Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Upstart on 89.7 fm!

It was a little surreal sitting in Dulce's for a celebratory breakfast courtesy of Shireen Badat, listening to the Upstart show on RMR. I felt nervous and proud at the same time, which is pretty understandable when I look back at all the Tuesdays and Thursdays (and the last tiring Friday)  that got us there.

The past week was probably one of the most challenging of the enitre series so far because we were juggling the first and second shows together with other deadlines we had to meet.

Thursday was a productive day both in terms of the show and marketing becuase Ross met with our very own marketer on publicitiy strategies for the show. I stayed with the pupils and we had a great discussion about boys, girls and relationships and what they were hoping to achieve with their second show, Venus vs Mars.

 The process of making the Venus vs Mars show was the first that showed me how much the members had seemed to absorb throughout all the workshops and the first that they seemed to take ownership of the show.  Everyone seemed pretty excited to move away from the serious topic of substance abuse and talk about some of the lighter things in life. It was a great reminder that although there are serious issues going on with the youth, they don't necessarily want to dwell on these all the time and there is always room for some fun.

There was also a large sense of curiosity around the topic because there is still that feeling that even though teenagers experience a lot of common issues, they feel like they experience them in isolation. The team felt that this kind of show was particularly important in helping with this feeling because it is more likely that their peers go through these types of experiences more regularly than those surrounding substance abuse, for example.

The editorial meeting we had  was full of so many ideas from the team that I could barely write them down fast enough. All the guests, vox pop and feature ideas came from them and they were brililant. They combined the truth of what teenagers really wanted to hear with the thought that any journalist would put into the entertainment and broadcast value of each story. I think that this was the epitomy of the definition of citizen journalism because we had managed to transfer journalistic thought processes to members of a community who then used this knowledge to target an audience like themselves.
We had to have an ermegency meeting on Friday because of all the show elements that still needed to be put together and I must say I think we all worked pretty well as a team. The afternoon was long and full of hard work as Olwethu, our super duper anchor conducted two interviews with heroes of the week Mfundo, Danielle and Shelby while the rest of the team was more hands on than at the first recording. Everyone seemed a little bit more settled in their roles and so they managed to have fun while still being extremely competent radio technicians and producers.

After the easy part was over, Ross and I had to stay behind and put together all the parts of the show that we had to make them into the awesome 30 minutes of Upstart Radio. After cutting, pasting, recording and re-recording on the longest Friday of my life we were finally radio ready! The sighs of relief that were expelled turned out to be shortlived when we realised that this was in fact, only the beginning.

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