A fuzzy fourteen year old with a passion for listening to radio steps into a community radio studio in Sollentuna 25 years ago. The journey from there to the present day has been long and turbulent. It has gone from simple analogue to a now almost all-digital production of ‘radio’.
I put ‘radio’ inside” to today’s radio can hardly be in any way resemble what I did in a community radio studio 25 years ago. Not that I would probably call it high-quality radio in any way but ratherattempt to do so, with very limited resources at that time. What made it possible, then and now is a passion for the medium radio.
From mono mixers, tape decks, turntables and a microphone to a fully digital environment that can run entirely on my laptop. Despite the production-related differences, it is well, in Sweden, most market has changed. If it’s for the better is something we can talk about for many long hours so I will drop it and stick to that which is closest to my heart and it’s technology in general and to make ‘quality radio’ with limited resources, in particular.
Not necessarily big, massive, commercial local radio, but rather small, tight, interested, focused event based one.
1998 I launched my “event radio ‘career as a colleague at my former employer went to my boss and asked to borrow a technician for a military exercise on the island of Gotland. A radio station was built at the former Military Command Gotland where I as a technician and Rolf Arsenius as host / reporter and technology borrowed from a variety of sites produced radio around the clock with features, interviews and reports – mostly to inform people of Gotland on what was going on. A long week and two people, we were a bit tired after the run – but it was a massive success – we had news broadcasts in seven languages (it was after all an international exercise and we had some press officers from other countries come and run ‘radio news’ to their soldiers).
After the exercise, this has been repeated countless times in various forms and radio is necessarily a fast media to reach out to a targeted audience seeking information or entertainment in any form.
One of our expeditions led us to the city of Boden in the far north of Sweden and the locals told us that we should be doing radio professionally. They did not know that, when we did not wear uniforms, we did just that.
These broadcasts have always been analogue, although we used a computer program for playing music and schedule elements that have been pre-made. We used cell phones for live interviews and on one occasion, I had armored engineers rebuild a throat microphone so we could report on traffic from one of the Defence Forces helicopters – mmm .. they are not quite as nicely isolated and private options, so the sound went into our microphones pretty hard.
Today, I see a lot of opportunities with radio, but you’d have expand it into a form of web TV at the same time. Yeah, if you’d like me worked in radio long enough, you’ll also have to get into images in some form when working electronically. The possibilities are almost endless when you can with low productioncosts create something that makes it possible for millions of people (potential) to take part in.
I will use my blog to talk about this stuff, we’ll see if I can keep going or not, but this is at least an honest attempt. I have earlier in my life called me radiot (radio idiot) and that’s what I am basically. Now I guess I’ll start calling me mediot instead – because it is not only the spoken word that will be used and discussed here, but also still and moving images.