Near Media Co-op December Newsletter Update
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Fáilte romhaibh chuig nuachtlitir na Nollag! 

Welcome to the December newsletter for Near Media Co-op

We have lots to update you on since our last newsletter. 

Fiche blian ag fás
But first, a short history lesson for those of you who mightn’t know the background to Near, which is 20 years a-growin’ and still going strong.
The origins of Near FM go back to when a local community activist, Jack Byrne, decided that his local area of Coolock needed its own radio service. From this idea, Concord Community Broadcasting Co-Operative Society (Dublin) Ltd was born.

Registered on 19 March 1983, the idea was that Concord (later renamed North Dublin Community Radio) would be a co-operative of local people who could run their own radio station, on their own terms. Despite Jack’s enthusiasm, he was to come up against many brick walls, and the legalisation of community radio soon became a longer battle. Undeterred, Jack set about gathering a number of local activists who would comprise the Board of Management of the newly registered Co-Op.

It was this group that would campaign for legal community radio, build shareholding in the Co-Op and make representations to government. Following years of hard work in this area, the station received one of the 11 licences issued in 1995 to community and community of interest groups across the country, and on 26 August 1995, North East Access Radio, Near FM 101.5, went on air.

Since then Near FM (now at 90.3FM) has developed into a 24-hour community radio service. There have been many developments in the past 20 years that now see Near FM at the forefront of community media in Ireland and across Europe. We were the first to experiment with a Wireless Local Area Network and the first to use podcasting.

Many of the original pioneers of Near are still involved in day-to-day management. Near FM would not have developed and survived without the continued commitment and enthusiasm of each and every volunteer and member of staff. Those cold dark nights in community centres and school halls, trying to drum up support for community radio, were not in vain, although at the time, it was hard to be positive. 20 years on, Near FM is a vibrant organisation, never sitting still for too long and always looking to future developments.

Happy 20th birthday Near FM.

Breithlá Shona, Radio Dublino

In other birthday news, Radio Dublino is marking its 100th episode this week. An Italian-language show, it broadcasts every Wednesday from 9.30-10.30pm. The mission of the program is promote art, culture and the Italian language in Ireland, while also helping encourage the integration of the Italian community now resident in Ireland.
Maurizio Pittau, Radio Dublino’s Funder and Producer, was recently awarded Language Ambassador of the Year 2015 for this show. The award recognises outstanding work and initiatives by individuals in the promotion of language learning. It is part of the European Language Label, which is a European Commission initiative. The purpose of this award is to recognise the achievements of those individuals involved in the teaching and promotion of languages in any sector.
A video clips recorded in Near FM studios during the Radio Dublino programme was shown at the European Language Label awards ceremony on 25 September last at Farmleigh in Phoenix Park, Dublin. You can view it here.
Comhghairdeas leis an bhfoireann go léir a oibríonn ar an seó – congratulations to all the team that work on the show.
If you would like to join Radio Dublino’s birthday celebrations, you will have to hurry and RSVP via this link

Future Radio Collaboration

In other good news, Near FM are delighted to announce a new collaboration with Future Radio in Norwich, UK. Since November, Near FM have begun a programme exchange with Future Radio by broadcasting the alternative music programme, UnHeard Of, every Friday at 6pm. Going in the opposite direction, Future Radio are broadcasting Near FM’s Lost Radio Outpost every second Thursday at 8pm. For more on Future Radio, visit

UnHeard Of – Fridays at 6pm on Near FM

Unheard of was first broadcast on Future Radio in 2011. The show features a variety of music played on Future Radio and other community stations, as well as giving air to new music.

Over the last 4 years, the show has shown that playing 1960’s Trojan Ska recordings of Baba Brooks & His Band alongside the instrumental post rock of artists like God is An Astronaut, with the odd Nina Simone album track or live version of a punk classic thrown in for good measure, can make for a lively and interesting hour of listening.

Other new shows on Near FM

The Appetite Show
Fortnightly, Saturdays from 11.30-12.30: Presented by Latso Zimanyi, The Appetite Show brings food back to the community, focusing on healthier food options for people of North Dublin and surrounding areas, as well as introducing farmers markets from the area. Listeners also experience food cultures from different regions of the country and the world. Feel passionate about good food? You know your local area and the artisan food lovers and producers? Or just want to help out? Get in touch with Latso at See also

Fortnightly, Saturdays from 6.30 – 8.30pm, with Joseph Keegan. This programme features Soul, Soulful House, Jazz, Acid Jazz and Funk.

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves
Fortnightly, Thursdays, from 4.00-5.00pm: Music and talk with female artists, which is presented by Susan Tomelty, and embraces all genres of music, locally and beyond.

Team Talk
Weekly, Fridays, from 10.30 – 11.00am: This talk show with Robbie Corr looks at marginal sports, which are not as widely publicised.

The Crooked Button Radio Show
Fornightly, Sundays, from 8.30-9.30pm: A music programme with Ciarán MacAoidh, which alternates with Soundtrack. The show covers underground music and arts, and involves experimental, DIY, improv, avant garde, sound art and outsider music. It also focuses on zines, performance art and experimental film, and underground art which would not usually get airtime.

Shows you might have missed…but can catch on podcast!

Rising Heat Trilogy

To coincide with the Paris Climate Summit, Near FM have produced a three-part radio drama series dealing with the topic of climate change, to introduce listeners to the topic in an entertaining and informative manner.

Kicking off on 30 November, the first play examined how successive international climate conferences fall prey to procrastination and indecision on these important environmental issues.

 The second play, which aired on 7 December, highlighted for Dubliners how we may fare with a changing climate and increased severe flooding, as some may think it will all happen somewhere else.
 The third play, due to air on 14 December, shows a different aspect of global warming with the advance of deserts into previously fertile land, and increasing food insecurity for everybody.
If you are an environmental journalist and would like to interview the series author, Jack Byrne, please email Any comments on the series are also most welcome as we attempt to open up a discussion among our listeners on the realities of climate change.

The series is available to stream online Each episode will be available as a podcast immediately after broadcast at
Near FM raising awareness on Domestic Violence
The 25th November was International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women and marked the start date for the 16 days of action campaign. As part of Near FM’s contribution to the campaign, we broadcast a Panel Discussion that afternoon, with representatives from Aoibhneas Refuge, Women’s Aid, Safe Ireland, People before Profit and Move (Men Overcoming Violence) called ‘Stop Violence against Women’. It is available as a podcast here.
Exploring with Tom Crean
Exploring with Tom Crean was an eight-part radio series which recently aired, using the novel, Ice Man, by Michael Smith to educate children on the natural environment, the human environment and history.  
The programmes were recorded inside the classrooms of St David’s BNS in Artane. The podcasts and accompanying web page of the series further function as an educational aid for listeners. All themes compliment the Social, Environmental and Scientific Education section of the Department of Education’s Primary School Curriculum. To access educational information, series podcasts and extras, see here

BAI-funded projects

Live Women’s Football Coverage
On Saturday 5 Dec, Near FM presented live coverage of the Women’s National League encounter between Shelbourne Ladies and UCD Waves from Morton stadium in Santry.

Dave Hooper brought you live commentary as well as interviews with players, managers and fans. This live football broadcast was the final part in Near FM’s Northside Football series, supported by the BAI Sound and Vision fund.

EU projects

Erasmus + Update on Project EurEval
The Erasmus+ funded project EurEval is a collaboration with nine partners from all over Europe. Part of this project involves a reference book to facilitate the ‘Jobs skills Portfolio’ booklet that had been designed in a previous project. The stations also meet to exchange best practice in training and arrange for meetings to learn from other community radio stations. In November, Near FM facilitated a seminar and training course in France with a focus on training with volunteers with disabilities. If you like further information, please contact
SMART project
The SMART project, which focused on adapting radio training to the needs of vision impaired/blind learners, trainees with learning difficulties and migrant women, came to an end this month. The project involved partners in Hungary (Civil Radio), Austria (Commit), Switzerland (klipp+Klang), Basque Country (Antxeta Irratia) and Ireland (Near FM), and it was coordinated by sister community radio in Germany Radio Corax. This was a very enjoyable and fruitful partnership that allowed our organisation to reinforce our relationship and partnership with the Central Remedial Clinic and the National Council for the Blind of Ireland.

The final product of the partnership (very near to completion, but lacking the final touches) can be seen here. The SMART website is an online tool for community radio trainers which allows them to design their training according to the needs of the learners, resources and learning outcomes. This project was financed by the German Lifelong Learning agency through the Leonardo Transfer of Innovation funding. The partners are planning for a follow-up project next autumn.
UMAC project
Understanding Media for Active Citizenship (UMAC) is an Erasmus + project funded by the Irish national agency Leargas and coordinated by Near FM. UMAC aims to create an on-line toolbox that would allow radio trainers to introduce elements of media literacy in their workshops. Partners in the project are Radio Wueste Welle (Germany), Radio Kultura (Basque Country), Radio Expert (Czech Republic), Radio Robin Hood (Finland) and Tilos Radio (Hungary). The next meeting will take place in Budapest at the end of January, when we will start populating the online toolbox with the first activities. You can visit the project website here.
InclusionDes is a project coordinated by our Basque friends in Radio Kultura, and which involves Civil Radio (Hungary), Radio Enlace (Madrid) and Wueste Welle (Germany). This project wants to look at best practice examples when it comes to facilitate the inclusion of migrant languages in the production of radio content. The first meeting took place in Madrid at the end of November.


In November, Near Media Co-op hosted the conference Radio and TV as Learning Resources where participants and speakers looked at ways to make educational programming; and at how educators can make use of radio and television programming as learning resources.
The event was opened by Dr Pauric Travers, Chairperson of the Broadcasting Authority Ireland (BAI) and featured a variety of speakers, as well as a great mix of participants. It made of a day of engaging and important discussions on this subject matter.

Speakers included: Gail Henry, RTÉ Lyric FM; Peter Hussey, Associate lecturer at NUIM and Director of Crooked House; Debbie Hutchinson, Near FM volunteer; Mary-Elaine Tynan, secondary teacher, Trinity educationalist and educational consultant with RTÉ Radio 1 Documentary on One; Peter Kelly, Near TV; Tony Daly, 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World; Rob Carr, DCTV and Cultivate; Alicia McGivern, Head of Education, Irish Film Institute, IfI; David Cotter, NCAD and the Future Creators project and the Digital Pathways project, Leticia Agudo, Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education (CDCFE) & University of Wolverhampton. You can listen to some of the recordings here.

News from the Archives

The Near Archive project is now approaching the half-way stage. Volunteers and staff will have noticed two computer work stations popping up in studio 2 over the last few months. These workstations are dedicated to the archive project and this is where the archive team edit and catalogue segments for the digital archive. Near FM are being advised by the Digital Repository of Ireland on our archive workflows and to date this has been a very fruitful relationship with eight staff and volunteers being trained in audio archiving. In 2016, the project will begin to roll out the archive in some of the local libraries on the Northside of Dublin – this is in partnership with Dublin City Library and Archive. If anyone is interested in the project or would like to suggest a future archive project for Near FM material, please contact


Community Foundation of Ireland / Craol training
Nearfm is currently delivering a FETAC Level 3 course to a group of 55+ citizens with a view to improve their advocacy mechanism and radio production skills. The course is being funded by the Community Foundation of Ireland through Craol. Our participants have now entered the production phase, so keep an ear to the radio, as their two programmes (on health and equality) will be broadcast in the next few weeks.

Volunteer Profile
Lidija Radacic

Q What is your favorite movie? 
A. My favorite movie is The Fight Club, I remember my friend dragged me to see it to cinema years ago, I wasn't really in the mood for what I thought will be a boxer movie  and had no clue what it was about, and coming out of cinema with completely changed view of life. I can't recall anything else I have ever seen that would have had such a profound effect on me. It made me think about life of experiences rather than things. And it made me never to go to Starbucks ever again.     

Q. What is the most exciting thing you have ever done?
A. There are two things I did this year that definitely belong to the "most exciting category" - first one was learning how to dive and diving along the army battle ship wreck in Bali and getting face to face with a giant turtle. Second one was finally ticking skydive off my bucket list - it was both the scariest and the most exciting thing I have ever done at the same time. I was lucky to be able to jump from 13000 feet so there was a bit of free-fall during which, after the absolute horror of a jump, I actually realised I was flying. That moment was the best.  
Q. Why did you first get involved with Near FM? 
A. What attracted me to Near FM was the community aspect of it - this was so much more than just a radio station and was definitely more than any mainstream broadcast. During the initial training I met some lovely people who were very welcoming and happy to share their stories. I was hooked from that moment on. I then got trained in TV production as well, done a bit of work with TV crew on the Near FM sessions and 100 people 1 question project, all before I submitted a proposal for my own radio show. It was important to me to be part of a community project.
Q. You can get on a plane right now and fly anywhere. Where do you go?
A. Galapagos. After hearing from people who visited and reading about wildlife, especially marine life diversity, Galapagos is on top of my list. I just really want to go snorkeling with turtles and dive with whales! 
Q. Do you volunteer with any other organizations?   
A. Not at the moment, but I was a volunteer for Oxfam for several years. I worked a few hours every week in the Oxfam Store on Francis Street, pricing books or working on the register. This is 2nd hand shop so it’s full of quirky things, I absolutely loved it! I've also organised several concerts there as fundraiser for the charity. I think I will go back there again volunteering in the New Year, I miss it. 
Lidija presents Balkan Beatz every Wednesday 4.30pm – 5.30pm

Go raibh maith agaibh…

  • After 7 years serving on the Community Media Forum Europe, the last 2 years and a half as President, Ciaran Murray stepped down at the recent AGM in Madrid. Ciaran's contribution at this international forum was very valuable, particularly from a networking and funding perspective. The committee of management want to thank Ciaran for his valuable work on the Committee.
  • Sincerest thanks also to Paul Sherlock and Flavia Mosca. Paul has finished his two years on Community Employment. Flavia has finished her time with us, at least for this year, as we hope to see her back in 2016 for the Easter Rising Commemoration. The best of luck guys, and thanks for your time and dedication to Near FM.
  • With the help of boys and girls/ men and women from the community Near FM recorded a radio campaign to raise awareness on domestic violence. The ‘16 Days of Action Campaign’ broadcast each day at noon, 3pm, 6pm and 9pm on Near FM, starting on November 25th, finishing on December 10th. Thank you for taking part! For more info on the 16 Days of Action Campaign go to

On Halloween one of Near FM’s longest running programs Livewire broadcast its final episode. Livewire was presented by Sean “Metal” McGuire and featured hard rock and heavy metal music. Starting in 2000 the show ran for almost 16 years. Near FM would like to thank Sean and all those involved with Livewire for their dedication over the last 15+ years.

Upcoming workshop:
Scriptwriting for Radio Drama workshop

Near FM are holding a Scriptwriting for Radio Drama workshop this Saturday the 12th December from 11am to 2pm in the Northside Civic Centre.

The workshop will be curated by Gavin Byrne and we have some great local writers lined up to speak and share their experiences of writing for radio drama.

The workshop is free and open to all but registration is essential. So if you would like to attend please email or call 01-86711920.

To get a taste of some of the great drama written by local writers and broadcast on Near FM check out our podcast
And last but not least
Nollaig Shona daoibh go léir – we hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.
Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh chomh maith– happy new year to you also!
Copyright © 2015 Near Media Co-op - Registered in Ireland RFS NO: 4128R, All rights reserved.

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