Community radio is about volunteerism, social engagement, independent music, learning by doing, community capacity building, citizen journalism and more. Here's a quick sketch of NCRA members, in all our diversity.
Total watts of broadcasting power: 85,882
Staff: 182.5 (Full-time equivalent)
Volunteer force: 5,992 working an estimated 21,000 hours per week
Our volunteers are the cultural pioneers and opinion leaders of their local communities. Close to one-half of these volunteers are students and student leaders, they are opinion-makers, newsmakers, and trend-setters in their communities, and future leaders of Canadian culture and society. As well, the majority of these volunteers nationwide are artists, political and social activists, and members of multiple civil society organizations and grassroots movements.
Programming languages: at least 63 -- English, French, Macedonian, Polish, Slovakian, Arabic, Hindi, Croatian, Serbian, Mandarin, Spanish, Cantonese, Somali, Polish, Italian, Ukranian, Ethiopian, Hindi, Punjabi, Pakistani, Hungarian, Assyrian, Eritrean, German, Vietnamese, Romanian, Japanese, Korean, Klahoose, Portuguese, Ahmaric, Khmer, Polish, Kurdish, Azesi, Armenian, Tagalog, Turkish, Mandarin, Finnish, Swedish, Russian, BerBer, Tamil, Haitian Creole, Bosnian, Bangla, Farsi, Somali, Eritrean, Cree, Nepalese, Tigrinya, Greek, Ethiopian, Eesti, Gaelic, Urdu, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Ojibway
Estimated population within signal range of NCRA members: 23,771,000 Canadians or over 75% of Canada’s population
Membership growth by year:
2002 - 26; 2003 - 31; 2004 - 36; 2005 - 41; 2006 - 40; 2007 - 53; 2008 - 55; 2009 - 72; 2010 - 82 members
Our members are as diverse as the communities they serve, and respond to local realities/needs in their programming, their staffing, community development work, and their services and fundraising. There is no typical community-based radio station - all our members are exceptional!
Each dollar invested in Community Radio goes immeasurably farther in our community than money invested in other parts of the broadcasting sector, and a far greater portion of that investment will stay in the community where it is invested, since our volunteer base is comprised of community-minded, grassroots, engaged citizens who participate in the local economy and use creative solutions to stretch their operating dollars.
Much of this economic impact is not reflected on traditional balance sheets. For example a large portion of the advertising on c/c stations is targeted and priced for local independent businesses and non-profit organizations and as such may also be discounted, played for free as a public service announcement or exchanged for goods and services in-kind.
Community-based radio stations are community-owned, democratically-governed, non-share not-for-profit corporations; therefore they are not subject to aquisition/relocation, they are structurally bound to the communities that they serve.