Three community stations investigated after complaints to Ofcom

Three community radio stations have been investigated by Ofcom including Key Commitments and retention of recordings.

The stations investigated were Salaam Radio in Peterborough, Academy FM 107.8 in Thanet and Ribble FM in Clitheroe.

Salaam Radio

Ofcom requested a week’s recordings to make sure the station was keeping to its Key Commitments following a previous breach.

After listening to the recordings for the week beginning 12th June, it was found that although the station was targeting Muslims from all communities, content wasn’t relevant to the specific community of Peterborough. It was also not meeting its requirement to provide education or training and to meet its speech requirement by broadcasting sports news and community news.

Original content broadcast across the week monitored was only four hours rather than the required six hours each day and the station didn’t broadcast any content to suggest that it was meeting its social gain objectives on-air, nor did it provide any evidence that it was meeting the social gain objectives off-air.

Ofcom’s decision was breaches of Licence Conditions 2(1) and (4).

Academy FM 107.8

After receiving a complaint over its Key Commitments, Ofcom requested recordings of the station’s output for the week beginning 22nd May.

Academy FM only supplied a recording of one day because it thought the request was for a 24-hour period from the week requested rather than all of it and so asked for an extension to the deadline to send the rest, due to annual leave.

Because of the delay, the 42-day retention period had passed, so the station wasn’t able to supply the rest of the requested recordings, but provided evidence it keeps recordings for the required period.

Academy FM offered to submit recordings for an alternative week commencing 12th June, but Ofcom requested the week commencing 10th July.

It was found that the Key Commitments were being met during that week, so the station wasn’t in breach, however, because it was unable to supply recording for the original week requested, Academy FM was in breach of Condition 8(2)(b) of its Licence.

Ribble FM

Ofcom received a complaint that Ribble FM wasn’t meeting its Key Commitment to broadcast a minimum of 13 hours a day of locally produced output which should also include farming news, but this has now been resolved.