We at the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA/ANREC) are deeply disheartened by the recent development surrounding CHUO-FM, in which 7.7% of the undergraduate student body decided to withdraw their support for Canada’s first bilingual licensed independent radio station. This follows a hastily arranged defunding campaign motivated by a member of the University of Ottawa Student Union Board. This incident underscores the fragile state of our current media and news landscape.
Campus radio stations have always been pivotal in delivering news, information, and programming tailored specifically for on-campus and off-campus audiences. Since 1975, CHUO-FM has played a unique role in the community of providing bilingual programming and content for underrepresented communities. These stations stand as symbols of a local voice, championing regional stories and connecting communities in ways mainstream channels often cannot. They have been a beacon of diversity, ensuring that voices from all backgrounds are heard, celebrated, and recognized.
With widespread reduction in access to reliable news, exacerbated by recent actions like Meta’s blocking of not-for-profit stations on social media, the value of local information is under siege from multiple directions.
We stand in solidarity with CHUO and all community and campus radio stations. We urge stakeholders, students, and communities to recognize and support the significant contributions of these institutions. The defunding of even one station is a blow to the rich tapestry of local content that binds our communities.
In these challenging times, let us be reminded of the power and necessity of local news and the role campus stations play in preserving and amplifying it. Let us unite to strengthen, not weaken, the platforms that genuinely give voice to the voiceless.
The NCRA/ANREC Board of Directors & Staff