from Stephen Martin.
Here’s a round-up of current project activity. It’s lovely to hear the audio we’re making together but there’s much more going on besides and there are further opportunities to get stuck in.
Editorial compliance and legal training
It was great to see more than thirty volunteers at the Editorial Compliance and Legal training session last weekend.
Our guest trainer, Paul Chantler, was impressed by the enthusiasm and range in our team. Indeed, he said so on Monday when he was awarded a Radio Academy Fellowship at the Radio Festival in London. I was proud to hear our town’s project mentioned in front of Britain’s radio leaders in such warm terms, especially by a respected industry figure like Paul.
If you read Ofcom’s Broadcast and On Demand Bulletins, you’ll see the number of radio stations that fall foul of regulations and can face sanctions, fines or loss of their right to broadcast. Their most recent bulletin includes several such cases from community radio stations. Thanks to Paul we won’t make mistakes like these:
Paul has created two summary sheets which are attached and also available on the project website. He couldn’t bring copies of his book Keep it Legal but you can pick one up here:
I would also recommend two other radio books. How to Make Great Radio by David Lloyd is full of great broadcasting advice and radio stories, written with much affection for the medium:
International radio consultant Valerie Geller wrote Creating Powerful Radio many years ago but its principles are timeless… tell the truth, make it matter, and never be boring.
If you don’t want to purchase them, I have copies of David’s and Valerie’s books which you are welcome to borrow.
Podcast next steps
We have created an initial format for our podcast which includes weekly features such as reports made by children at our partner schools (Nina, Julian, and others), Wilde Walks (Suzie), a round up of local news, sport (James) inspiration from local Church leaders (Josh) and Petersfield’s weather (Richard).
There’ll also be Recipe Exchange (Noni), money tips (Shelley) space for local musicians to showcase their talent (Mandy and Gavin) and a regular property piece (Dawn and Alan). As the estate agents like to claim… many original features.
Of course, any one-off pieces that speak volumes about life in our town and get local people talking will always find space to cut through and we should be in a position to confirm a name for the show and presenters soon. Thank you if you auditioned.
We’ll also confirm a piloting schedule, target launch date and regular recording venue soon. Any suggestions?
Your help wanted
There are four clear areas where we need a few more offers of help. We’re always open to new volunteers but you could make a real difference if you’re able to focus some time to:
Help tell more stories
We have everything we need now to record stories and get them published. Now we can be really confident and turn our natural curiosity into great radio. Get the free app on your phone and pick-up a windshield from me or Alastair so you’re always ready to record an interview or a diary piece and get into a habit of creating audio regularly. We can never have too many stories and anyone who records a piece will receive coaching and feedback from Richard, Dave and me (whether you want it or not!). Don’t be shy!
Help to edit and produce
We need a couple more people who will regularly take raw recorded audio and edit or mix it. This means you’ll need to think editorially about the story as well as technically how it will sound. Please let me know if you want to have a go at editing. We have some great tools to use and I’ll be running some evening and weekend workshops to help you build your editing and production skills.
We also need a producer to take responsibility for pulling together all the bits that will go into the weekly podcast, check they’re ready to air and make creative decisions about the best way to fit them together. Strong production lies at the heart of every great radio show and this experience could really help if you plan a career in media.
Help to plan and fix
Dave has an ambitious plan to generate news stories for the podcast but we need a couple of people with time to help plan ahead and fix-up interviews. Perhaps you don’t want to appear on air but you’re great at organising things. If so, this is for you. Please email email@example.com to volunteer for one of these vital roles.
Help to build our town’s event diary
Our events diary at https://petersfieldradio.uk/events is shaping-up to be a great source of information about local activities. As far as possible we’re asking event organisers to input their information directly so it’s accurate and complete but we also need volunteers to build on this and ensure more local groups in the community get exposure for their events. Just an hour a week of your time will make a real difference to the diary. Please email me to get a log-in and help to get started.
Our events diary will be the source of what’s on information we feature and promote in the podcast, so there’s a real incentive to make it as comprehensive and useful as possible.
Impact and fundraising
Members of the team have been working behind the scenes on our brand, on creating a funding pack and preparing to push-out to seek the sponsorships and grants we need to fund our ambition. Now that the local elections are done we have a new batch of councillors to educate about our project.
The team will also look to everybody in the project to help spread the word and tap into sources of local funding, whether from business contacts or philanthropic friends.
For example, we have received donations from Petersfield based InSync Technology and from our own volunteer Tim Concannon in a personal capacity.
These donations mean we have been able to invest in further microphones and stands, and have purchased a six-channel multitrack audio recorder.
Together, this new kit means we can record longform round-table discussions like Suzie’s book club idea or debates, as well as produce one-on-one interviews like Tim’s Down the Pub series without having to borrow or hire equipment.
If you or anyone you know would like to make a donation to the project you can use the PayPal link on our website or contact me for more information.
Schools Audio Day
You will know that we partner with local schools to help young people share their stories. These partnerships can also help pupils learn about radio production, build media literacy and protect themselves from today’s vortex of disinformation and fake news.
Bedales School will host our Schools Audio Day on Wednesday 26 June. The Petersfield School, Ditcham Park School and Churcher’s College are all participating too.
I’ll be there, along with accomplished radio newsman Jonathan Richards and creative audio and music producer James Stodd. Together, we’ll lead students through some practical radio and promotional audio production tasks. A day at school has never sounded so good.
Here’s a bit of luck… I run a radio promotions website and podcast called Earshot. One of my advertisers has agreed to donate software licences to our community project. It means we have six 12-month licences for Hindenburg Broadcaster software – a sophisticated editing package specifically designed for radio journalism.
If you want to edit audio for the project on a MacBook, a Windows laptop or desktop PC and would like to use Hindenburg Broadcaster, just let me know and I will assign one of the licences to you. Julian is first in the queue!
Audacity has just released an update to its free editing software with some enhancements. Get version 2.3.2 from https://www.audacityteam.org/
Our website now shows step-by-step how to set up and use the free Voice Record Pro app to record audio on your phone. That’s how Suzie is making her wonderful Wilde Walks pieces. There’s a growing selection of tutorials at https://petersfieldradio.uk/knowledgebank/ and all the useful tools for volunteers are at https://petersfieldradio.uk/volunteers/
If you’d like to help write these tutorials just let me know. For example, we need one to help explain how to share files with Google Drive and one on using the new multitrack recorder with our Rode microphones.
Quiz and Curry Night at TPS on 21 June
I hope you have seen Dave’s email. Let’s put our brains together, support our partner school and win this for radio! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to add your talents to our team. It should be fun and is just £6 per person.
See you there,