National radio station to tackle ethnic issues

Kusitor: founder, Black Britain

Black Britain the online news website is advancing with plans to launch a nationwide commercial speech-based radio station, to address what is sees as a dearth of views from the country’s ethnic minority communities on the airwaves.

Its founders said the 75 per cent talk station would provide the space for non-white Britons to discuss “issues other than music and race”, which they said were rarely catered for at present.

The as yet unnamed station, will be in the mould of established speech radio channels such as BBC Radio 4 and LBC 97.3FM, according to its founders, who are in talks with venture capitalists in a bid to raise the £5m needed for the launch.

“It’s going to be a station that ensures that individual’s views on issues that affect us all are heard, rather than only speaking to them on issues of race,” said Kaye AdeniranOlule, the online news service’s head of marketing.

He said communities that would also be represented included Chinese and South Asian. “It’s to do with talking about things that affect us as a people really. So for example, when announcements are made in Downing Street or by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, we’d talk about how it affects us in any specific way besides how it affects everybody else.”

Kofi Kusitor, founder of Black Britain, added: “If you look across the country we don’t have a talk-based station.

We can’t always be doing music.

I’m not mentioning names, but any time we’re asked to appear on any mainstream programme worth its salt, it’s almost always saying something about music, entertainment generally or fashion,” Kusitor said.

He added that the station was also interested in new or undiscovered talent as well as experienced journalists to become part of the station.

The station’s soft launch will be on the 1 October, to cover the Black Enterprise Awards – another venture owned by Black Britain – with a view to moving onto a digital radio platform on Sky thereafter.

“There are over 12.5 million or so broadband users. We can get more users online more quickly than we can get on digital [radio]. So the plan is to capture the online audience, then the satellite audience and then go national,” Kusitor told Press Gazette.

The Black Britain website was launched in July 1998 as a news and information services for black and ethnic minority communities.

By Wale Azeez

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