I want my radio on DAB!

The petition in favour of independent broadcasters promoted by the Belgian association Radio Z on the website Change.org
The petition in favour of independent broadcasters promoted by the Belgian association Radio Z on the website Change.org
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The transition to digital requires investments that not all broadcasters can afford. Especially community radio stations, which have little advertising (or are self-financing) and therefore lack the necessary resources. This is a common situation in many countries, but in Belgium, the association of independent voices Radio Z has launched a petition to urge the government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation to take action. The stations it represents are followed by hundreds of thousands of listeners in the region, employ more than a thousand volunteers who inform, entertain and promote the territory and the community; and above all train presenters, technicians and journalists. Unfortunately, these independent voices are financially exhausted and would need to double their revenues to survive. Despite warning signs, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation is not taking action and the diversity of the radio landscape is in danger of being destroyed. By 2030, in fact, 50-60% of them could disappear, due to the lack of economic, technical and logistical aid and a penalising digital frequency allocation plan.

A four-point plan

Radio Z brings together licensed independent radio stations operating in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation
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The association calls for annual funding for independent radio stations, similar to that provided for the press and local television, which receive, respectively, 10.9 and 10.4 million EUR a year, not counting municipal, provincial, Brussels region and French Community Commission (Cocof) subsidies. More support and flexibility is also needed from the operators who will carry the DAB signal to avoid any stations being excluded. It is also necessary to immediately optimise the frequency plan, which today does not allow the proper broadcasting of independent radio stations. Finally, the procedure for allocating funding to guarantee the transition to digital broadcasting must be reviewed.

BELGIUM: Independent radio stations ask for help to broadcast on DAB

Independent Belgium radio stations ask for help to broadcast on dab

MediaSpecs analyzes in detail the problems of independent Belgian radio stations.
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RadioZ, the federation that brings together some 30 independent stations from the Walloon region and Brussels, has appealed to the authorities not to halve funding for the transition to digital radio and to simplify procedures. Independent radio stations are a resource for the media sector: they provide information, support culture and municipal administrations, but above all they are a breeding ground for talent that can then aspire to work in more professional broadcasters. A training job that costs the state nothing, because it does not receive subsidies as, for example, in France. On the contrary, RadioZ denounces the fact that this year several radio associations were refused the annual FACR (Fund for Radio Creation) subsidy due to a lack of resources, used to finance the transition to DAB, which, however, only benefits private networks and the public broadcaster RTBF, which have been broadcasting in digital for more than a year.

You can find all details about DAB in Belgium in our web app at https://www.dablist.org.

The history of radio in Belgium told by the protagonists

Article of 1982 on Radio Annick, a very well known Antwerp radio station, to which is dedicated an extensive card
Article of 1982 on Radio Annick, a very well known Antwerp radio station, to which is dedicated an extensive card
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Written in Dutch (well understandable with the translators of Chrome) Vrije Radio describes the history of radio in Belgium, from the dawn of radio broadcasting to the phenomenon of free radios in the 1980s to the present day. There you can find the cards of 326 radio stations, but the number is constantly increasing: only in the last week a dozen have been added. The site is born thanks to the answers of many protagonists who have worked in the radios of the past or still in activity, who have told their experiences. The stories are presented in an objective way and the site managers invite to improve them and add more details. In addition to photos and files on the radio stations you can listen to recordings of programs and announcements (all materials not protected by copyright). The site, which does not use cookies, is supported by the sister sites Archives Radios for the French-speaking channels, and The Flemish Radio Archive for the broadcasters’ logos.