Student Radio at Christmas

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December 14, 2014 by johnnyseifertradio

This morning I attended the annual Christmas Chocolate Festival at The Business Design Centre in Islington, London. Whilst venturing around and speaking with the various stall holders one thing was apparent; the chocolates were all the same. I gave up counting how many chocolates involved crystallizing sea salt into or having a chocolate bark with infused raspberries and desicated coconut sprinkled on top. Yet this was a chance to showcase different chocolatiers at all levels and all talents. According to Coca-Cola the Holidays are Coming and have been for a long time like us student radio alumni or current student radio presenters for Santa to bring us our Christmas presents.

Now that Christmas is upon us it is time for PD’s to programme the playlists for the festive season so that presenters can showcase their years highlights. For example, on BBC Radio1 they have shows showcasing Nick Grimshaw’s ‘Nixtape’ and Fearne Cotton’s ‘Live Lounge’. Both of these feature their retrospective shows have albums highlighting the features and especially the Live Lounge is well known so is there a need to show what Radio 1 does to its normal listeners?

There is a problem in the radio industry that is not being addressed and that is that what happens to the student radio alumni once they have finished on student radio and left their Universities. Back in the 1970’s there was a ladder known as going from BBC Local Radio-Commercial Radio- BBC Radio. However, in recent times it can be noticed that this is not the case anymore. BBC Local Radio stations are full of over 40 white collar men and women with not a lot of young people other than working on the BBC Introducing shows across the country. The Radio Academy had their AGM last week with changes needing to happen to the structure, the award ceremonies and the conference. But, not one point addressing the future of student radio! Below shows a picture the brilliant James Cridland took and you can see that there is not one young person there.

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I propose that instead of having pre-recorded programmes with the various current presenters on the different radio station networks that instead they allow new talent to filter. For example, why not use the twelve nominated best male and female student radio presenters from this year’s Student Radio Awards which are supported by Global Radio and the BBC. It is very well these radio brands sponsoring the awards and judging the talent but why does the connection need to stop at arranged Student Radio conferences and training days? All I am arguing is that they are each given a show and have the chance to showcase their talent outside of a normal demo which has always been proved to be successful.

We all know that radio is not a straight forward door-door industry but why do radio brands not offer graduate schemes? I know there is an emphasis on entry level and having radio air miles but some people prefer to go to University as they are human and want to enjoy the university freedom, making new friends, learning in detail about the radio industries history and living temporary away from home. I am pleased we have the ’30 Under 30′ but the age gap between 22-30 is massive considering how long producers could stay at a commercial radio station you are looking at having up to working at three different stations during that time.

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