Lite rock versus local culture

Citizens of Gabriola
want a community radio station,
so they can hear local culture on the air and have the benefit of emergency
broadcasting. Rogers Communications wants them to step aside for lite rock
programming from Victoria, and has
decided to speak
against the islanders’ CRTC application

This brings to mind the work of community radio stations
around the world. Twenty-five years ago The
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)
started as a
small meeting of volunteer radio enthusiasts in Montreal.
Today the association has a worldwide membership of more than 3,000 stations
dedicated to the democratization of communications, as described in The Kathmandu

It’s widely accepted that community radio serves to promote
local cultures and languages
before they are lost. But beyond culture,
there are lives at stake, according to this article from India
on the 2004 tsunami, which argues hundreds
of lives could have been saved by community radio
. The Indian government has
since responded with funds
and frequency allocation for community radio

On a daily basis, AMARC members fight for the
broadcast rights of small stations, from Senegal
to the
Jordan Valley
. Perhaps they’ll need to add Gabriola to their list – because it’s doubtful lite rock will
be much help when the waters rise, or even when you just want to hear your
neighbour’s latest song.