The news from Australia is that that country’s first community radio station is saved, maybe. Late last year the University of Adelaide revealed that preserving its campus station would not be included in UA’s impending five year plan. With this uncertainty hanging over Radio Adelaide’s head, you might expect its staff to welcome this week’s announcement from administrators that the signal will move its operations into neighboring station Fresh 92.7 FM.
Apparently not, however, given this Radio Adelaide tweet from Thursday:
We’re shocked by @fresh927‘s proposed takeover of Radio Adelaide. Proposal is sketchy. The station community will consider and comment ASAP.
— Radio Adelaide (@radioadelaide) February 19, 2016
A more detailed comment quickly appeared on Radio Adeleide’s Facebook page:
“So many media outlets just publish a story from a media release without checking any details or seeking alternative views. So here’s one that has at least taken a moment to consider the broader story,including just some of the questions that immediately arise.
Remember this proposal is still only a proposal, with few details worked out. Radio Adelaide’s community will take the time to talk and consult properly among ourselves.”
Obviously it’s unclear where this is all going. Fresh 92.7 is also a community radio station, “committed to presenting the best in international and local music and emerging cultures,” according to its FAQ page. Fresh launched in 1997 after “3 mates returned from an interstate holiday with the idea of filling the niche of a youth and dance music based radio station” for Adelaide, South Australia’s capital city:
“Feeling that Adelaide’s commercial stations weren’t responding to young people’s desire to hear electronic music, these friends wanted to create a station where all facets of youth culture were celebrated and supported.”
Radioinfo of Australia cites a university official promising that U. Adelaide’s media students will continue to train at Radio Adelaide. The general manager concurs: “We are in a unique position to assist to build the capacity of community radio, to share facilities and training opportunities for the benefit of Adelaide,” he is quoted as saying.
But staffers are skeptical, to say the least, asking for assurances that the university has not “condemned us to a slow death by their decision to work with Fresh 92.7 rather than with the people who have been running Radio Adelaide so successfully for so long.”
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