While large numbers of people around the world are furloughed or working from home radio stations been the focus of many peoples lives. Whether they tune in for news, entertainment, information, local updates or just to have that noise in the background while life at home goes on, radio remains a source of joy in peoples lives.
And in many ways the staff from all stations should be giving themselves a cheer (as should the listeners), they have had to innovate, change, grow, educate themselves and create content from home, from half staffed stations and under circumstances that continue to be less than ideal – all with increasing production values that, as the quarantine have progressed have shown that many technical minds working towards perfect sound in imperfect conditions can do great things.
But enough with all the plaudits! Here are our top 8 ways in which radio stations are staying safe, supporting their listeners and making a difference…
1. Cleaning & the shower curtain – If guests are going into the studio many stations putting in place extra cleaning measures and as suggested by Mark Shecterle, NRG on the #Coronavirusradioideas page, you can seperate your guests from hosts by “Clear Shower Curtains work GREAT. We have them in all our studios, sales area, and shared offices. We are also using Plexiglass in all the studios”.
2. Online music radio event – There are actually now too many of these to mention (so we have done an article about the best for you here) but many stations are taking their summer music events online and trying to create that festival/event feeling for listeners at home.
3. Home studios – As with the best DIY projects lists appearing all over social media there should be a prize for best or most innovative home studio, whether professionally installed or DIYed the home studio is now a ‘thing’, Chris Evan’s, Virgin Radio could possibly win this prize with his studio boat – we in RDE HQ are a bit jealous but knowing head rooms on a boat not much!
4. Putting Mental health first – Radio has always been a caring medium. Due to it’s local nature and through the phone in radio has always been close to the community and the people in it. However, over this crisis radio has been front and centre in promoting the need to care for listeners mental health including this week’s “No Talk Day” on Triple M in Melbourne and the “The Mental Health Minute” overseen by the RadioCentre, UK. Although these initiatives are not new they are even more important at this time.
5. Supporting the music industry – Live music is paused in a way that has never been seen before but for the lives of those who produce it this is nothing short of a different kind of crisis. Radio stations have seen this and have tired to support the music industry with online events, gigs and donating towards funds to support this industry. Radio we salut you!
6. Keeping the conversation on air – Radio continutes to support, debate, discuss etc all of the hot topics of the moment. Awards will be won by many radio broadcasters for their coverage of current affairs at this time including but not limited to Covid 19 crisis; ensuring the listeners have a say in current Black Lives Matters conversation (HOT 97 and WBLS 107.5 New York, Town Hall on Covid 19’s impact on communities of colour) and keeping Pride on-air (iHeartRadio “Can’t Cancel Pride: A COVID-19 Relief Benefit for the LGBTQ+ Community”).
7. Saying thank you to those on the front line – We have all been out to clap key workers but stations are taking this a step further to recognise those on the front line of the fight against Covid 19 whether that’s raising a virtual glass to them (Toast to the Frontline by WWWW FM), raising money for KW’s over the air (Dylan Carollo, 17yo who raised 30k USD through his D100 station), saying thank you (KFOR Oklahoma, Honor Heros campaign) or just informing key workers of special opening times.
8. Keeping the radio community together – Radio is like a worldwide village. Radio stations have come together at this time of need to share ideas and support each other, and continue to do so. Radiodays Europe is proud to be part of this industry!