Jump FM is the community radio station in Powell River. It has recently come under great management and is improving fast in quality and reach. This article is part boosterism, part potential, and part proposal.
I’ll be frank, CJMP use to be a bit of a joke in Powell River. They ran on a back-up transmitter that you had to stand beside to listen to, and the canned music was enough to make even the staunchest Top 40 supporter cringe. I won’t fault the staff, they were strictly volunteer and too few to count. A station can only do so much with a couple dedicated members and severe funding shortages. The station turned to advertising for money and had listeners tuning to commercial stations across the water instead.
But if their website has anything to declare - it’s certainly that things have turned around in a major way for the station. Local DJ’s are coming in, community fundraising is on the drive, live streaming and clear mission statements are available online, and the tone is distinctly up-beat to match the station’s up-swing.
I’m not sure to what degree I’ll get involved with the station - it’s better to do a few things well then try and do everything half-assed after all - but it’s certainly reached a point where I’d be proud to contribute. So on that note, I may look to fill in a DJ slot and regularly broadcast to the town to extend my bony grip over you all.
Community Radio is a unique asset. The very nature of its structure dictates that - to be successful - it has to be involved with and speak to the community it’s part of in a very concrete way. Trent Radio here in Peterborough is a student-founded community station and it likely has the highest listener-ship next to the CBC. When their transmitter was damaged this past winter, they were able to acquire the $10,000 in short order to get back on the air. People cared that much. Read more »
by Nola Poirier
Did you know that there are more than 13 languages spoken in Powell River? Do you know why Powell Riverites call rope swings zungas? Have you heard the story of what inspired the people of Powell River to start the first Credit Union in BC? Did you know that the neighbourhood of Stillwater used to have a bigger population than Powell River? Or that our region is renowned for sightings of Sasquatches? Or that we took certain steps that led to designation of Powell River as an official Transition Town?
If Powell River could talk, what would it say?
Find out: by tuning your radio to the all-new CJMP, and witnessing Powell River’s community radio revival.
Community radio is an incredibly beneficial resource for building and sustaining communities like the geographic community of people on the Upper Sunshine Coast and its overlapping cultural communities and communities of interest.
Why? First, community radio is accountable to its community–the listeners and members. The station is operated, owned, and driven by the community, not by advertising dollars. Second, community radio gives voice to ideas and individuals that otherwise don’t often get heard, making it a valuable tool for celebrating diversity and learning about difference. Finally, community radio creates opportunities for us to hear our neighbours, friends, and local strangers share ideas, perspectives, stories, knowledge, music and news. We plan to fill airwaves in our bandwidth with the voices of Powell River and voices Powell River wants to hear. Read more »
CJMP, Powell River Community Radio, is making a comeback! If you’ve ever been interested in community radio, now is the time to get involved. We need programmers, technicians, writers, artists, and creative imaginative people of all kinds.
In October, the non-profit society that held the broadcast license (the Powell River Community Radio Society, or PRCRS) held an Annual General Meeting to announce the intention to fold the society and send the license back to the Canadian government. This decision was reached after months of struggling to find funding for the fledgling station, which was still on the air, but without live programming. There were, however, a few people who felt that a community radio license was too precious a community asset to be given away, and so a new board of directors decided to step in and see what they could do.The elections took place on October 15, and since then there has been an explosion of energy in all directions. We have formed five teams to get going on fundraising, including (1) advertising and sponsorships; (2) membership, (3) promotions, and outreach; policies; (4) programming; and (5) technical matters. We’ve had a couple of raucous general meetings and have started to work out a mission statement and vision for community radio in the region. We’ve got a website at http://cjmp.ca. We have a great logo designed by local artist Meghan Hildebrand. We’re sorting out the gear in the studio and working on getting live programming back on air by mid-December. And so much more, we’d need a whole issue of Immanence to tell you about it all!
by Corey Matsumoto and Eva van Loon
The recent uncertainty surrounding the future of CJMP 90.1 (JUMP FM) raises questions: Why is a free and open public forum for ideas, issues, and critical viewpoint so greatly under-utilised? Can JUMP FM be turned around to become a flourishing broadcast centre?
It occurs to us at Immanence that there are parallels between independent community radio and independent community print media What Bruce Girard, communications strategist and founder of comuica.org, said about community radio stations goes as well for us: they are community-based, independent, not for profit, pro-community, and participatory.
Could a symbiotic relationship between community and independent media be the key to their success and longevity? Community media face the challenge of survival in a well developed, billion-dollar advertising industry. Community media can also benefit from advertising, but ads that try to persuade people to act in ways contrary to the principles of community media compromise its role as an independent community voice. That can limit the scope of advertising. For community radio, the CRTC also dictates a maximum quantity of six minutes’ commercial advertising per hour, as well as requiring ownership by a non-profit organisation.
Structuring community radio in this way protects the station from editorial persuasion by advertisers as well as preserving the medium’s right to decide what it will air, even if material contradicts the interests of advertisers. The downside of this protection is the need that immediately arises—to find other revenue sources. Like community radio, Immanence, devoted to being a “safe room” for anyone to discuss and explore the re-invention of Powell River, enjoys a limited scope of ads—local businesses and organisations. Read more »
by Corey Matsumoto
Community Radio was my prefered choice of radio listening throughout my youth. I was lucky enough to have grown up in a city with a thriving community-radio station, Calgary, providing me with a continuous stream of new music and stimulating spoken-word programming.
Upon moving to what I thought of as the semi-remote community of Powell River in 2004, I was surprised and excited to discover CJMP 90.1FM (JUMP Radio)—a community-radio station broadcasting from the heart of the old downtown core. The fact that only 18 community-radio stations are listed on the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission website, in a province with over 150 towns and municipalities, makes JUMP Radio a bona fide rare gem indeed.
To my dismay, I realised shortly that this little gem of a radio station was massively under-utilised. According to a report released in October, 2007, by the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), the station is not alone in its struggle for community recognition. One of the common difficulties faced by community-radio stations is a population unable to recognise fully the wide-ranging benefits of community-radio development.
So what does community radio mean to a community?
Community radio not only provides an outlet for music lovers with a broadcasting bug, it also empowers members of a community to have their own radio shows to promote clubs and organizations, share ideas and information, or just speak their minds. Community radio also provides a means of improving one’s self-confidence through broadcasting, and provides a valuable training ground for those interested in broadcasting as a career. Read more »
by Corey Matsumoto
As is the case with many underground publications, Immanence is a rapidly evolving project full of challenges and fueled by many contributions of knowledge, opinions – and of course –advertising dollars.
The largest challenge has been printing. We are intent on having a magazine that is entirely locally produced and printed. This is quite the task in a community where the local printing “industry” consists of a handful of color copiers and an assortment of obsolete museum–quality machinery as old as the mill itself.
There is an unfortunate catch–22 scenario where money is not invested in local printing because the local printers don’t get enough business to afford the gear needed to print the large local jobs. We refuse to let Immanence become a part of the imbalance and hope to bring back the days of locally produced and printed publications (remember Powell River News?). We are finding ways to support 2 or 3 local printers by giving each a bite–sized portion of our monthly print run. It’s working out so far.
The higher cost of printing locally means a reduced number of pages and a shorter print run per advertiser than we’d like. Other local publications produce huge volumes of copies for a much cheaper price. It is my belief, however, that the market is being flooded with stacks and stacks of copies that end up sitting around and dumped in recycle bins by the handful. Ever looked through the paper bin at the recycling depot? This is money spent out of town and wasted every month for the sake of “high distribution”. The worst example is a tourism magazine that touted impressive distribution figures. We were given a box of 500 to distribute at our business –we only needed about 60 to display for the summer, and another 40 lasted the rest of the year. If every business that advertised got a box of 500 magazines, I could imagine how easy it would be to fulfill their “high distribution” figures. Read more »