Archive for the ‘radio’ category

Programme for Government commits to deliver for Independent Radio and TV sector

June 27, 2007

From www.radioproducers.ie:

As the new government takes office, the Association of Independent Radio Producers of Ireland (AIRPI) welcomes the commitment published in the programme for government agreed between Fianna Fáil and the Green Party to develop the independent radio and televison sector …

Disclosure: I am a serving member of the executive committe of AIRPI.

Podcaster? – or Radio Producer?

June 7, 2007

What’s the difference between a podcast and a radio programme?  Well, it’s like the difference between milk from a bottle or milk from a carton: none whatsoever.

That’s why my business card says both.  In the past year I’ve produced podcasts which were syndicated on radio, and radio shows which were published as podcasts.

The cool thing is that it’s not just podcasting which is going through an exciting phase at the moment – so too is the radio industry in Ireland.

I’m in Galway today for a meeting of the Association of Independent Radio Producers of Ireland.  It’s a new organisation dedicated to helping the development of the independent radio sector.  I was recently elected to the executive committee of the association (thanks to the nominations of fellow podcasters!) and I’m really looking forward to working with them over the coming year.

Guido Fawkes Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About

October 15, 2006

Don’t get me wrong – he knows his political blogging alright!  I thoroughly enjoyed his speech to the “Blogging the Election” Irish Bloggers Conference in Dublin last weekend.  Guido‘s at the top of his game, with the British political establishment, the media – and now advertisers – eating out of his hand.

Opening the conference, Sunday Tribune Business Editor, Richard Delevan suggested that one possible metric for a blogger’s “impact” might be whether they attract the notice of the mainstream press.  Guido has done more than attract their notice: he frequently sets the agenda, as in the case of the cash for peerages investigation where his reporting of the story has earned him the trust of sources closest to the case.

Like Richard and others, Guido brings old-media craft to bear on the new medium of blogging.  By doing do he leaves both bloggers and “dead-tree” journalists in the starting blocks.

I’m trying to do something similar with podcasting.  (Have you noticed? 😉 )  So Guido certainly had my attention when he declared: “Podcasting is dead!”

It’s a great soundbite of course!  (Remember, Guido’s a media pro.)  And it was delivered so well that I might even have given it serious consideration – if it wasn’t for where I was sitting when I heard it.

As I listened to Guido, I was in my car, skimming down the Dock Road in Limerick on my way to work.  (It was very early in the morning!)   Due to work constraints I was unable to physically attend the conference in Dublin, but I’ve been glad of the opportunity to hear the presentations on podcasting.ie and see the photographs tagged irishblogcon.

Guido made these comments in the context of telling us that he would shortly start a video blog.  By “podcasting”, he means “audio podcasting”, and he declared emphatically that “nobody listens to them on iPods … they all click on the screen and listen to it in front of their computer, so you might as well listen and see the video.”

Ironically, earlier in his speech, Guido had rather patronisingly given his Irish audience the benefit of his abortive experiences as an audio podcaster.  This can be summed up as: “Don’t bother trying it … I have, and it’s disastrous … It’s a lot harder than you think and that’s the reason that radio people get paid so much …”.

Oh … OK.  Thanks for the advice Guido.  Obviously video production is a lot easier then?  (And by the way, how much do radio people get paid?  Must look into that …)

To be fair, I think what Guido is trying to say is that video provides more value to the consumer – and that that in turn leads to a better Return On Investment for the producer.  But if that is true, where does it leave radio?

I don’t know how elections campaigns are debated in Britain, but talk radio shows are a crucial arena in Ireland.

As an audio producer, I would be inclined to dispute Guido’s assumption of video’s superior Return On Investment.  I suspect that that it is wrong, both on the Cost side and the Benefit side.  However, I wouldn’t get up on a podium and declare this to be a Fact.

We’re all blinkered by our own experience, and it appears that Guido simply doesn’t “get” the key advantages of “anytime, anywhere, audio-on-demand”.  I must confess that, until recently, I didn’t “get” video blogging either.  At least not until I started researching YouTube for a forthcoming feature on An Líonra Sóisialta.  (Del.icio.us: donlionra+week05)

So is cheap, user-friendly technology putting video production into the hands of the laity?  Of course – just like blogging and audio podcasting are doing for those kinds of media.  Is video blogging a better ROI than audio podcasting?  Ask me after Christmas, when I give it a go!  Do people only listen to podcasts on their computer?  Hardly – but what do I know?  You tell me!

An Líonra Sóisialta Launched

September 23, 2006

Here’s the press-release which did the damageJett would probably describe it as “King Kong Long”, and he’d be right.  But at least it’s only text! 🙂

Ground-Breaking New Radio Show To Teach Internet
“As Gaeilge”

Radio listeners across Ireland will join internet users worldwide next Monday, as they tune in to the first episode of a new series focusing on the social aspects of the internet.

It’s the first time an Irish radio series has been devoted exclusively to the phenomenon of “online social networking”, of which the best known example in recent months has been Bebo. What’s more: all 59 episodes of the show will be in Irish.

The programme is called An Líonra Sóisialta, which translates to The Social Network. It will broadcast a 12 minute episode each day for 12 weeks.

So far, 7 Irish radio stations have confirmed that they will broadcast the show and its producer believes several more will join over the next few weeks as the series gathers steam.

Thanks to the internet, however, the show will be available to anyone who wants to hear it, anywhere in the world. An Líonra Sóisialta will also be a “podcast” – a downloadable MP3 sound file that users can listen to on their PC, or copy to a mobile device to enjoy at their convenience.

The new series is the brainchild of independent producer Conn Ó Muíneacháin from Ennis, County Clare. After a successful career in local radio, he gave up broadcasting for the computer industry. 10 years later, he sees the two fields converging as technology has put the media into the hands of anyone who has access to the internet.

“Anyone can publish. Anyone can speak. Like a letters page, or a phone-in show, the internet gives the public a voice. The difference is that there are no editors or programme controllers.”

To some this sounds like a recipe for anarchy. How is all this self-published material organised? How can the consumer be helped to find information which is useful and interesting to them?

“That’s the most exciting thing about it”, says Conn. “Nobody knows for sure! The tools and rules are being developed as we speak. New services and business models are launched every week. Some fail. Some develop and grow. All of them help us to understand how this new kind of media is supposed to work.”

These kinds of ideas are discussed daily in the “blogosphere” – the global community of self-published websites: weblogs, or simply “blogs”. They are familiar to people who collect the “feeds” from scores of such sites for easy reading in “aggregators”. They are debated in interviews and panel discussions on podcasts.

Conn Ó Muíneacháin wants to bring this discussion to a wider audience. “An Líonra Sóisialta is designed for non-technical people. It’s for people who are interested in media, but not necessarily in technology. It will introduce new ideas gently with short daily episodes over 12 weeks.”

But why do it in Irish? “Irish is why I became interested in citizen media in the first place. People employed in Irish language media do a wonderful job with limited resources. But the choice isn’t there. And what is there may be broadcast at a time, or published in a way, that does not suit someone who would otherwise be interested. But if you look at the web, you see that there is a global community of Irish speakers and
learners who are contributing their own efforts to media in the Irish language.”

As an experiment, last year Conn launched An tImeall, the first podcast in the Irish language. The project has been extremely successful, reaching a global audience. In March, the site was honoured for it’s use of Irish at the inaugural Irish Blog Awards.

In addition to the radio show and podcast, An Líonra Sóisialta will also have a daily feature in the Irish language newspaper . There’s also a website: AnLionra.com.  Over the next few weeks the site will grow and develop as it becomes the focus for audience participation.

And participation, Conn says, is the key. “These new forms of media make much less distinction between producer and consumer. An Líonra Sóisialta will encourage audience participation in every way possible: by phone, by text, by mail or by leaving a comment on the website.” The series has been planned to appeal to people with a wide range of abilities in Irish, and in particular, it has been designed to be suitable for use as discussion material for Irish classes at Transition Year level in Irish schools.

Conn will co-present the show with Fiona Ní Chéirín, a native of An Spidéal, Co. Galway, and a recent graduate of the multimedia degree programme at Tipperary Institute.

The series has been provisionally approved for funding under the “Sound and Vision” scheme operated by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.

The 7 radio stations which have confirmed their participation in An Líonra Sóisialta are: Flirt FM in Galway, Raidio na Life in Dublin, Ocean FM (Sligo, North Leitrim, South Donegal), Clare FM, KCLR (Kilkenny and Carlow), Wired FM in Limerick, and Raidio Fáilte, Belfast’s new Irish language station which launched last week.