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Australia - Radio

The main radio stations in Australia all broadcast in English and due to the size of the country, there are dozens of independent regional radio stations in addition to the national and regional stations that are run by the Australian Broadcasting Company.

ABC Radio National covers the country and offers a mix of music, news and other information. ABC Local Radio will focus on local news and issues. In addition to this ABC have a music station known as Dig Music, which offers a wide range of music for all tastes and the triple J station which also focuses on music. Classical music fans can listen to ABC Classic FM and there is ABC Jazz for jazz fans. The NewsRadio station is a continuous news and current affairs station and if you prefer something a little more international then ABC Radio Australia connects Australian citizens with other countries around the Pacific region. Finally, ABC Country is for country music fans. Some services are provided in other languages for the different countries in the Pacific region such as French, Chinese and Vietnamese.

Independent radio stations operate in all states and these range from those that specialise in one type of music to those which aim to keep all listeners happy. The vast majority of radio stations in Australia also stream online. It does not usually cost anything to listen but some stations may charge a small subscription fee for this. ABC radio stations do not charge for this service. Some radio programmes can be downloaded as podcasts and listened to on MP3 players or stored on computers to be listened to at a later date.

Australia has a number of radio stations for the Aboriginal people. Australia has a scheme known as the Broadcasting for Remote Aboriginal Communities Scheme (BRACS) which was designed to give the aboriginal peoples control over their own community media. Examples of this include the National Indigenous Radio Service which is based in Brisbane and which provides material to various indigenous broadcasters who do not have the resources to produce many radio programmes. The radio station 2CUZ is based in Bourke in New South Wales and has a variety of current affairs programmes for indigenous peoples. CAAMA Radio is based in Alice Springs and was the first aboriginal radio station in that particular region. In the Darwin area, Radio Larrakia works hard to keep aboriginal languages and culture alive and offers a range of sports, news and music programmes.

The Top End Aboriginal Bush Broadcasting Association (TEABBA) is another community of aboriginal broadcasters with the main office located in Darwin. The work they do is very similar to that of the Warlpiri Media Association which dates back to the 1980s and produces TV broadcasts as well as radio programmes, mainly in the local Warlpiri language but there are a number of broadcasts in English as well. The programmes broadcast highlight local issues, news and events as well as music programmes.

Most radio broadcasts are currently in an analogue format but Digital Radio is rapidly becoming popular. In order to receive digital radio broadcasts you need to have a digital radio receiver and the quality of the digital broadcasts is considered to be much better than analogue formats. The standard format for digital radio in Australia is DAB+, so if you purchase a receiver you need to ensure that it will receive this format.

The radio stations that are broadcasting in digital formats will give details on their website, although many of the stations which broadcast in the cities do broadcast in digital. The digital services that are available in the cities will be gradually rolled out to other areas across the country over the next few years after a series of reviews. Digital radios may need to be rescanned in order to pick up new stations as they become available.

Digital radio services in Australia do not require any type of subscription and at the present time there are no planned switch offs for analogue radio services in Australia, so nobody will have to have digital radio if they do not want it. Some radio is broadcast on a satellite signal, which is ideal for those in remote areas who have trouble picking up a standard signal.

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