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Students’ Union Amidst License Controversy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at City London chapter.

An accusation about CULSUs media teams broadcasting without licences in the previous academic years surfaced yesterday when Samuel Gould, previous editor of City OnAir, asked SU President Rima Amin for a comment about the matter.

May I have a comment from you about the lack of broadcasting licences for the media teams for six months that meant they were broadcasting illegally despite being told by the SU they had been issued,asked Gould.

Amins statement* (full statement available below) to Her Campus City confirms that the accusation was made against City OnAir, the radio outlet of the student media team at City University London.

The accusation surfaced in Amins Facebook Page on a post where she publicly criticised an article from the The Square Newspaper. The two were engaged in a lengthy discussion about student media which escalated to Gould asking the SU President for comment.

In the same thread, Gould says: I made you aware of the issue in one of our meetings before term began, however this was not acted in until reading week in October [2013]. I did not blame you individually, but as President of this years SU, you are most appropriate to ask for comment by nature of job.

There was no mention of what licenses were lacked by the station, but at least a PPL license  is required by a student radio to legally play recorded music in radio broadcasts.

City OnAir had their very first online broadcast on the 11th of April 2013 with City OnAir News. The radio station resumed for academic year 2013-2014, along with their regular live broadcasts, on the 24th of September 2013.

This is after Samuel Gould took over the role of editor on September 2013 under Amins supervision who took office as Vice President of Activities and Development and, consequently, the Editor-in-Chief of SUs student media outlets on July 2013.

Gould says that necessary licenses were lacking for this period. He stated: Towards the beginning of my editorial of City OnAir for the previous academic year, it was confirmed that the licences had not been arranged for the broadcasts between April 2013 and October 2013.

While Rima says, I halted the start of live broadcast until licenses were purchased,evidences on City OnAir’s website show that the radio station was weekly broadcasting its flagship news show, City OnAir News, and Our Take On The News along with Pre-Show Music Hours before each shows from 24 September until 22 October 2013.

According to Gould, I alerted the union in meetings at the beginning of the term, who then began investigating the matter. After a couple of weeks, the then-Editor-in-Chief visited the station on the 22nd October during a live news show to meet with me privately. During this meeting, we agreed to cut the live feed there and then. City OnAir News aired as podcast the following week.

City OnAir resumed live contents a month later on 12 November 2013 after Gould was advised that necessary licences, valid from 11 November 2013 to 10 October 2014, were arranged.

Soumya Shetty, the media operations officer at the time, refused to comment but confirms that our media outlets had their respective licences for the academic year 2013-2014 secured.Amin also said: I do have evidence of licenses purchased.However, Her Campus City has not been provided any evidence as of yet.

*Read Amins full statement here:

Irreverent journalist, creative head of Ciao Mamma!, polyglot writer and curious filmmaker. Originally from Italy, I made my way to the big city to follow my dream of becoming a reporter. I love art, politics, frogs and halloumi. Check out my website: www.ciaomamma.it Connect on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/martinaandretta/