Radio Days experience 2013

The conference was a great experience for me. Covering the event was overwhelming at times but I learnt a whole lot on how to be prepared for what’s to come and be diligent in what you do as a journalist. I can say that I am now almost a professional when it comes to live tweeting.

Al Osman, CEO  and Founder of Capital Radio in Malawi speaks to the forum about licensing of radio stations in his company and the private sector. Photo: Prelene Singh

Al Osman, CEO and Founder of Capital Radio in Malawi speaks to the forum about licensing of radio stations in his company and the private sector. Photo: Prelene Singh

Throughout the three days working at the conference I met some great talents from all across the African continent and it was interesting to hear them speak about the radio landscape in their specific countries.

Nina Callaghar from Children's Radio spoke about the aim of the Children's Radio Foundation and what they have achieved thus far in the community around the African continent. Photo: Prelene Singh

Nina Callaghar from Children’s Radio spoke about the aim of the Children’s Radio Foundation and what they have achieved thus far in the community around the African continent. Photo: Prelene Singh

The presentation by Callaghar was very interesting and it showed that anything is possible all you have to do is take the risk. Children presenting their own programmes on community radio stations is something I would have never thought about but also something that has not been done before. I think the CRF is a great way to expose the youth to radio and create great opportunities for them.

James O'Brien from ABC in Australia educated the audience on Australia's digital journey. Photo: Prelene Singh

James O’Brien from ABC in Australia educated the audience on Australia’s digital journey. Photo: Prelene Singh

James O’Brien was an interesting character from Australia and a man quite educated with worldwide radio experience. He spoke twice at the conference and i enjoyed his talks on Australia’s progress to digital.

A very entertaining and humorous presentation and iscussion was conducted by Soli Philander from Taxi Radio around online radio and his dislike for advertising and marketing on radio. Photo: Prelene Singh

A very entertaining and humorous presentation and iscussion was conducted by Soli Philander from Taxi Radio around online radio and his dislike for advertising and marketing on radio. Photo: Prelene Singh

Soli Philander was the most memorable person in the whole conference. He was a loud and eloquent but yet hilarious speaker. I think they way he runs Taxi Radio and the vision they have for that radio station is new and unconventional. They involve their audience a lot more in the programs and speak to their listeners first before they speak to their advertisers and marketers. It seems to be working for them.

Shaun Dewberry from interwebsradio which is an online radio station discussed the venture into the online sphere of radio listening. Photo: Prelene Singh

Shaun Dewberry from interwebsradio which is an online radio station discussed the venture into the online sphere of radio listening. Photo: Prelene Singh

Additional entertainment was provided for ambiance. The band "Stone Age Souls" performed for the audience. Photo: Prelene Singh

Additional entertainment was provided for ambiance. The band “Stone Age Souls” performed for the audience. Photo: Prelene Singh

Martin Vilakazi from Metro fm joined the panel discussion around the question whether radio will survive in the new music platforms being introduced. Photo: Prelene Singh

Martin Vilakazi from Metro fm joined the panel discussion around the question whether radio will survive in the new music platforms being introduced. Photo: Prelene Singh

Nick Grubb of Kagiso media also spoke about whether fm radio is still needed and listened to by people in the era of online listening. Photo: Prelene Singh

Nick Grubb of Kagiso media also spoke about whether fm radio is still needed and listened to by people in the era of online listening. Photo: Prelene Singh

It was quite interesting hearing from Nick Grubb as on the first day of conference many people said they were looking forward to Grubb speaking in the coming days. Listening to how different people theorize the radio landscape was interesting, to say the least.

Gillian Ezra from Simfy, an online subscription where people are able to create their own playlists. Photo: Prelene Singh

Gillian Ezra from Simfy, an online subscription where people are able to create their own playlists. Photo: Prelene Singh

Seth Rotherham from 2oceansvibe spoke about creating radio that is online. Photo: Prelene Singh

Seth Rotherham from 2oceansvibe spoke about creating radio that is online. Photo: Prelene Singh

The entertainment on the first day of the radio conference at the welcome evening. Photo: Prelene Singh

The entertainment on the first day of the radio conference at the welcome evening. Photo: Prelene Singh

Dan McQuillin of UK company Bionics speaks about the social studio and tells us what goes into building a studio that is geared for social media. Photo: Prelene SIngh

Dan McQuillin of UK company Bionics speaks about the social studio and tells us what goes into building a studio that is geared for social media. Photo: Prelene SIngh

Peter Malebye, MTN's General Manager of Ecosystem Development and Innovation speaks about how people listen on their phones and why his network has launched five music channels. Photo: Prelene Singh

Peter Malebye, MTN’s General Manager of Ecosystem Development and Innovation speaks about how people listen on their phones and why his network has launched five music channels. Photo: Prelene Singh

Topical themes throughout the conference revolved around social media and radio, community radio stations and the improtance of radio in people’s lives. The event went down very well and #jhbradiodays was trending on twitter till the last day of conference. I learnt a ton and would recommend anyone who is interested in radio to attend the conference next year, as more exciting things are to come.

Alternative voices are important

This article was first published on www.journalism.co.za

Hand made radio's were presented at the entrance to the conference to show. Photo: Prelene Singh

Hand made radio’s were presented at the entrance to the conference to show. Photo: Prelene Singh

The vital role of an alternative voice in radio broadcasting was bought to the surface of debates on the second day of the Radio Days Conference, at Wits University.

The need for community radio stations and the need for alternative voices in South Africa was stressed today by various speakers at the conference.

Licensing in Zimbabwe is a significant issue and not easily attainable especially for private stations. Media freedom activist Rashweat Mukundu, said broadcasters and media activists need to campaign for media transparency and democratic processes. An audience member from the forum commented that Zimbabwe is 20 years too late in terms of media reform. Mukundu said: “There is a positive development with Zfm and Star fm, which opened up spaces for voices which are not used in radio.”

VoW fm broadcasted live from the conference on all three days during lunch. Samkele Kaase a presenter for Vow fm seen in the picture hostings his lunchtime slot. Photo: Prelene Singh

VoW fm broadcasted live from the conference on all three days during lunch. Samkele Kaase a presenter for Vow fm seen in the picture hostings his lunchtime slot. Photo: Prelene Singh

Radio shapes a society and plays a key role in relaying information to the public. Jacques Kokonyange, station manager for Radio Muugano in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) tried to shine some light on how important radio broadcasting is in war zones.

Kokonyange explained that radio in the DRC operates in security zones, but yet 500 people were still kidnapped, showing the lack of safety in the country. Radio Muugano provides a platform for police and other authorities for informative reasons. “The government has no choice than to let us broadcast because it is a voice which is needed in the country in active war,” said Kokonyange.

Along with this Kokonyange said that they rarely broadcast live and information relayed on air has to be linked up to credible sources in order to dodge threats from rebels.

It was clear that radio works best in an environment of diversity. Station manager of the newly launched Power fm, Ferdinand Mabalane explained that the radio station is not for the black population but for South African’s who are concerned with where the country is going. This choice of topical broadcasting can be attributed to the success of Power fm thus far.

Xoli Matomela the host of the Law Focus show at VoW fm. Photo: Prelene Singh

Xoli Matomela the host of the Law Focus show at VoW fm. Photo: Prelene Singh

The day ended off with ‘law focus’ which is a weekly show hosted by Xoli Matomela and Paul McNally at the Wits Radio Academy. Field reporters at the academy are sent out to bring in stories which deal with the law, and issues that are rarely dealt with on any other radio platform. Matomela played a sound package for the forum about female miners and how they are treated as sex workers rather than mine workers.

The conference proved that for a country to be fully democratic and push progression and movement there has to be alternative voices within the radio landscape.

The conference comes to an end tomorrow. Visit the website for more information or follow @jhbradiodays on twitter.

Radio Days Conference 2013

Six members from the #teamvuvu crew attended and covered the annual radio days conference hosted by the Wits Radio Academy. We live tweeted, photographed and wrote articles for the conference. I have done this video to relay what some of the attendee’s of the conference had to say about their experience this year and some of their highlights in attending the conference.