Huntingdon Community Radio (HCR104fm) Black Lives Matter – Open Letter
10th June 2020
Due to recent developments at Huntingdon Community Radio (Media) Ltd (HCR104fm), the Senior Management Team (SMT) have met frequently to discuss our strategy for the future.
We would like the opportunity to welcome back the volunteers who have left the station.
We have also decided that, as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) is becoming a frequent discussion point on Media platforms, that we will form a BAME committee and invite the Chairman of that committee to become an active member of the SMT. It will be the committee’s purpose to identify and recommend tangible actions that HCR104fm could take in the future. Not just about learning, but also about inclusivity and how we, as a community platform allow the BAME voice to be heard, with balanced views and within Ofcom guidelines.
We will set aside airtime on County Matters for a representative of the BAME committee to air their views on a Sunday morning and will give airtime on our Over To You slot on weekday evenings for BAME issues. OTY is our flagship Community Programme.
The HCR104fm SMT hope this is an acceptable positive way forward for all, and will post this on the front page of our website and email all our current volunteers and to those who have left.
HCR104fm Senior Management Team.
Huntingdon Community Radio (HCR104fm) Black Lives Matter Statement
9th June 2020
The Senior Management Team at HCR104fm would like to explain our decision regarding the discussion of Black Lives Matter on air during shows.
Firstly and most importantly, we wish to emphasise in the strongest possible terms, that the decision, in no way means that HCR104fm as an organisation supports racism. Further, we do support those that wish to protest peacefully and lawfully without violence. Indeed, it is every citizen’s democratic and absolute right to do that in the free society in which we thankfully live. Discussion and reporting news items on the station remain paramount, but we must remain impartial.
The Ofcom rules surrounding due impartiality and balance are however somewhat lengthy and legally complex. They can, of course, be interpreted in many ways and because of this, the Senior Management Team made a decision to ask presenters to refrain from any discussion on the subject of the BLM issue as a temporary measure. Indeed, there have been instances in the past on other matters where we have come perilously close to being reported to Ofcom and we were fortunate that these instances didn’t get that far.
HCR104fm is for the most part, a music and entertainment station. Political or other opinion has never had a place on any of our music shows and that will not change. We are not LBC or Talk Radio – they have their commitments, and we have ours.
It is the Management’s firm view that any local, national (and sometimes, global) political or other discussion may only be within the already excellent platform afforded by our Sunday show County Matters. On that show, due impartiality and balance are rigorously applied – and this will continue to be the case. Indeed, this issue was reported on in last week’s County Matters and it will be further reported on in future County Matters.
We know some of our members have strong views on the decision and those views have been very important to us. At the same time, some volunteers have decided to leave us, before the matter had been fully discussed. Those people have made a decision and are free to make it. They have not been dismissed.
Finally, we would ask all of you to abide by the decision made unanimously and democratically by the Senior Management Team and to understand our reasons for that decision.
With thanks for all the faithful support you continue to give the station.
HCR104fm’s Senior Management Team.