolling Stone magazine.

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