Sound Desk

Blogmas 23: We need to reassess ideals of success in the radio industry

Upon seeing an announcement on my Facebook about someone’s radio success, I decided that ideals of success in the radio industry would be my topic for today’s blog. This is, of course, my own opinion, but I think it’s an important issue – not only in the radio industry but in the world of work as a whole.

As you are probably aware, I am part of Insanity Radio 103.2FM, a student and community radio station. In my eyes we are a fantastic station, but in terms of awards and high profile jobs we often can be seen as insignificant. The last time we won a presenting award at the Student Radio Awards was in 2006 where we received a Silver Award for Best Male Presenter because of the talents of Phil Noyce. We did gain Highly Commended for Most Improved Station and Best Outreach Project at the I Love Student Radio Awards but the rest of the award success has been strictly off air.

Please do not misunderstand me, nominations and success in Best Technical Achievement and Marketing and Promotions categories are wonderful, but there is a sense that to be the best in radio, you must be a presenter and visibly successful. I disagree. There are hundreds of people wanting to be radio presenters, but off-air roles feature less prominently. Working off-air IS less prominent, but it shouldn’t be any less amazing to other people.

Yet, there is a sense that you are more of a success in radio if you are an on-air presenter. Today there was a post made on a group for student radio stations congratulating one girl for getting the opportunity to present on Radio X. Yet I have a friend who landed a job in travel news almost straight out of university and also works with the BBC and Free Radio but hasn’t been recognised for any of this in the same way. Of course, she also wouldn’t want that and I hope she knows how proud we are of her without needed to have a Facebook post affirming it.

However, I think there is a bias towards pushing people towards the mindset that to be a success in radio you need to be an on-air presenter. Even if you work in the same building and get paid more in an off-air role, you probably won’t be seen as a success in the same way. Perhaps it’s because there are so many people wanting to present that the few successes are worth celebrating, but there remains demand for production roles too.

Overall, I think that ANYONE gaining a job in the radio industry deserves a massive round of applause and recognition. It’s a tough industry, especially within the large companies, and no-one should feel disheartened for not being the next big presenter – after all it is the team behind the visible personality are the ones that really make radio work!

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Blogmas 17: Emails

Today I have been at work and there’s been a lot of waiting, which means a lot of time to work on other things – namely sorting out ALL of my emails in my general inbox. This is something I do pretty much every time I come to work, and then allow the emails to build up and then have to repeat the process.

However, today was different. I began my day with over a thousand unread emails. It’s coming up to 1pm and I have none. Granted, I have 166 emails in my action folder that need to be dealt with eventually, but nothing new clogging up my actual inbox. I can’t actually recall the last time I had this few emails.

Looking back over my inbox has been pretty interesting too. I have found emails from people I forgot I knew and had some nostalgic moments too. It’s nice to be able to look back on memories in email form but it’s also good to be able to let go of some of the useless nonsense that I archived in my inbox.

So, my tip of the day: have a clear out! You may not be able to physically tidy things, but sorting out your virtual space is also highly valuable and rewarding.

Blogmas 12: Today

It’s day 12 of Blogmas and I thought I’d try a more personal style. I started my work experience at Create and had a wonderful first day doing fun things that actually contribute to projects they are involved in (and two people offered to make tea for me! Usually that’s the intern’s job). One of the best things about it is that they remembered me from last time and my fellow intern, Eleanor, who I hope is doing well whatever she is doing.

However, yesterday I was incredibly anxious, and will probably be the same tomorrow. The good thing is that I packed my sandwiches yesterday so I have food to pick up, plus a drink from Pret A Manger that I didn’t finish AND plenty of croissants to pick up for breakfasts all this week. If nothing else, I’ve tried to be organised!

Tomorrow is another challenge that I know I’ll overcome. I have podcasts to keep me entertained, hopefully a plan to meet a friend after work, and fingers crossed that I don’t get back too late to walk home safely (because taxis are not what I want to spend my money on). There’s a partially edited podcast ready to upload and, although my kitchen has been gutted, I do at least have some food and a microwave to make basic meals.

I don’t really think I’ve said very much in 250 or so words, but it’s a sort of self-expression. It’s okay to be anxious and an adult. You can get through it and be a ‘normal’ person on the outside even though you’re internally screaming (or something like that, I don’t think in screaming terms). Ultimately, look after yourself but don’t be afraid to take the challenges that come.

Now, it’s time for me to go and wash up my baked bean covered crockery and utensils, have a shower, and get my eight hours of sleep ready for ‘work’ tomorrow.

 

Head of Training, Insanity Radio 103.2FM

Almost three months ago, Insanity Radio held its annual elections, at which the new board for 2016/17 was decided. After much deliberation I ran for the position of Head of Training and was duly elected.

My main responsibilities are training and organising pre-recorded and holiday content, which includes the summer schedule that begins tomorrow! My handover period has therefore been pretty hectic, with multiple spreadsheets and emails designed to organise the lives of the many presenters and a few concerned conversations about stress levels. However, being busy is what I like and I am so excited to see what is in store for the next year with a fantastic board.

It’s weird to think that a conversation with the lovely Charlotte Mason, now Station Manager, who I barely knew at the time, and Ceri-Ann (my predecessor) in a toilet at the union bar when we were celebrating the 4th anniversary of Insanity going FM has now become a reality but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Being on the board also means I am obliged to, nay want to, get involved in various other roles like helping with the stall at the Magna Carta Festival yesterday on Egham High Street (pictured) and going to socials (the first of which featured my first ride in an Uber). Most importantly, I get to share the wonders of Insanity with others and help make the station the best it can be!