Thursday, March 13, 2008

Student Radio Stations in UK Collaborate for Charities

It's great to read about student radio stations banding together for a good cause...and that's exactly what's happening this week in the UK. A piece in the Norwich Evening News 24 describes the event, in which 14 participating college radio stations are fundraising for The Mental Health Foundation, Shortwave Radio Africa, and Media For Development.

According to the Hearing Aid website:

"In March 2008 the Student Radio Association presents Hearing Aid - the biggest united effort in the history of UK student radio. From Edinburgh to Exeter, stations up and down the country will join together to raise a huge amount of money for projects in the UK and Africa that use media to change people's lives."

By the way, the Student Radio Association is a great resource for learning more about college radio in the UK. Their website has a directory of member stations, information on music and labels, and details about their upcoming conference and other events. They also compile a weekly Student Radio chart (and do a related "chart" show syndicated to college stations), probably similar to a CMJ chart consolidating "tops" lists from member stations.

In describing the new Student Radio Chart show, the website states:

"The student demographic is an incredibly important, influential and trend-setting market, and the Student Radio Chart Show will bring a new, fresh and alternative line-up of established and brand-new musical talents to the attention of UK music-lovers.

A spokesperson for the Student Radio Association stated: 'This is an incredibly exciting time for the student radio community in the United Kingdom. Despite the huge number of student radio alumni working in influential positions within the UK's media industry, and over 70 student radio stations in the UK, public appreciation for the importance of student radio is incomparable to that of America or Europe, for example. The Student Radio Chart Show will not only improve this situation, but more importantly provide an outlet for music selected by the student population that does not always find a place on existing UK chart shows'."

This is an interesting perspective that college radio is not as well-known or regarded in the UK as it is in America. Even though college radio may be held in higher regard in the U.S., it certainly has its share of challenges, particularly concerning funding, student participation, and attracting student listeners.

No comments: