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Siobhan Ozege was part of the Radio Ryerson station that submitted an application for a license at 88.1fm, a frequency previously known as CKLN. Radio Ryerson is a station striving to reflect the diversity of city and campus life while providing a space that is most inclusive of Toronto’s languages, homelands and identities. Roughly a week ago, Radio Ryerson’s application was rejected by CRTC and the frequency 88.1fm was instead given to an indie rock station. Today we have Siobhan live to discuss CRTC’s decision and the importance of campus community radio stations.
CKUT 90.3FM hosted a special broadcast series: Losing Frequencies: the CRTC Turns the Dial on CKLN 88.1FM.
In early September, the Toronto frequency of 88.1FM was awarded to a commercial, rock station, Rock 95. This frequency has a lot of history. It was the former home of CKLN, Ryerson campus and Toronto community station. CKLN was known for giving air space to underrepresented communities, music and culture. It packed the airwaves with top-notch social justice programming and good beats, different from the top 40 played on most other stations. In January of 2011 CKLN lost their license.
There was one dissenting opinion amongst the CRTC Commissioners who made the decision. Louise Poirier's dissent to this decision stating it was "premature, disproportionate and inequitable". Poirier also states that as far as she can tell "the Commission has never revoked a license without first issuing a mandatory order or reducing the license term."
More than 850 people from Toronto and across Canada wrote letters of support for Radio Ryerson to preserve a place for community-access programming on the dial. Last year the NCRA also ran a national campaign called “Reclaim your Radio” in support of Radio Ryerson and reserving frequencies for community radio.
A week ago the CRTC licenced a commercial radio station for the last viable frequency in Toronto and denied the application of Radio Ryerson, making one less space available for community access to public airwaves.
Competing with dozens of prospective commercial radio stations, a group of Ryerson University students, faculty and community supporters proposed a station where the city and its many communities could speak for themselves and to their neighbours, sharing stories and music under-represented in other media.
Aired on: Tuesday's Off the Hour, September 18th, 17-18h.