Community radio is described as an auditory service offering what is referred to as “a third model of radio broadcasting.” In addition to the services offered by commercial and public broadcasting stations, community radio serves geographic communities and/or communities of common interest. These stations broadcast content that is popular and relevant to a local, specific audience that may be overlooked by commercial or mass-media broadcasters. Community radio stations are operated, owned, and influenced by the communities they serve. They are generally structured as a nonprofit organization and provide a mechanism for enabling individuals, groups, and communities to tell their own stories, to share experiences and to become creators and contributors of media.
Conifer (internet community) Radio provides a platform for local organizations, businesses and individuals to participate in operating the station. In the future, this platform will expand to a nonprofit organization supporting these groups to produce and broadcast their own programs. It is community space for people to meet and collaborate over an internet platform very similar to National/Colorado Public Radio which alternatively operates over the AM/FM airwaves. Community Radio is described as “extraordinarily fun and often life-changing.” It typically leads to individual creativity and self-empowerment. These smaller, localized radio stations remain responsive to Community needs and consistently seek input from Community listeners. Participants find it extraordinarily satisfying, not just to make radio in this unique fashion, but to also help transform community life.
Modern community radio stations serve their listeners by offering a variety of content that is not necessarily provided by the larger commercial radio stations. Community radio outlets may carry news and information programming geared toward the local area (particularly immigrant or minority groups who are poorly served by major media outlets). Specialized musical shows are also often a feature of many community radio stations. Community and pirate stations (in areas where they are tolerated) can be valuable assets for a region. Community radio stations typically avoid content found on commercial outlets such as Top 40 music, sports and "drive-time" personalities. A meme used by members of the movement is that community radio should be 10 percent radio and 90 percent community. This means that community radio stations should focus on getting the community talking and not solely on radio (which is a technological process); the social concerns of community radio are stressed over radio per se. There is also a distinction drawn in contrast to mainstream stations, which are viewed as pandering to commercial concerns or the personalities of presenters.
Communities are complex entities, and what constitutes the "community" in community radio is subject to debate which varies by country. "Community" may be replaced by terms such as "alternative", "radical" or "citizen" radio. In sociology, a "community" has been defined as a group of interacting people living in a common location.Community radio has been built around the ideals of access and participation. Stations have been run by locals, typically to serve a local audience. However, the internet's availability and popularity has encouraged many stations to podcast and/or stream and audio and make it available globally.
Recognizing our Founding Supporters
Conifer Radio recognizes its Founding Supporters who stood behind the community radio station concept prior to and during the pandemic of 2020. These community leaders remain supporters of Conifer Radio.