This guide will explain how to start your own campus and community radio show.

Campus and community (c/c) radio stations are all across Canada, from rural areas to major cities. 82 c/c stations are members of the National Campus and Community Radio Association/L’association Nationale des radios Étudiantes et Communataires.  The organization is a non-profit committed to community based, volunteer driven radio. They help stations get off the ground, work with the CRTC to obtain a radio liscence and continue to broadcast diverse and locally oriented programing. 

Of course, if you don’t have access to a campus or community station you could always start a radio podcast on the rabble podcast network!

This guide will cover

What is c/c Radio?

How to find c/c radio in your area.

Where to get ideas for a radio show.

How to pitch a show.

Finding guests and content.

What is it?

Campus and community radio is NOT coporate radio. They are locally driven, community funded non-profits. Typically they are more radical and can give a voice to people who otherwise would not be heard. C/c radio is as diverse as a community and can have shows in different languages, about local music and showcase poetry. There are usually few employees and many volunteers. 

Finding c/c radio

To see where campus and community stations are near you, check out this listing of NCRA’s membership. Non-member stations can be found here. Ask around at your student union or community centre. You might not know it, but c/c radio could be right under your nose.

Once you’ve found your local station go check it out! See when orientation is offered, volunteer training, technical training and start getting involved. 

C/c radio is for everyone, but if it’s not accessible to you speak to the station manager. Many accomodations can be made for people with disabilities to make a station more accessible. 

Ideas, ideas

Think about what you’re interested in as an activist. A radio show can be an amazing form of activism by itself, but it should also express your passions. Whether you’re interested in disability rights, feminist organizing, queer news, or even political punk bands, make sure you’re show is something you’re excited about.

You can also get great ideas by listening to c/c radio and thinking of what you’d like to hear.

Pitching a show

 Depending on your station the process may be informal or not. CJSF 90.1 fm at Simon Fraser University in British Colombia has a sample radio proposal guide that breaks down the different show genres and what you should consider before a pitch.

Finding content

The best guests have compelling stories to tell and engage the listener. Find fellow activists, community members with interesting lived experiences or quirky experts. Collaborate with other groups on campus and in your community to draw attention to an important issue or push a cause/rally/event. Ask friends and other hosts if they know someone who would be good on your show.

Make sure your music has enough Canadian content as is mandated by the CRTC.

Eventually, you’ll build a reputation and people will be asking to be on your show.