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Director of the Wits Radio Academy, Professor Franz Kruger

[By: Abongile Zizi]

At a time in our country where the fate of journalism is being discussed on multiple platforms ranging from parliament to journalism classes nationwide, it is heartening to know that the future of radio broadcasting is in good hands and moving from strength to strength.

The Wits Radio Academy presents a well-rounded approach to the world of radio offering courses in marketing, programming, management and presentation. Launched in 2009, the centre is primarily funded by the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and Kagiso Media and is part of Wits Journalism. The Advanced Radio Certificate is a holistic approach to the business of radio in its entirety with courses like Radio studies (which is a compulsory aspect of the certificate), radio presentation, local radio journalism and radio sales amongst others. This year, the academy opened up applications for their new offerings, Honours in Journalism and Media Studies and masters in Journalism and Media Studies.

Director of the Wits Radio Academy, Professor Franz Kruger said the seven modular courses run at the academy are mainly aimed at community radio. Around a hundred broadcasters from all tiers of radio have done courses at the Wits Radio Academy since its inception.

The need for proper training and skills is very evident within community radio and this has not gone unnoticed, the academy is developing a radio station health check and Station Advice, Mentoring and Support service. This is intended to offer support to community radio stations. “I do worry about the news on the community radio side because they are strongly recycled. There are all sorts of dynamics at play within community radio, they are struggling financially and a lot of stations have skills difficulties because a lot of people come and go.”

The academy has been drawing radio practitioners at various levels from different parts of the world through the Joburg Radio Days conference. This year the conference focused on the future of radio looking at themes such as; the Zimbabwe broadcasting reform, the current state and future challenges of an old medium, how best radio stations can make use of the opportunities of online and social media and examples of great new programming concepts. The conference aims at getting a conversation going from all spheres of radio, commercial, PBS and Community radio. “Probably the most significant platform for radio people to talk, across the continent”

In a country where community radio continues to grow, the opportunities seem endless.

 

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MTN PLAY RADIO, A NEW DIRECTION

Posted by radio On December - 7 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

[By: Abongile Zizi]

 As the first mobile radio station to be launched in South Africa, MTN play radio gives MTN subscribers around the clock access to five mobile music radio stations. Subscribers pay R35 a month to access the service. Currently it offers the latest Hip Hop, Afrikaans, Gospel, House/Kwaito, and Pop music, 50% of which is exclusively local music. What sets MTN Play radio apart is that unlike conventional radio stations, the content is exclusively uninterrupted music.

 According to SAARF, 20.7% of cell phone users in the country use their cell phones to listen to music. MTN’s Lucky Mokabane says what sets this service apart is the amazing niche music and entertainment features that are not currently on offer in the free to air broadcast space. Intrinsic in the nature of online radio is the niche experience; audiences are spoilt for choice, from terrestrial stations that stream their content live to exclusively internet based radio stations like 2Oceansvibe Radio and Bakgat. What separates MTN Play radio from 2Oceansvibe and Bakgat is the format; these stations have kept some of the traditional aspects of radio format by having continuity as part of their content.

The mobile network has very big plans for the service, aspiring to be the best radio service in the country for young South Africans looking for new music. MTN Play Radio is expecting to offer an advanced media rich interactive experience. “Unlike traditional radio, the service will provide customers with exactly what they want, when they want it, in great audio quality. The content offering is going to grow into a more media rich interactive listening experience, with more than 20 radio stations.”

As a subscription service, MTN Play requires that subscribers pay upfront for their music experience while other online radio offerings are free. The arrival of the Apple Itunes store in South Africa can be interpreted as further indication that there is a market for pay to play services in the country.

The service has been operational for two months and made news when renowned media personality Majota Mandlakayise Isaac Kambule, popularly known as Phat Joe left Heart FM to focus on his other media ventures, one of which is MTN Play radio. “Phat Joe is a multitalented broadcaster, techie and businessman. His talents are being used to help establish the MTN Play Radio brand and set it on a course to being the number one radio platform in Africa” said Mokabane. Phat Joe’s career in broadcasting spans over seventeen years. He has worked with a number of radio and television stations from Radio Bop, Yfm, Metro FM, Kaya FM, Heart 104.9 FM and e.tv. Joe now hosts the popular The Real Goboza on Sabc 1.

To listen to MTN Play Radio right now, go to MTNPlay.co.za or sms MTNRADIO10 to 083 123 686.

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SPEAK MY LANGUAGE

Posted by radio On December - 4 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

[By: Abongile Zizi]

 

Picture taken from joedawsonvoiceovers.com

As an integral part of communication, language in radio plays a vital role in how the station communicates with its listeners and how the audience interacts with the station.

Throughout the years, South Africa has become a melting pot of diversity; different groups of people with different languages share the same spaces and interact with each other on a daily basis. In dealing with language, certain stations like Umhlobo Wenene in the Eastern Cape broadcast exclusively in IsiXhosa, Radio Sonder Grense (RSG) broadcasts in Afrikaans while SAFM broadcasts in English. Many radio stations have this formula; where one language is dominant over any other language that may be used during broadcast. Some stations use a single language exclusively as the broadcast language.

 A lot of youth stations and campus radio stations have a different approach to the language rules of radio using slang and a mixture of languages TruFM in the Eastern Cape prides itself in being “like no one else” broadcasting in both isiXhosa and English. The station’s target audience comprises of the listeners between the ages of 16-24 and the 25-34 groups.

Gagasi FM, KZN’s biggest regional station also has its own brand of language mix branded “zunglish” this is a mixture of Isizulu and English. It is the only bilingual commercial radio station in Kwa Zulu Natal targeting 18-34 year old listeners. The move towards a language blend in radio is indicative of the blurring line between languages in the 16-34 year old age group.  The biggest consumers of media and technology in the country belong to this very group and stations targeting them are having to find new ways to engage with this perceptive bunch. Aside from social networking and hosting events, stations are also using language in order to further appeal to the audience.

Branding itself as a lifestyle, YFM is a youth station that has branded itself as the station that runs GP. As a youth station, YFM has positioned itself as an authority on youth culture. Looking at the youth of Gauteng, YFM uses more than language and social media to communicate their brand and connect with their audiences. Providing a platform for up and coming artist, playing the latest music and delivering news that are relevant to their target audience, the YFM brand has a mass appeal to the youth. According to the latest SAARF RAMS, YFM has an average listenership of 513 000 listeners weekly. RAMS are not the only signifiers of appeal and popularity and as of the 2nd of December this year, the station has 52759 twitter followers and 118239 likes on Facebook. These numbers change on a daily basis. YFM’s social media accounts are highly active with audiences interacting with the station on a daily basis.

Language is the cornerstone of radio as it sets the tone for interaction with audiences and communicates the brand for the station. Appealing to the youth and urban adults is becoming increasingly hard as this group of listeners is constantly changing and broad.

Looking at social media usage and how the youth use these platforms to communicate their identity, radio stations targeting this group are always faced with the challenge of change and need to constantly be dynamic in their approach to delivering content. Delivering economic indicators during broadcasts, YFM listeners are treated to a different experience, these figures are delivered using burger prices! For example, a burger is R19.95 Jozi; the same burger would cost you R31.98 in New York City, R29.08 in London and R33.72 in Paris. This is how YFM audiences are made aware of the exchange rate.

The adaptation of content to suit the target market is a solid marketing principle that is used universally in order to sell goods or services. The use of a language mix in radio targeting the urban youth and adult market is one way that stations are guaranteeing they speak their audiences’ language.

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[By Abongile Zizi]

Teachers in action
Image courtesy of Mindset Learn

The power of radio to educate is once again proving why radio as a medium has become a part of so many lives. Since August this year, high school students across Limpopo, Kwa Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape have been benefiting from the MTN Learn School Programme. An initiative of Mindset Learn and the Department of Basic Education, MTN Learn is a revision broadcast that is being aired by 12 community radio stations across the three provinces in a bid to ensure that matrics are ready for their final exams.

The programmes are transmitted from Mindset’s studios to selected community radio stations. Participating radio stations are Mohodi FM, Univen Radio, Moletsi FM, Greater Tzaneen FM and Sekgosese FM in Limpopo, and Forte FM, Vukani FM, Radio Graaff-Reinet, Mdantsane FM and Nkqubela FM in the Easter Cape. In KwaZulu Natal, the programmes are available to learners through Hindvani Radio and Maputaland Community Radio.

The daily broadcasts are presented by semi-experts and teachers in the Maths, Science and English learning areas.  The programmes are designed to create an interactive environment where learners can engage with the material being discussed on the radio. This is done via, telephone, SMS and on Facebook. 22 000 learners engage with the programme on Facebook where they also receive tips on how to approach exams. According to Mindset Learn’s Goodman Chauke, the programme brings a fresh angle to learning with the number of interaction between learners and programme increasing during exams.

The initiative is also a positive addition to participating community radio stations as it allows for them to fulfil their regulatory mandate of providing educational programming to the communities they serve. Community radio stations are struggling to meet their financial obligations; this programme has also brought some revenue to participating stations.

The future of this initiative looks bright, according to Chauke, the goal now is to build relationships with Grade 10 learners who will be in Grade 11 in 2013 and expand the broadcast content to cover both Grade 11 and Grade 12 material. Covering more subjects and expanding the initiative is also on the cards for the programme.

 

 

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DESTINY MAGAZINE CELEBRATES FIVE YEARS

Posted by radio On November - 6 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

South Africa’s only women’s business and lifestyle magazine, Destiny is celebrating its fifth birthday and to mark this occasion 13 women have been chosen to grace the magazine’s cover. The cover features eight readers and five mentors. Founding Editor of Destiny and Managing CEO of Ndalo Media Khanyi Dhlomo said the fifth birthday issue of Destiny presented an opportunity to celebrate what has been achieved by the magazine as a platform for beautiful, powerful and visionary women in business and lifestyle but also the relationships that have been forged with the readers of the magazine.

The mentors; Khanyi Dhlomo, Founding Editor of Destiny and Managing CEO of Ndalo Media, Terry Volkwyn who is the CEO of Primedia Broadcasting, Highveld Stereo’s Anele Mdoda, Sonja de Bruyn who is the co- founder of Investment Boutique Identity partners and Judi Nwokedi, Senior Executive for the French nuclear firm Arvera held a round table discussion with the mentees. At the session the mentees were given sound business advice and tips on how to balance work and home life.

In keeping with true destiny style, this issue also has the much-anticipated Power of 40 Report sponsored by Mazda. This annual report showcases 40 women, under the age of 40, who are making waves in their respective industries, including fashion, science, aviation, education, film and entertainment. These women have taken their industries to greater heights and are a true example to all South African women.

Issued by Ndalo Media

Picture taken from www.Bizcommunity.co.za

 

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Community radio…For us, by us

Posted by radio On November - 5 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

[by Abongile Zizi]

Community radio in South Africa is enjoying a strong foothold on audiences that is growing daily. SAARF RAMS released in August 2012 show that community radio listenership sits at 8720’000 listeners. Around the same time last year, total community radio listenership sat at 84466’000. These numbers indicated a slight growth from 24.8% to 25.0%. A single percentile might not seem like a drastic jump but the steady and consistent climb of this type of radio is very telling of the impact community radio is starting to have on audiences. The consistent growth of community radio is due to a myriad of factors that intrinsic to its very nature. The existence of agencies like the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) which give financial and structural support to community based media organisations has created a fertile environment for community radio to flourish. Earlier this year, the oldest community radio station in South Africa, Bush Radio experienced severe financial difficulties; this is not a unique situation. Many community radio stations experience financial difficulties because they are funded through grants, sponsorships and the little advertising revenue they generate.

Community radio is for the community, by the community. In this instance community is a broad term as it refers to both geographical communities and communities of interest. Catering to a niche market is part of the reason why there’s a growing listenership base for community radio.  Within communities localised media serves to create a common ground for the group to explore their shared concerns in depth and on their own terms be it through language, religion or shared geography. Within geographical communities, community radio further extends the already intimate relationship that radio stations share with their listeners as it speaks directly to their needs in a language they can understand.

While PBS and Commercial radio cater to a multitude of interests that are relevant to their target market, the ground level approach and localised content provided by community radio has a stronger appeal to audiences because of the localisation of the content. The foothold that Commercial and PBS stations had on audiences has been shaken by community radio because these stations compete with them for audiences and enjoy somewhat of an advantage.

Currently, there are over a hundred community radio stations in South Africa, these stations cater to multiple communities with multiple needs. In community radio not only is content aligned with national interest, content approach is focused on localised impact. Isolated communities have found a voice though community radio. Most community radio stations are made up of volunteers from the community who can be seen as a representation of the community within which these stations function. They also nurture raw talent by affording interested community members an environment to learn and grow as radio presenters, producers, reporters and newsreaders. Radio personalities like Metro FM’s DJ Sbu and 702 Talk Radio’s Niall Collie started off at community radio level. Community radio not only trains and produces media practitioners who can rival those of PBS and commercial stations, it gives communities a voice.

Sources: MDDA, SAARF

Picture taken from: www.Bushradio.wordpress.com

 

 

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Squawk with Bruce Whitefield

Posted by radio On November - 2 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

This month, renowned financial journalist and Radio personality Bruce Whitefield will be joining CNBC Africa. The television news channel will be introducing two new shows Squawk with Bruce Whitefield and Share Shootout. Chief Editor at CNBC Africa, Godfrey Mutizwa said the appearance of Bruce Whitefield was a testament to the channel’s commitment to work with only the best in financial journalism. “Bruce brings with him a story-telling ability matched by few and a wealth of industry experience earned over nearly two decades.

Whitefield has won multiple awards for his work in print, radio and television. The awards include a Sanlam Financial Journalist of the year award, Citadel and Citibank’s South African Financial journalist of the year and MTN awards for best financial broadcaster for three years running.  He also presents The Money Show with on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk each weekday between 18h00 and 20h00.

Squawk with Bruce Whitefield is a new show that will be highlighting and analysing important and interesting market events and activities both locally and globally. Every week the show will feature investment experts, fund managers, traders and other investment experts. Bruce will also act as the “sheriff of the shootout” an exciting element of the show that will involve two fund managers or traders who will come in every week and try to convince him and each other why three shares  they live by are worth buying. Bruce will then decide who remains and who is eliminated. .

Don’t miss Squawk with Bruce Whitfield every Thursday at 21:00

Source: DSTV online

Picture taken from: eventsource.co.za

 

 

 

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RSG celebrates 75 years of Afrikaans radio with a couple of surprises and glimpses into yesteryear.  For an hour Losplip disappeared and former RSG presenter Nickie Van Der Burg kicked off this action packed weekend.  For two hours listeners reminisced about their memories from steam to internet radio. Other surprises include the news bulletins being read by the beloved Riaan Cruywagen who started his career on RSG.

75 years is a long time on air and many on- air personalities have been part of the RSG family.  People like Marius du Plooy, Dawid van Lill, Nic de Jager, Gerda Coetzee, Anita Armand, Monica Breed, Dolf van Niekerk, Corrie Huyser, Daniel Hugo, Barbara Jooste Jan Snyman and Pieter de Bruyn will be gracing the airwaves on the RSG frequency once more. Part of the programming includes a lot of guests who made a considerable contribution to the station programming over the years like Marx Du Preez a forerunner of talk radio.  The station has come a long way since the days of a B service broadcast from the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

During the course of the weekend, listeners will also be entertained by the likes of Leon Schuster and Cobus Robinson. Sports lovers are also in for a treat, many of the sports commentators and presenters that have graced the airwaves under the banner of RSG have an action packed sporting afternoon planned.  Radio in South Africa is still a very powerful medium; stations like RSG are changing with the times, a walk down memory lane will serve to remind us all why RSG is still the one.

source: RSG

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News Radio 24/7

Posted by radio On October - 24 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

By Helen Phushela

All-news radio is a form of a 24hour News radio station.  Unlike television which caters for the eye, radio writes for the ear, where producers and show compilers need to create an image in the listeners mind. 24Hour radio news broadcast would require most, if not all to adapt and make longer than 15minute news bulletins. This form of 24hour news has already been introduced in the United States where they have all round radio news stations. In South Africa we have what is called Talk/News radio stations. Talk Radio 702 and Cape talk, SAfm etc. all these stations play music to an extent.

A 24hour radio news station might sound like a good idea, if all is taken into account.  Graveyard shifts would be re-runs of day time heated debates about current affairs. With political developing stories daily, the station would have the leverage of breaking news. Writing for the ear would prove to be a challenge as people need to visualise the scene or the situation that is described by the reporter. In journalism broadcast jargon this would be referred to as “Say what you see”.  The reporter solely relies on good written scripts to pass the message to the listener.

Pro’s of radio as a medium

Radio is the second oldest form of media; it is usually overlapped by television capabilities. Radio is still the largest mobile medium, which allows people to interact with hosts.Cell phones and online radio station archives allow for the public to take radio with them everywhere they go. With the Digital Terrestrial age, radio will also experience change. Radio stations such as Metro Fm will use the same frequency country wide. This influences frequency distribution thus making room for a 24hour radio news channel.

Con’s of 24hour radio station

Radio as a medium has been compromised in its traditional form, instead of it being dominant with people choosing to use it as a news source people now use the internet. 24Hour radio news station will have to compete with Graveyard shift DJs who already have a fan base. With the new nature of station hopping, the content of the station would have to cater to everyone. “Strike while the iron is hot” motto will not apply to the station programming, 7pm breaking news will be stale at 10pm. As other news channels would have exhausted all the story angles.

Radio capitalises on current affairs and breaking news, as a short written medium.  A 24hour news radio station would only appeal to a certain segment of the audience and with the changing news consumption patterns, a 24 hour news radio channel would need to break news constantly in order to compete with the internet. For a 24hour news radio station to survive it must never be news starved, to guarantee success and increased listenership

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By Helen Phushela

On the 1st of October 2012 the public broadcaster (SABC) deepened its partnership with money-web the AltX-listed media company. The relationship between the SABC and money-web started when business radio was introduced in South Africa back in April 1997. That was when SA fm launched Market Update, hosted by Alec Hogg. He was then the SABC head of news input for SABC TV.

In the past Money-web outsourced its sales operation to United Stations in 2006 November. Money-web CEO Alec Hogg stated that the relationship between them was successful and united stations played a big role in building their brand.  Money-web has been handling SABC s daytime radio business shows since 2004, they will now in addition to that provide breaking business, investment and personal finance reports within RSG, SAFM and LOTUS FM programming. This will also expand to SABC owned stations. The SABC stated that it only made sense that money-web take over the sole responsibility for the public broadcaster’s sales. Hence it is a mutual beneficial agreement helping mostly empower and educate the 20million SABC listeners in South Africa.

The previously provided shows will remain while new changes are brought to is light, with hour long phone in programs concentrating on personal finance. These will be aired by RSG and Lotus FM.  As much as every person in South Africa is well aware of the financial constraints that the country going through, educating people on it is still vital, most people relay on the public broadcasters radio stations for news and information. The partnership between the two bodies will benefit the majority in South Africa. The popular Gildsake met Money-web on RSG has been on air for 8yrs, hosted by Andries Van Zyl. Gildsake has by far the highest listener-ship of any business show in the country. Its time slot switched from 5pm to 6:30pm during the radio revamp in April. The AltX-listed company’s relationship with Lotus fm has been refined; the previous 15minute programme has been replaced by more integrated offering with six business news updates.

 

Money-web is an inter-grated media company that focuses on producing independent and high quality investment information. Half of the company’s revenue is generated by their internet properties; the balance is divided almost equally between radio and print. It is South Africa’s most dominant online source of online investment information. Their online revenue is generated by their international brand moneyweb.com. Money-web produces leading South African radio finance shows. They offer independent thinking financially which now all South Africans will benefit from, through this strengthened relationship with the SABC. This can only mean fruitful and great outcome for those involved.

Source: Moneyweb.co.za

 

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