CURRA Symposium Session on Community Radio,
6 p.m. Newfoundland time, October 2, 2012

Local radio as a tool for community capacity building
and social cohesion in times of change

Click here to link to Session Podcast

October 3, Mallary McGrath (Cape Shore Radio) says: I was listening (to the
webcast - on dialup : ) and took notes on what people were saying. I liked
and agreed with the idea of communicating on the air around the kitchen
table and how the broadcast can be about sometimes connecting individuals
but maybe more importantly is the goal of connecting communities
and groups and recognizing commonalities in a relaxed
environment. "Netport" is also an excellent term.

Invitation to Participate:

1. Share on the Ryakuga Facebook (
and we will read your message on air.

2. Text Ivan at 709-640-5725. We will read your message.

3. Text Ivan your phone number and we will call you.

4. Skype in to Ryakuga - we will call you on Skype.

October 1: VOBB is broadcasting the CURRA International Symposium now.

The Symposium (Rebuilding Collapsed Fisheries and Threatened Communities)
continues until Thursday, October 4.

You can listen to the broadcast through VOBB or Ryakuga.

Invitation to panel:

VOBB will be hosting and Ivan Emke will be moderating a panel discussion on community radio during the CURRA Symposium in Norris Point.

Panel participants include Anita Best, Bernadette Dwyer, Gary Wilton, Pierre LeBlanc, Dan Murphy, Dave Morrow and Gary Noel. Mallary McGrath, Kelly Russell and Tom Cochrane will join on Skype.

Let us know if you would like to join the discussion - we can call you by phone as well as using Skype.

The idea is we will set up a queue following the initial presentations (probably about 7:30 pm) so we can hear from as many people as possible.

VOBB and Ryakuga will be webcasting the panel.

Click here to link to the VOBB broadcast.

Panel description:

In the midst of the massive economic shifts and social dislocations experienced by post-moratorium coastal communities, how can they engage each other in important conversations about the future in order to build consensus? How do they nurture pride in those very communities which sometimes appear to be in the process of disintegration? How do they democratize information sharing and foster transparent decision making? These are not easy questions to answer. But they are important issues to discuss, on both a practical as well as a general theoretical level. There may be a variety of tools which could be used to assist with these challenges, but this session focusses on one such method - community radio.

In the CURRA project, one of the initiatives was to explore the use of community radio (accompanied by webcasting) in a number of coastal communities. This built upon work already begun in NL (dating to the MUN Extension Service in the 1960s), and it supported a number of short-term community FM broadcasts of local content, with local participants. The broadcasts would be ways for people to share ideas, initiate conversations, learn about the experience of other communities, celebrate their own culture, marvel at the skills and talent and ideas in their communities, and hear about some of the research being done in their region. The project also hoped to build the passion for more permanent community-based stations. In this session, we'll explore the reasons for engaging community radio, vignettes and findings from some of our short-term broadcasts, and the experience of the establishment of a permanent community FM station in Norris Point - the Voice of Bonne Bay.

The six presenters in the session will touch on a range of observations and conclusions from their practical experience with community radio.

Fred Campbell will talk about community radio as a participatory communications tool. He will suggest that the combination of new and old communication technologies is essentially "Back to the Future" for rural NL.

Dan Murphy will discuss the community radio activities he has been involved with on Fogo Island, where a number of broadcasts have not only been working to knit a set of communities together but also to link Fogo with other parts of NL and with Ireland.

Pierre LeBlanc will provide some reflections (and images) as a participant in the community broadcast in Cow Head.

Gary Wilton, Gary Noel and Anita Best will focus on the development of the Voice of Bonne Bay which evolved from a series of short-term FM broadcasts during the annual Trails, Tales and Tunes Festival into a fully licensed community radio station located in Norris Point (but serving the Bonne Bay region). They will offer observations on the challenges (and joys) of the process thus far and their plans for the future of the station.

Ivan Emke will moderate the session, and contribute a brief overview of the role of radio in community development in several domestic and international contexts, as well as reporting briefly on our CURRA-related community radio events in Burnt Islands, Conche and St. Anthony. In Conche in particular, the role of the webcast and of Facebook was crucial in the success of the event, prompting us to coin the term "netport" to refer to small communities such as this where residents and expatriates are bound together by internet technologies.

The session will take place in the Julia Ann Walsh Centre, where the original Voice of Bonne Bay broadcasts took place, and where the VOBB studio is located.

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