Cultural Quarter Podcasts – Week One

It was a very busy, intense but highly productive first couple of sessions for TECH3013 Advanced Radio Production. The lecture was very well attended, and there was a great buzz around the room as everyone settled in and tried to take-in the challenge that I laid out before them. How do we make great content for DemonFM with our partners and friends around the city.

There are three areas that learners will be working on in this module, which will provide an intense focus for the next twenty four weeks of activity and study. We will be working with the Leicester Comedy Festival, we will be promoting and developing the live music offer of DemonFM, and we will be championing arts and creativity in Leicester with the Cultural Quarter podcasts.

Advanced Radio Production – Working Themes

To make things easier to manage, and to ensure that Simon Walsh and I have a good chance to work coherently with each of the groups, we have decided to divide the three tasks equally between each of the lab/workshop groups.

  • Monday – Cultural Quarter Podcasts (Rob Watson)
  • Thursday – Leicester Comedy Festival (Simon Walsh)
  • Friday – DemonFM Live Music Experience (Simon Walsh)

Each of these activities have a very ambitious aims that will demand a lot of attention from each of the learners who work on these groups, but what dividing them up in this way gives us, is a clear sense of cohesion within each group, so that a clear brief can be developed for each content area, and so that learners will be able to formalise their teams more clearly by following a theme through from start to finish.
This doesn’t mean that each area is exclusive, but it does mean that the main responsibility for producing content in these themes rests with the students who are timetabled for each of the groups. Unfortunately because we have so many students on the module, if someone wants to work in a different team, they will have to persuade someone else to swap with them.

I held my first lab session on Monday afternoon, where we all set-up our WordPress Blogs using the DMU commons system. I’m going to help Simon’s first group on Thursday and Friday, after which I’m expecting that everyone becomes autonomous bloggers, using this as a resource to account for the work that they undertake on the module, and then pooling that work as part of Radio@DMU.

We identified three key tasks to start with for the Cultural Quarter Podcasts. Learners agreed to dot he following for week two:

  • First, listen to a ‘culture’ or ‘art’ review radio programme and write a review about it on their new blog. This will be tagged TECH3013 so that we can share what each other thinks about culture based radio programmes.
  • Secondly, think of someone to interview who is doing something culturally interesting in Leicester, which we think that the DemonFM audience might be interested in hearing about.
  • Finally, can we list all of the types of activities that we think relate to culture in Leicester, and which will give us a broad view of the life of the city and what’s happening. It’s really important that we establish a set of links to other culture guides and ‘what’s-on’ so that we can start to figure out how to make this information appealing to the DemonFM audience, and so that we can start to move out of our comfort zones and experience a range of cultural activities far beyond those things that we have established in our own personal repertoire.

I’m really excited at the idea of leading the Cultural Quarter project for DemonFM, and hope to be producing some audio content myself. I think we will be able to range far-and-wide, and we are likely to have a great time in the process.

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