Back from the dead - how C31 was saved

Recently, Melbourne’s community television station Channel 31 was in a fight for its life. As a board member, it was a time of intensive activity and lobbying as we sought to extend the station’s free to air licence. Looking back now – after a successful extension agreed to by Minister Paul Fletcher – there were three main elements to success in our approach I want to share.

  1. Many pronged approach: all board members and staff leveraged their networks in the media and political spheres to encourage buy-in and support from a wide range of stakeholders, including across the political spectrum and all levels of government. Unexpectedly, Victorian cross-benchers were instrumental in working with their federal counterparts to push for success.
  2. It’s not over until it’s over: despite pushing for a resolution since last year, the final decision wasn’t announced by the Minister until the evening before switch-off.
  3. People power and passion: the input of so many people and their support – from signing petitions to social media comments bombarding the Minister – was essential to making sure the issue was highlighted and front of mind. So many people have a connection to C31 and appreciation of what it delivers. For example, C31 has been broadcasting religious services during the COVID19 lockdown to ensure communities across Melbourne can continue to worship. One of the delightful side-effects of the flurry of publicity and support has been an increase in advertising dollars, increased engagement and a more secure future.

Interested in knowing more about C31? Check us out on your television or online here.