As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, we’re finally able to take a look at the year ahead. During such challenging times, it has been wonderful to see the resilience and positivity of community broadcasters as they adjust to new ways of living, working and volunteering. At SACBA, we’ve been working alongside member stations to provide equipment, advice, and training to stay safe, operational, and on-air. It is striking how quickly stations have been able to adapt programming and operations, working hard to keep volunteers safe and communities connected. Now more than ever, this shows the enduring importance of independent community media. This year, a revised Bilby Awards process will help us to celebrate these achievements.
Inevitably, we have cancelled the 2020 SACBA Conference scheduled for 8 August due to social gathering restrictions, unwilling to take the financial or social risk. However, we have set a tentative date for our next conference on 7 August 2021.
The AGM has been postponed for a few months. Depending on social gathering restrictions, it may take place via Zoom. We will notify stations as soon as we can.
2020 Bilby Awards
The Bilby Awards will take place as usual with a change to the presentations, depending on social gathering restrictions. You will receive an email in the next week detailing the categories and how to enter. The closing date will be extended to Saturday August 1 to give you plenty of time to get entries together.
COVID-19 April Update
Member stations across SA have been implementing plans to keep stations safe and operational during these challenging times. On 29 March, the Federal Government announced further advice to stay at home, except for:
Shopping for what you need
Accessing medical care
Exercise – adhering to the 2 person social distancing measures
Work or education – only where it is not possible to work from home
In order to keep community radio stations on-air and operational, SACBA would like to add the following advice:
1. Operating Stations Remotely
You should be working now to put in place the ability to operate your station remotely and SACBA can assist with this. We are suggesting the use of ‘Anydesk’ software, but please talk to us as there are major security concerns to be aware of first. For more information, please join the CMTO/CBAA webinar presented by SACBA Treasurer, Tim Borgas
2. Automated Programming
If the station can’t be operated remotely, ensure there is some sort of audio going to air, either your own playout software on loop, or the CBAA CRN signal.
3. Creating Content Remotely
Announcers should be advised to present their shows from home. This can be done either by pre-recording or editing their old programs to remove any date and time calls. Shows can be submitted via Dropbox (or similar) to a designated person responsible for uploading and scheduling to the station on-air computer. Again, SACBA can advise on the easiest methods and resources for setting this up. For more information, watch last week’s CMTO/CBAA webinar
4. Avoiding Multiple Station Contact
Some volunteers are involved with multiple community radio stations. As outlined above, station visits should be avoided. If a visit is crucial to keeping the station on-air, please choose only one station. This is vital to stop cross-infection and risk a domino effect of stations shutting down very quickly.
5. Additional Health Risks
Anyone with an underlying health condition or compromised immune system should not be attending the station under any circumstances. This includes those over the age of 70, First Nations People over the age of 50, anyone who is undergoing chemotherapy or had an organ transplant, or anyone with AIDS or Hepatitis.
Please see this update from SA Consumer and Business Services on holding an AGM or General Meeting over the next 6 months – SACBA can help with set-up for online station meetings.
There will be more information later about the SACBA conference, AGM and Bilby Awards, but right now we are focusing on supporting stations as best we can to get through the next few weeks.
If you have questions, please email us or call us and we’ll do our best to help.