Byron’s only community radio station, Bay FM, will need a bigger trophy cabinet soon – the regional station has picked up another two national awards and chances are you helped.
The Byron Shire Echo partnered with Bay FM and community renewable energy advocacy group COREM to host Ballina Meet the Candidates in the lead-up to this year’s state election.
The live Q&A forum was held in the Byron Community Theatre and broadcast live on air and online.
Ballina electorate voters were invited to submit questions to Ballina candidates prior to the event.
Topics were varied but represented typical concerns of people living in the region, such as development, the environment, tourism and public transport.
Bay FM’s Community Newsroom played a key role in organising the event along with several other volunteers from the station and former ABC host Angela Catterns, who MCd on the night.
The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia awarded the station with Excellence in Outside Broadcasting for the event.Bay FM’s Mia Armitage says the accolade is a reflection of the Byron community spirit.
‘Bay FM is determined to keep its relationship with the local community loud and strong,’ she said, ‘Events like this, our presence at major festivals in the Shire including the upcoming Mullum Music Fest and our commitment to regional news, media and arts are important expressions of that relationship.’
Ms Armitage said it was an exciting time to be part of Bay FM as the media industry experienced dynamic changes and people recognised a need to re-engage with their communities.
The station promotes regional and independent media more broadly and Ms Armitage’s work regularly appears in The Echo.
Armitage recently received the CBAA award on behalf of Bay FM at a gala event in Melbourne, along with Excellence in Journalism for the second year in a row, for her work reporting on the controversial clothing-optional beach in Tyagarah.