Student Radio, I let you down :(

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January 8, 2015 by johnnyseifertradio

After eating your body weight in chocolate, you have started the second semester of the very short twelve week University calendar. The going out three times a week has become twice  a week, you have chosen people to live with next year who are not necessarily your friends and you have decided to learn how to cook scrambled eggs.


Student life is pretty the same over the three years that you experience it with minor changes to routines and big changes to friendship groups. Some may say that you should always keep those four people you met at fresher’s for three years; however think that there is ten more people with stories that can be used on your radio show.


I was recently reading James Cridland’s blog on How to Win a Radio Award. We all want to win them, it looks great on the CV and is always a great conversation starter. But, are we actually making a valid entry? James’s fifth point is this:

Make your audio back up the award you are entering. It should be really clear what this compilation is a compilation of, and how it answers the rubric of the category you’re entering. If it isn’t, you’re doing it wrong. 

I went back to listen to my entry for Best Male which did not a get nomination at this year’s Student Radio awards and I realised something….there was no student themes.


How did I expect to win a Student Radio Award when I have not actually looked at students? When I hosted the Breakfast show on Scratch radio for three years I made it all about showbiz, celebrities and my personality. Yes, I had voices of students playing games such as Articulate but the primary feature was interviewing a celebrity. As this is what they did on BBC Radio 1 and where I would love to be one day.


Think about what goes on in your daily life as a student and what the University is providing for students and join the dots together. If you do that, you are targeting the university as you would if you present on a hospital radio station and your targeting students as you are talking on behalf of students. It is hard hosting a radio show when you know you have 0-2 listeners with just your parents tuning in but ask students what they would want on their student station. You may not get listeners but think about the audio you can create to submit for an award nomination.

Here is some ideas of what I could have done and what you can do this semester:

  • Housemate Hotline- Pre-record phone calls with friends complaining about their housemates.
  • Student Union News- Focus on the news of different society’s activities of the day.
  • Lecturers Leaked- Rather than interview celebrities speak to lecturers.
  • Designer Dishes- Speak about a recipe for a meal that students can cook with basic fridge ingredients.
  • Pub Quiz- Most Universities have a pub near to the campus, why not carry out an OB there on pub quiz night and join up with the pub. They would be delighted for you to do all the work, rig the sound and create these questions.

What other advice do you have that you can pass onto people hosting student radio shows?

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