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With thanks to Churcher’s College for hosting us in their Lecture Theatre, here are headlines from our first Creative Day which took place on Saturday 2 March 2019.

Thirty two volunteers joined us for the day which moved us from great ideas to practical implementation, and shared skills necessary for everyone to get out and start making radio content.

Turning ideas into content

Dave led us through ideas submitted to our Ideas Magnet and found volunteers to take them forward. This Wordle shows the most popular themes from the ideas submitted…

Now we’re turning ideas into actual content and some highlights include:

  • News stories. Dave will assemble a team
  • What’s on / entertainment information
  • Women’s discussion with Suzi, Mandy, Noni, Rita and Dawn
  • A cycle of weekly schools reports, managed by our schools representatives Cathy, Debs, Rob and Ian and their students
  • Walking / rambling / out of doors features – Tim, Suzie and Tom
  • Property features with Dawn, Alan and Barbara
  • Faith feature – Josh and Tim
  • Down the pub interviews with Tim
  • Money features – Shelley
  • Book club / local writers with Suzie and Laura
  • Haunted Hampshire with Emily and Ryan
  • Hard Work – job interviews with Alan
  • Recipe exchange with Noni
  • Twin Town reports with Ian

Dave is maintaining a full spreadsheet of content and owners. Let him know if you want to look through it or add your name to something.

Podcast

We want to start in June with a half-hour weekly show.

Richard proposed that our podcast could accommodate a flexible mix of different content within a fixed presenter-led format.

The longer audio features will live on the website on demand. Short clips in the podcast will encourage listeners to them.

We’ll cast a couple of entertaining presenters to link the elements together and establish a weekly production routine.

Someone must take responsibility for editorial production (the output editor) and someone must commit to the audio editing each week (the audio producer). It could be the same person. It could be you.

Production workflow

Stephen stepped us through how we’ll make things and get them to listeners. We’ll use free and open source tools wherever we can.

We also have an account with OmnyStudio, thanks to the educational radio production website and podcast, Earshot.

This is our workflow:

There are several ways to make audio recordings:

  • Zoom H1n handheld recorders (we have bought several and they’re great for indoor or outdoor recording)
  • A portable rig of large diaphram Rode microphones on stands (we have one rig so far and it’s ideal for indoor interviews, performance and presentation work)
  • Voice Record Pro on smartphones (a free app for both Android and iOS). Another way to record interviews and easily upload to Google Drive.

In all cases, we save our recorded audio to Google Drive (free up to 15 GB of storage space) and share it between volunteers from there. Sign-up for a free Google account if you don’t have one.

If you’re using a laptop or PC, this free tool helps you sync files between your Google Drive and your computer.

You can also download the free Audacity editing software for a PC or Macbook.

And you can grab Voice Record Pro from your phone’s app store. Again, it’s free.

Our Intake form lets you submit completed audio, or raw audio that you need someone else to edit.

Alastair and Ryan will work out a booking system for the portable equipment. It will be held centrally in Petersfield Museum which we hope is convenient for everyone.

We will publish some tips to help you get the best use from the portable recorders soon, and some more detail on the intake process.

Oral History

Ryan from Petersfield Museum explained the key features of Oral History and how our audio interviews can help build a permanent record of Petersfield life for future generations.

He also shared some good advice for interviewing subjects: get to know them first, get their permission, don’t lose the recording!

There’s more information at the national Oral History Society website. https://www.ohs.org.uk/

Technique workshops

We split into two groups with some volunteers practicing news writing technique, breathing and smiling and interview practice with Richard and Sarah.

Meanwhile, a parallel session with Stephen looked at the technology we’ll use, and practiced recording on portable devices, moving the audio to Google Drive and editing it on laptops before publishing with OmnyStudio.

Most volunteers were in the first group – this is quite normal for radio!

When the two groups came together afterwards it became apparent that Julian has amazing skills in both areas.

Brand update

Thanks for your initial brand and naming ideas. The Impact team will take this forward and we have some professional contacts to help us including Charlie Mawer who has developed many broadcast brand identities including the TV channel Dave because “everyone has a mate called Dave”. True.

To help this process, we discussed our values:

And some thing’s we’ll try to avoid!

Coming soon

Legal and compliance training

Paul Chantler hasn’t just written the book on this… he’s written three…

This session with Paul is confirmed for Saturday 11 May at Churcher’s College. It will run from 9am to 1pm.

It is a requirement that anybody who writes or broadcasts for the project completes this training.

Please read the Ofcom code before the day.

The BBC Editorial Guidelines are a good reference point too – considered a gold standard for independent journalists around the world.

Schools audio day

As part of our delivery of social gain in the community we’re developing an audio journalism and audio production day for students of our four partner schools.

This event is likely to be in late June and will be hosted by Bedales School. More information soon.

Knowledgebank

Several volunteers and representatives from the schools asked for an online guide to audio recording, how to use the equipment and submit audio.

Stephen is writing some guides and we will publish it on this website. If you’d like to help him please get in touch.