This week I had the privilege to start training the broadcasting team at Pheli FM.
Pheli FM is a Community Radio station based in Atteridgeville, Pretoria. The station aims is to capture and keep the imagination of listeners in Atteridgeville and surrounding areas. The coverage spectrum of the signal provides a wider coverage from areas that also include: Madibeng Municipality (Greater Hartebeesport), Brits, Tshwane Municipality – Lotus Garden, Atteridgeville, Laudium, Olivenhoutbosh, Valhalla, Wierdepark, Centurion, Pretoria CBD, Hatfield, Pretoria West, Danville, Kwaggasrand, the entire Pretoria North
The station is broadcasting 24/7, with an emphasis on local and community generated content. The Format of the station is talk (40%) and music (60%). All official languages will be encouraged and most importantly the unique Pretoria Lingo which is used across Pretoria as well will be covered. Community involvement is the cornerstone of the station and all issues of concern to the residents of Atteridgeville are communicated with the expert guest invited to add to the station.
Community radio is a crucial part of the South African broadcasting landscape, providing diversity for listeners and much-needed skills for the commercial radio sector. However, community radio, by its nature, struggles to access advertising and other forms of financing. There are an estimated 15, 4-million radio sets in South Africa, with community radio garnering almost 8, 6-million listeners a week.
- As presenters we sometimes get into a bit of a rut when it comes to preparing our shows. By this i’m talking about losing touch with what our community’s lives ACTUALLY entail. Yes we have an educated idea, but it is massively advantageous to get in there (the community) and touch base. Be a documentation on what you see and experience when you step out and engage in the community. What are they talking about? How does this vary from day to day, time of day, during the week, or over the weekend? Where are they spending their time, either socially or socio-economically influenced? Why are they there? What does their attitude on finances dictate their daily decisions? What is it about the world around them that is either inspiring them, presenting an obstacle, or creating opportunity for growth to what is important to them?
- Have you listened to your listener? Really listened? How and what is dominating their conversation? Think of a situation where two people are talking about the concern of renovating a local church, and perhaps even start care facilities and services to their local community. Imagine yourself entering this conversation, but suddenly talking about the funniest things that happened on the first day at work. It isn’t the correct time, nor place, nor targeted audience. Even if your content is ground breaking, contextually, it is wasted on the incorrect placement. Know what your audience needs, and when they need it. There is a time and place for that first date anecdote, as well as your charity initiative. Match the right content with the right context, and your listener will thank you for empowering them through the medium of broadcast communication.
- Develop your own professional culture when approaching your work. Arrive earlier and leave later. Take time to get to know the station team, and to have them get to know you. Build a rapport with your station. Cultivate your own ongoing growth instead of waiting for someone to tell you what to do. Have a passion for your work. But more importantly, decide what it is that fires your passion for what you do as a professional. You, and your served community will always be better for it.
- Develop the mindset that you are a creative, and that you will never run out of ideas. Your entire career is a craft built on this one fundamental.
- Community news is just that. News about and for the community. As a community journalist you must indeed keep the community informed about what is happening both nationally and internationally, but can’t develop news bulletins without forgetting about what is happening in the immediate world around them. All the news that is developed on air will ALWAYS have a direct or indirect impact on the life of your listener.
- Remember. Your listeners love you for what you do for them. Be the conduit between everything that is happening in this world, to everything that is happening in their world.
Go visit the site at Pheli FM