‘We have a critical role’: Blackley sets radio agenda in Canberra
Commercial Radio Australia hosted its annual flesh-presser at Parliament House on Thursday night to put political attention on the industry’s agenda for 2020.
A major focus was on the vital role of local radio in the community.
Triple M Sydney Breakfast host Lawrence Mooney and federal communications minister Paul Fletcher addressed the contingent, attended by industry leaders, MPs and senators.
The event took place ahead of UNESCO’s World Radio Day on February 13.
CRA chairman and chief executive officer of Southern Cross Austereo, Grant Blackley, said radio was still the world’s most widely consumed media.
“There are 261 commercial radio stations across Australia, including 220 in regional and remote communities, making radio the most live and local of all media,” he said.
“Well over 90% of Australians listen to radio every week, which means we have a critical role to play in entertaining audiences and disseminating information in an accurate and timely manner, particularly in times of crisis.
“Radio makes a substantial contribution to every region of Australia – through the support of hundreds of local community organisations and businesses. Radio connects and binds community like no other media.”
Blackley also said the industry was looking forward to working with political leaders on a number of strategic priorities, including increasing digital capability to deliver localised emergency information in response to threats posed by climate change.
The industry’s agenda for 2020 includes ongoing investment in the development of smart digital audio experiences including integration with voice technology, the rollout of DAB+ digital radio to regional centres and actively contributing to the Government’s overhaul of media regulation.
“Radio is one of the most over-regulated industries. Removing red tape and outdated and unnecessary restrictions must be a priority for the industry and Government.”