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  Home >> Directory >> Radio Formats >> Public, Government and Community Formats

Public, Government and Community radio formats


Public
Public radio became possible in the United States in 1967 through the creation and partial funding by the federal government of National Public Radio (NPR). Public radio also depends on funding through local contributions from listeners. Today, several other public radio organizations exist. Many at a local level or in partnership with NPR. Programming varies on public radio but usually contain news and information as well as a musical format, such as classical or jazz music. It is also common for public radio to be affiliated with a college or university.

Community
Community radio is similar public radio except community radio is partially funded through local government and listener contributions, and depends on volunteers to help run the station. Community radio is popular throughout the world, and for many smaller, rural towns (20,000 people or less) serve as the only radio broadcaster. It is also common for community stations to broadcast in a native language.

Tourist
Tourist radio stations provide local tourist information and information relevant for travel in that region. It is common for these stations to be multi-lingual and contain pre-recorded material broadcasting over and over, changing periodically. It is also common for these stations to be low powered AM or FM stations.

Local government
In the United States, many local city governments broadcast very low powered AM or FM stations which provide local information such as town events or airport information. Information is usually pre-recorded material.

State owned
In many countries, the federal government operates a radio network, usually with some type of news, information and music format. Sometimes there may be several channels that specialize in a format. Some may also be local provincial or metropolitan run stations. In some instances, the state operate radio station is the only legal broadcaster in that nation.

TIS
The acronym stands for 'Traffic Information Systems'. These stations provide real time traffic updates in metropolitan areas. These stations are usually low powered AM or FM stations broadcasting from several transmitters throughout metropolitan areas.

Time
Time stations are mostly found on shortwave, and are almost always owned and operated by national government agencies. These stations mainly broadcast such information as time-of-day, usually by regular voice announcements and/or digital time code, and standard time intervals, usually by transmitting brief audio tones or ticks at regular intervals, such as once per second. Time of day is usually given in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). All time-related aspects of these stations, from the time-of-day information to the actual frequencies they transmit on, are obtained from atomic clocks.

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