Local radio in Clare is playing a vital role in disseminating information during the pandemic as more listeners tune in to their programmes, according to local TD Joe Carey.
Deputy Carey praised Clare FM after the station added 4,000 extra listeners every day in the latest Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) survey. Some 60,000 people now tune into the local station every week.
The Clarecastle-based TD praised Clare FM for the crucial role it plays in our community as a report showed an increase in its listenership over the last year.
Deputy Carey said: “The pandemic has been really difficult for our communities and it means that now more than ever we are reliant on informative and trusted information to get us through this challenging period.
“The latest JNLR survey shows local radio stations perform strongly from October 2019 to September this year, reaching more than 40% of the local adult population in many areas daily.
“In my own constituency, Clare increased its weekday listenership by three per cent. Nationally news and current affairs programmes also performed strongly, and it is welcome that over 70% of younger people aged 15-35 listen to the radio every day.
“The Government needs to work with the media to keep people fully informed about the pandemic and messages regarding what is required of Clare people and businesses as part of our Plan with Living with Covid-19.
“This forms part of our combined effort to keep our communities safe and reduce transmission of Covid-19, which will allow us to return to a more normal way of living in the not too distant future.
“Earlier this year, my colleague Richard Bruton allocated €2.5 million in funding to independent stations across the country to assist them. He also announced a waiver of the broadcasting levy, with an additional €1 million saved from this supporting local radio stations.
“Local radio stations can also avail of the Wage Subsidy Scheme to help them keep staff on the books, and can avail of a number of other grants available to businesses to help them get through the pandemic, as well as availing of the various forbearance measures announced by Revenue and the banks.”