• Digital broadcasting – challenges and opportunities for European community radio broadcasters

      Hallett, Lawrie; Hintz, Arne; University of Westminster; Central European University (Elsevier, 2010-05)
      Access to broadcast infrastructure is vital for community radio services, however the switch-over from analogue to digital, as envisaged by European policy-makers, creates challenges for such stations. In this article, we will set out the general environment within which the transition to digital is occurring, illustrate the current state of the digital migration debate, identify potential difficulties for community radios, but also highlight opportunities that digital technologies may provide. Challenges include the historical tendency of European policy-makers to prioritise the requirements of larger Public Service and commercial broadcasters which has resulted in the promotion of platforms such as DAB that are not designed to cater for smaller-scale local and non-profit’ media. Furthermore the existence of a variety of jurisdiction-specific approaches to digital switch-over in Europe creates uncertainty as to the emerging technical and policy environment.