Thanks to our colleagues at 92.5 Phoenix FM for hosting the highly successful 2020 National Community Radio Day in spite of having to deal with a pandemic and adhere to social distancing guidelines.)

Phoenix FM planned and delivered a highly informative and entertaining four hour broadcast that included interviews with 15 guests live via phone, input by over 60 volunteers/staff from 23 different Community Stations, and presentations by four Phoenix FM volunteer presenters who were supported and assisted by 5 staff members).

The broadcast started with Craol Chairperson, Declan Gibbons and CEO of The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), Michael O’ Keeffe, launching NCRD and two reports “Assessing the Benefit of Community Radio, A Toolkit for Community Radio” and “Introducing a Social Benefit Approach to Community Radio- A compendium of Stories” which are part of the BAI Community Media Action Plan.  Declan and Michael spoke about the value of Community Radio and the importance of holding a national day to celebrate this, Craol and BAI Roles, how community radio delivers benefits that socially impact on the communities they serve and the forthcoming Community Radio policy Research being carried out by the BAI.

Other guests on the day included Hazel Hennessy – Marketing Executive with the Community Foundation of Ireland, Brian O’Neil from TU Dublin -Chairperson of Media Literacy Ireland, who spoke about Media Literacy Ireland and why it was set up, the role of community media in media literacy and the Be Media Smart Campaign.

The Wheel’s Policy Officer Lucy Hayes spoke about the value of Community Organisations, the social value they deliver and Chiara Tamborini from Fingal Volunteer Centre spoke about the role of the Volunteer and the Social impact this has on communities, while Nellie Horvath a Development Coordinator with POBAL spoke about Pobal’s role in supporting community organisations in delivering services to communities.

At 3pm Ciarán Kissane (Senior Manager at the BAI) and Sean O Siochru (researcher director at NEXUS) discussed toolkit for Community Radio and the Compendium of stories that were launched earlier in the day. Ciarán Kissane led the steering group that worked on this and Sean O Siochru was the researcher for these two reports.

Staff and Volunteers from 23 Community Radio Stations discussed topics such as; The importance of Having a voice and a platform, Volunteering with Community Radio, Telling stories from the community, volunteering in community radio and the importance of having a platform to present in Irish. We also heard from Young & Student Volunteers, community participation and what volunteers can expect to get from volunteering, and we were joined by volunteers from two Developing Stations as they discussed the process of setting up a community station.

92.5 Phoenix FM chairperson Noreen Byrne and Lynn Simpson Station Manager told us about 92.5 Phoenix FM Lynn and spoke about the importance of National Community Radio Day and the importance of community radio to the D15 community.

The broadcast concluded with CRAOL Committee members – Declan Gibbon- Chair, Jeff Murphy-Vice Chair and Paula Healy-Secretary summing up the day, the value of the research and the significant social impact Community Radio makes in the communities they broadcast to.

Throughout the broadcast we had music from a variety of musicians from across the country starting with a song called “Flowers on the Wall” by one of 92.5 Phoenix FM’s very own volunteers, Eddie McGinley’s Galway based 4-piece Dott with a buoyant guitar tune – Extra Introvert and Dublin singer-songwriter Fly the Nest’s “Superhuman”, a tribute to healthcare heroes at the frontline of the fight against Covid-19.

An incredibly special poem “The Story of We” was written by Frank Phelan especially for National Community Radio Day. The poem captures perfectly what is at the heart of Community Radio. A space where the ‘truth and lived experience’ of the local community are the gold standard, where everything from ‘puppy dog lost’ to ‘social inequality’ is open for transparent discussion. Community Radio is ‘the real deal’, encapsulating ‘Global, family, branch and root’.

Thanks to everyone at 92.5 Phoenix FM, especially to presenters Michael Daly, Carmelle Keene , Mariana Uncu and  Joe O’Connor for a great broadcast and well done to Lynn Simpson, Brian Greene, Steph Byrne, Sean Coogan and Amy Horan for all the work involved in planning and preparing for the day. The sound was perfection, the graphics and promos were superb and pre-records and edits top class.

Craol Committee

Thanks also to Broadcast Technical Services (BTS) http://bts.ie/ who supplied Phoenix FM with a 320Kbits unprocessed stream for the stations to simulcast and a processed 128Kbits stream for NCRD 2020. 

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