19 May 2010
Top experts from British radio share their insights into how to get ahead in the industry at a recent BU seminar.
The very best of BBC, Commercial and Community Radio visited BU to participate in the Media School’s annual Radio Industry Seminar.
The careers event, led by Professor Seán Street, gave students the opportunity to hear and meet key players: Denis Nowlan, Network Manager, BBC Radio 4; Natasha Maw, Training Manager, BBC Academy; Steve Saville, Station Manager, Forest FM; Martyn Lee, Producer, Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show, Absolute Radio and Tony Stoller, former chief radio regulator, Radio Authority and Ofcom.
Students and staff from the University’s MA, BA and Foundation Degree courses were captivated by the day’s agenda. Highlights included: key tips on how to complete the infamous BBC application form to increase your chances of interview selection and the growth of radio in the multimedia world which requires new skills.
The relationship between radio and audio was discussed widely by all of the speakers. Natasha Maw explained that students would now need to regard themselves as ‘content producers’, able to produce a range of audio products across platforms.
Denis Nowlan presented a compelling view of the busy Radio 4 schedule which consists of 13,000 programmes a year. He outlined the contingency programme scheduling plans in place during the recent hung parliament following the General Election, observing that when former Prime Minister Gordon Brown finally departed Number 10, he did so at 7.16pm, thus allowing The Archers to finish before Denis had to hand the Radio 4 Network back to journalists to resume political coverage.
A new book on the history of Independent Radio, supported by BU’s Centre for Broadcasting History Research, was also launched at the Seminar. Tony Stoller’s definitive account: Sounds of your Life: The history of Independent Radio in the UK (John Libbey, 2010) describes how independent radio came about in the Seventies, its fortunes and misfortunes in the succeeding two decades, and how it was replaced by commercial radio around the end of the twentieth century.
Commenting on the day, Professor Street said: “Bournemouth is unique in having an industry panel to inform the curriculum within its radio courses. Our speakers at the Seminar and the latest audience research (RAJAR) both prove that radio has reinvented itself to meet socio-cultural and technological changes and continues to thrive, offering exciting career opportunities for graduates.
“What our speakers also confirmed is that it is critical to develop a range of skills – technical and creative – as radio adapts to a digital, multi-platform world, where content is even more powerful. New ways to listen means it can reach new, diverse audiences. Bournemouth University is proud to be leading on these educational aspects of radio’s exciting future.”