key commitments

Community radio licence: key commitments
Licence outline: CR081
Station name: Black Diamond FM

Community to be served:
Those persons living and working within East and Central Midlothian, a mixture of rural areas and small towns, including areas of deprivation such as Dalkeith, Woodburn, Mayfield, Gorebridge

Licence area:
East and Central Midlothian (up to a 5km radius from the transmission site)

107.8 MHz

Character of service

Black Diamond FM is a community owned and community led local radio project, dedicated to serving the community as a communication tool. The radio station will broadcast community programming reflecting Midlothian’s unique blend of community interests, cultural and linguistic diversity. It will deliver social gain and develop social capital through radio provision and training in radio skills for all community members, especially youth and socially excluded individuals. The station will be rooted in the local community and accessible to all local people providing unique and appropriate Midlothian focused educational and entertainment programming. Quality training opportunities will be provided for local people to make and broadcast, their own programme productions, which will meet the needs of local groups within the community – using community radio as a means of empowerment and personal development. It’s about radio of the community, for the community, by the community as well as education, entertainment, and empowerment, a community communication platform accessible to all groups and individuals which have the democratic benefit of the community at heart. This community radio station will run without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, colour or age. It will seek to achieve and maintain the highest principles of democratic and moral broadcast standards.


• The station will typically broadcast live, predominantly locally originated, programming for eight hours per day, such output being transmitted between the hours of 07:00 and 22:00. Live programming will typically comprise 60% music and 40% speech during daytime hours ('speech' excludes advertising, programme / promotional trails and sponsor credits and live programming may include pre-recorded inserts, if applicable). Twenty four hour operation is permitted.

• Speech output will include community, local and national news (including talking newspapers), poetry / readings / plays, for both school children and adults. Other items, such as community phone-ins, discussion programmes, reviews, live and recorded interviews, community spots, community information broadcasts, sports, documentaries, local history and contributions from writers groups will also be broadcast.

• Music output will typically include a diverse range of genres, such as rock/pop/R&B/classical & easy listening/country/punk/soundtrack/hip hop/soul/ballads/instrumental/jazz/blues/reggae/world music/live music/listener choice. Varied and specific specialist programmes will be provided.

• Output will typically be broadcast in English although the occasional use of other languages is permitted.

Social gain objectives

Community Radio Order 2004: "It is a characteristic of community radio services that they are local services provided primarily (a) for the good of members of the public, or of particular communities, and (b) in order to deliver social gain, rather than primarily for commercial reasons or for the financial or other material gain of the individuals involved in providing the service."

"(a) the provision of sound broadcasting services to individuals who are otherwise underserved"

• Black Diamond FM will focus on underserved target audiences defined using a wide range of demographic data and other information to inform its programming schedules. Within its output, the station will deliver very local, very niche, programmes of interest to unemployed people, retired folk, young children, youths, students, lone parents, ethnic minorities, older people, and community activists.

• The station will aim to cover local events such as gala days, junior football matches, village fetes, Brass in the Park and the Schools Festival of Music. Programmes will be formed around community concerns, issues and themes, including coverage of local sports, local history and educational activities as well as the local music scene. Groups will be encouraged to make their own issue-based programmes and to be interviewed about their particular activities, work and interests. As a target, we expect to work with 65 community groups and agencies (such as Midlothian Voluntary Action, Midlothian Community Transport, Midlothian Volunteer First, Midlothian Writers’ Group, and various community councils), as well as with a further 100 individual volunteers during the first year of broadcasting. A particular focus will be on people and groups that would otherwise be excluded from the opportunity to access radio facilities and take part in radio production and broadcasting.

"(b) the facilitation of discussion and the expression of opinion"

• Black Diamond FM will be a 'grassroots' medium which local people and organisations can access to promote their particular interests and activities.

• The station will provide a multi media platform, which is wholly inclusive and reflective of the diversity of communities of interest in the greater Midlothian area. A particular objective will be to facilitate the articulation of the voices of the less dominant, less powerful members of society.

• Black Diamond FM is committed to an equal rights opportunity policy in terms of airtime representation. As a result, the station will target and engage with as broad a range of local community individuals and agencies as possible. The intention is that typically between 10 and 15 new community groups and 20 –25 new volunteers per quarter will contribute to programming.

• The station will broadcast topical phone in and discussion programmes as well as documentaries and local human interest stories that will catalyse lively debate on issues and topics that mainstream metropolitan area radio stations tend not to focus on.

"(c) the provision (whether by means of programmes included in the service or otherwise) or education or training to individuals not employed by the person providing the service"

• Black Diamond FM has developed a volunteer policy which reflects the station’s inclusive commitment to offering participation and training opportunities to all members of the Midlothian community to develop radio skills.

• Each year, Black Diamond FM intends to work with approximately 100 volunteers, including unemployed people and school pupils who will be offered work experience. Training will be offered in areas such as admin, problem solving, writing, and interview and management skills.

• The station actively seeks to recruit volunteers from all backgrounds, especially disadvantaged backgrounds (e.g. lone parents, women, ethnic minorities, and the unemployed) and of all ages (e.g. youths and pensioners) so that the station’s work will reflect the nature of the community at large. The station recognises and values the contributions made by volunteers and will provide access to training in production and broadcasting to encourage local creative talent and foster local traditions. Free basic radio skills and radio taster courses will typically be operated every quarter using peer group teaching as well as external professional radio trainers.

"(d) the better understanding of the particular community and the strengthening of the links within it"

• The station will embed itself in community partnership networks and work closely with umbrella and individual community groups to foster community pride and self awareness of the work of the radio station and vice versa (action research). By working in partnership with community activists and groups the station will develop as an inclusive force for community social and cultural development.

• The station will act as a form of "social glue" and will work closely with community individuals, groups and projects to become self aware of what is going on in Midlothian and establish what the community want to do about community issues.

• The station intends to form a strategically link in with Midlothian’s Community Planning Partnership and Midlothian’s Community Learning Partnership to pick up on community concerns about health, social welfare and economic capacity issues, as well as issues such as community safety, lifelong learning, environmental sustainability, the delivery of public services and quality of life concerns.

• Further partnerships will also be established with governmental, commercial and third sector bodies including Midlothian Council, Midlothian Community Councils and Communities Scotland and the local police and other public agencies in order to help make the station a useful source of local information and output and thus develop community pride and make Midlothian a better place to live and work.

Additional social gain objectives:

• Black Diamond FM will encourage the use of local accents and dialects within its broadcast output.

• The station will also promote improved media literacy using community radio as a means by which to make citizens more sophisticated consumers of public information.

Access and participation

Community Radio Order 2004: "It is a characteristic of every community radio service that members of the community it is intended to serve are given opportunities to participate in the operation and management of the service."

• Black Diamond starts from the premise that it operates open door and access all areas policy.

• The station explicitly commits to giving local people the opportunity to participate in its operation and management. This approach reflects our commitment to transparency, community empowerment and responsiveness to local demand. We will develop and run a community radio station that is owned and controlled by members of the community at large.

• The station is committed to an open door policy within which local people can either volunteer, become members of the station advisory committee or, ultimately, take up a roll as a station director (subject to legal qualification). As a result of this policy, the station is ultimately accountable to the community it serves. Volunteers will be made welcome and encouraged to get directly involved in the running of the station.

Accountability to the target community

Community Radio Order 2004: "It is a characteristic of every community radio service that, in respect of the provision of that service, the person providing the service makes himself accountable to the community that the service is intended to serve."

• A key feature of the radio station’s social capital approach will be the regular (quarterly) monitoring of progress, and assessments of the strength of our community links which will help inform the station's future development plans.

• Community planning and engagement is an evolving two way process and one to which the station subscribes firmly. Black Diamond FM takes a multi-agency and joined-up working approach to tackling social exclusion through the promotion of increased community awareness and extended participation to otherwise excluded people.

• As part of the listening to the community process, the station will endeavour to host open days every six months and hold an annual workshop measuring progress against our objectives. Questionnaires, surveys, social audits and workshops will be used to identify community needs and interests, thereby establishing qualitative performance indicators. Vox pops and listener surveys will also be used to ensure that the concerns of local people are quickly picked up on.

• Where a complaint concerning programme contents, the operation of the station or the actions of a person working there (staff or volunteer) is received, Black Diamond FM will attempt to deal with this to the satisfaction of the complainant within fourteen days.

• Members of the public may raise issues of concern with station staff, members of the board or the chairperson. In case of serious complaints, the board may appoint a compliance officer to investigate the issues arising.

• Where a complaint is upheld, details will be published on the station web-site and, where appropriate, an apology may be broadcast on-air.

*All material in italics is direct quotations from the Community Radio Order 2004

10th April 2007