Mar 092012

I’ve come over all emotional today, as the impact of the events surrounding the Queens Visit to De Montfort University have finally begun to sink in. A massive day for De Montfort University and Leicester was driven with passion and commitment by Professor Dominic Shellard, the Vice-Chancellor, who staged a massive spectacle using the best of the university’s creative teams. The fashion show and shoe competition have been picked-up extensively by the press, and really show the university as a confident and vibrant place to be.

Playing a part in this was DemonFM, who broadcast live from Magazine Square, at the heart of the campus activities. Going live at 8am and not finishing until 2pm, we gave continuous coverage to the events around campus, spoke with the people who joined in the celebrations, and had a damn good time.

The outside broadcast was professionally managed by the first and second year BSc Radio Production & Technology students, who demonstrated that they are able to undertake the challenge of putting together the resources and the programming for the day. Bringing our equipment over to the Magazine Square at 6am, then setting-up the tents at 7am. Adam Jinkerson and Chris Longman, DemonFM’s Breakfast Show team of the day, started live links with Erica Dancer in the DemonFM studio at 8am, and ran almost continuously through the day. Ably supported and produced by Jess Tenby, Caz Harby and Jon Jackson. Telling the stories of the people in the square, why they where there, and what the day meant to them.

Embedded in the Press Area was DemonFM’s head of news, Dan Purves, who reported live from his phone as the Queen arrived, was greeted by the Vice-Chancellor,  then entered the Hugh Ashton building where the Faculty of Business and Law is based. Dan gave DemonFM listeners an eye-witness account of the events that took place, and was able to describe how the sizeable crowd reacted to seeing members of the royal party arriving.

Helping gather stories from around the square, the radio production, television and journalism students gathered around the DemonFM media hub, and was alive with people tweeting, posting to blogs and sending messages out on Facebook. I believe that DemonFM achieved a high proportion of the posts with the #royaldmu tag, showing that the station has a really strong following within the younger, tech-savy audiences in Leicester.

My feelings have been riding high all day. After listening to the DemonFM Breakfast Show and hearing the highlights of the event replayed, made me realise how well DemonFM had done to bring this off. We can’t compete with the big-boys of broadcasting, the BBC, SKY and CNN, but we can hit our niche and make some waves when it comes to live events.

The planning and preparation of the students and volunteers from across DemonFM was a model example of what can be achieved when we trust and support our students. Raising the standard of the DMU student media output now has to be a clear priority of all the media staff in the university. If this is what we can achieve at such short notice, imagine what we can achieve with more investment and the sense that we are being driven with the passion and support that was demonstrated by De Montfort University for this event.

Personally, this feels like a watershed moment. Five years steady and progressive work to build a rock-solid base for DemonFM. So that learners and volunteers can come and develop their talents, dream about the possibilities they might imagine for their lives, and turn the potential they show into something real and concrete.

I am immensely proud of everyone who participated in the event, everyone who supported it, and everyone who wished it well and encouraged us to make it happen. Watch this space, who knows what we will achieve next.

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