Radio programme spots in demand

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With more than 200 volunteers involved in more than 80 regular programmes in 11 different languages, Otago Access Radio’s schedule of locally made shows is filling fast.
Anyone wishing to take their own first steps into broadcasting should probably act sooner rather than later.
Last year 37 new programmes joined the community access station’s roster, ranging from Youth Zone shows to a series on baroque opera and an Arabic language show made by one of Dunedin’s newest arrivals from Syria.
Station manager Lesley Paris said the diversity of programming reflected Otago Access Radio’s mission to support creativity and encourage participation in community affairs.
“Community access radio exists to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with a voice, so we’re really happy to have had so much interest in making shows.
“I think it says a lot about Dunedin as a city that we value discussion and debate, and seek out different perspectives.
“It has also been great to see so many new music shows start up, programmes that cater for a broad range of tastes.
“Some of those shows are picking up a worldwide audience, through podcasts and online streaming,” she said.
Making a radio programme provided a unique opportunity to learn the skills of production and presentation in a supportive environment that took into account the needs of first-time broadcasters, Ms Paris said.
Training was personalised and flexible, and designed to encourage a style that was natural to each individual.
“I think our listeners enjoy hearing voices that are the same voices they hear on the street or in their own communities, a mix of ages, accents and languages that reflect the make-up of their home town. We definitely encourage our broadcasters to embrace their own unique qualities.”
She was keen to discuss ideas for more new shows, Ms Paris said.
Those might come from community-based organisations looking to raise their profile or individuals with a special interest in anything from gardening or music to health or spirituality.
“We have only a few timeslots available, so now’s a good time to give the station a call.”
Otago Access Radio broadcasts on 105.4FM and 1575AM, and streams live and hosts podcasts from www.oar.org.nz. Anyone wishing to make their own programme can call the station on (03) 471-6161.