The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland launched its Community Media Action Plan (“Action Plan”) in March 2019.  This plan has its roots in recommendations from the Community Radio and TV sectors aimed at enhancing sustainability and increasing participation set out in an independent report prepared by Niamh Farren in January 2019.  Progress was made during 2019 in implementing the nine specific actions included in the Action Plan.

Key amongst these was the development of an evaluation methodology that would specifically address the statutory requirement for community media to deliver a social benefit for the community served.  The consultants Nexus were selected by CRAOL and BAI representatives to develop this framework and a series of different methodologies were piloted in a number of community radio stations. A Steering Group comprised of members of the BAI, CRAOL and Nexus managed the project and signed off on the two emerging reports outlined below.

The first report, “Assessing the Benefit of Community Radio, A Toolkit for Community Radio” is a toolkit for stations to implement elements of the Framework and methodologies based on their priorities and resources.  The Social Benefit Framework identifies a range of benefits that can be delivered by the stations to individuals, listeners participants and the community served. Social benefits are divided into six areas and indicators.

The second report “Introducing a Social Benefit Approach to Community Radio- A compendium of Stories” takes the new methodologies explored as part of the initiative and applies this across the community radio sector. The Framework provides Irish Community Radio with a robust framework and related methodologies to assess and demonstrate the practical social benefit offered by stations.”   An abridged version of this  report will be published on National Community Radio Day on June 19th 2020.

Both reports are available at the below links

 BAI CR Methodology – Assessing the Social Benefit of Community Media

Story Compendium 2020-Introducing a Social Benefits approach to Community Media

BAI Community Media Action Plan Links

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