I’ve been doing some form of radio all my adult life. This has included almost 25 years teaching radio students at FE & HE level; some of whom have gone on to do far more exciting things with their skills than I have! A lot of this has been due to the presence of our Community Radio station, Spark. Now in it’s 10th year, Spark gives our students a platform to develop their skills in making programmes and running all the backstage tasks that a radio station needs, from designing there website to pick the music and managing the programme schedule.
For me, radio is fantastically creative medium and what I’ve found is that once students engage with it they often prefer the opportunities it gives them to be creative in a really flexible way that often allows them to work more independently.
Although radio has not had a great time over the past few years; with less (young) people listening and the industry slowly consolidating and therefore shrinking, there’s still lots to love. Radio is still a highly trusted medium and despite everything it remains in remarkably good health. My hope is that those of us who teach it can continue to persuade those who decide our curriculums that despite the glitz and the glamour offered by film, or the high-tech wizardry or VR, radio should still have a place in University courses. Not only that, I’d even go as far as to suggest that in order for the industry to thrive it needs to be taught at a higher level to fuel the industry and help keep the UK audio industry moving forwards.
Although a lot of my published work is on Podcasting, most of what I teach is pure radio and whilst a lot of skills are totally portable, there’s a lot that I do that’s still traditionally framed around making engaging content for live radio stations. I’ll slowly add more content here over time.