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Give Phoenix Radio a go!

Read here about Tobi's experience with Phoenix Radio and why you should give it a try!

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A few weeks ago, my friends and I were reminiscing on our childhood memories. We spoke about how radio stations were the “in thing” back then, recalling how that was all our parents really played during our rides to and from school. However, this was before alternative social media forums took over, or what I like to call “The Gen Z revolt”. The conversation ultimately left me conflicted on the relevance of radio stations in this present time; a thought which was quickly debunked as research showcased an increasing number of radio listeners globally (even after the seasonal lockdowns). Nonetheless, I was still curious to uncover more.

I had the chance to sit in on a recording session by the CUSU Phoenix radio team, in order to understand the operations and experience the essence of the shows first-hand. To my surprise, in only an hour I was already fully for the notion that radio stations are not folding up anytime soon. Coventry University Student Media’s Phoenix channel has been in existence for around three or four years, and airs live five days a week, constantly drawing attention from beyond the national borders of the UK. With each presenter’s show completely distinct to the rest, the station has something for everyone and remains available to play round-the-clock, thus generating better value, accessibility, and flexibility, which is just one of its many unique selling points.

Moving onto the operational side of the station’s dealings, it is necessary to paint a picture of what a day in the studio entails. I sat in on the Jude Avery show, which takes place every Wednesday afternoon. Before the beginning of each show, a post is to be shared on the Instagram platform reminding viewers to log on and engage; during this time, the presenter’s personal jingle or music set is played to invoke the right atmosphere. With the use of a mixing desk and two monitors (used to play music and broadcast the show), the set jingle/sound/entertainment arrangement is revised to ensure a smooth running of the show.

The Wednesday show is usually hip-hop themed, and the mode of presentation is mainly free flow, meaning it is not necessarily fixed to a script. Jude enjoys shuffling around the latest music, gaming activities, recent trends and so on whilst ensuring a cohesive mix, wrapping up each show with a ‘Word for the Day’ and a promotion of the show for the next day. All this is achievable using a software known as “Play It Live”, an automated radio system which enables an efficient running of the show. It provides sound effects, monitors essential time stamps, and encourages flexibility. The software is easily compatible with external devices as well such as the OBS camera which is used to enhance live interactions; especially when the shows have guests.

Overall, it was a very insightful experience as I acquired better knowledge of how the radio stations are operated as well as how its maintained. It was also nice to witness how engaged the audience was as the presenter made the task seem so effortless; it truly was a good representation of passion at work. If like me you ever doubted the relevance of radio channels, it is important to note that these mediums possess benefits other platforms potentially lack such as cost efficiency, portability and inclusiveness. If taking part in radio sounds like something you’d be interested in, I can assure you it would not only be fun and easy but rewarding as well to say the least.

If you'd like to get in touch with Phoenix Radio to start a show or get more information, please email mediacommunity.su@uni.coventry.ac.uk or send a DM to @cusuphoenixradio

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