French Associative Radio needs 1 million euro to ensure survival
The Support Fund for Radio Expression provides useful support to over six hundred local radio associative delivering public service broadcast in metropolitan France and overseas territories. These are enterprises of social and solidarity economy, with more than 2,600 employees, including four hundred professional journalists. With nearly two million listeners, they provide their locality with their expertise on local information, social links and citizenship education, and support local economic, cultural and sports initiatives. As free media and accessible to all, nothing can replace them. But today, it lacks one million euros, and it would need another three million in 2017!
The law defines associative local radio stations as “local social communications”. Their activity is considered as complementary to that of public broadcasting. Like the latter, it was decided that they would not disrupt the balance of the advertising market, leaving almost all of it to commercial radios that have had their share of advertising increase by 1.8% in the first quarter 2016. A huge hit in times of economic stagnation. This balanced macroeconomic models enables a very diverse broadcasting. These are the reasons why local broadcasting association enjoys a statutory public assistance in France.
In a world in crisis, the attractiveness of careers in local broadcasting is strengthened. Associative radios are attractive employers that fascinate young and old because of their attachment to their territory. These jobs are a compass for thousands of people. Employees in the first place, but also volunteers who are also integrated within the structure by producing the editorial and cultural content of the radio. The proposals of associative radios union for vocational training, sectorial health coverage and pensions, the paid part-time and minimum wage salaries are beginning to bear fruit on the quality of work life.
Radios are a hotbed of talent, a hub of passionate volunteers, a megaphone for the regions. For example, we are the only branch of industry to have planned a shared health coverage system for corporate volunteers! Emmanuel Boutterin, “what media or start-up does the same? Who else teaches children to speak directly to the microphone and to audiences of hundreds in their district, village or valley? Do not break this winning machine! Rather, we must strengthen! ”
On the lasts 2 years, the budget allocated to the grant FSER has declined by over 18%! The other part of public support, the shell of the “operating grant” based on the company’s budget has not increased. This impacted directly on hundreds of small businesses, including associative radios, which saw their budget reduced and had to consider to terminate the contract of some of their employees.
Because of the social advances in the industry, unanimously acclaimed by labour organizations, wages automatically increases by 4% in 2016, despite the restrictive budgets. However, the Support Fund remains at 29 million euros in 2016 and it has been virtually frozen for four years.
Maintaining this minimum fund FSER weakens the associative local radio and jobs. If nothing is done, the decline in resources dedicated to radios will impact their teams and thus their social communications mission.
This is why the SNRL hopes that additional supplies are now added to FSER budget and the overall FSER Budget 2017 is revised upwards significantly and in a sustainable manner.
The time to act is now: support the campaign “1 million now! “For local radio stations! (in French).