Letter: What makes community radio

[Re: New community radio station focuses on community content, Nov. 4 by Andy Williams]

While I am encouraged that another radio club has been established by a dedicated group of music hobbyists in a garage in SE Calgary to have some fun playing commercially released songs that XL Radio might not be playing this month, I do take issue with writer Andy Williams’s failure to do some more in-depth research about Beaver FM.

This hobby group, while purporting to be “basically a community radio station” is not at all a community radio station. Unlike CJSW, they are not licensed by the CRTC under the new Community Radio Policy (a policy CJSW Radio actively helped shape during consultations with the CRTC over the past two years), they have no restrictions on advertising or playing the “hits,” and no outline of how members of the community can access the airwaves. CJSW, Calgary’s only campus and community radio station, is fully accessible to anyone interested in radio and media and this can be seen in our diverse volunteer membership that is made up of over 150 volunteers who speak 11 different languages on-air and has an age range from 14 to over 80. This is a more accurate illustration of a distinct community radio organization.

Lastly, the assertion that Beaver FM plays “just under 2,500 songs and the average station in Calgary sits at around 800, so we’re three times ahead of where everyone else is with variety” is false. CJSW has a musical universe that includes every genre of music you can think of — from hip-hop, metal and rock and pop to world, folk, blues, jazz and music that has no defining label. Our music department is sent an average of 40 new releases everyday and manages over 500 brand new releases on our playlist each week. This variety is found nowhere on the Calgary radio landscape — guaranteed.

Over 25 years on the FM dial has proven CJSW Radio’s relentless dedication to providing Calgarians with diverse, challenging and unprecedented programming. For a real alternative to commercial radio, check out 90.9 FM.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.