Community Development through Online Radio

Eugenia Stuart, Nicholas Trivett, Laurence Hughes

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Abstract

About N10.as: The primary goal of n10.as (pronounced “antennas”) is a not-for-profit digital radio station where the community comes together to create, share and broadcast. n10.as provides a platform for community members to express themselves, communicate and share ideas through a variety of interest based shows. This includes a multitude of music shows, a number of talkback shows centre discussion on different cultural aspects and themes. Similar projects exist in major cities such as The Lot in New York, NTS in London, and Red Light Radio in Amsterdam. To date, n10.as has been sustained through revenue from merchandise, and fundraising efforts such as parties and listener donations.

n10.as radio began in Montreal in 2016. Currently it broadcasts from Montreal and Canberra, where Canberra is streaming during the day and Montreal is streaming at night. Since launching in Canberra late last year, presenters have curated content for the very first time, exhibited live performances and become more comfortable interviewing and planning a radio show. It has promoted Canberra based artists and issues onto a popular world wide platform. Eugenia Stuart, Nicholas Trivett and Laurence Hughes are the primary liaisons of the Canberra stream.

The goal: n10.as aims to effectively embody and reflect the diversity of Canberra’s arts and social communities. By acquiring a dedicated physical space with appropriate equipment, we will be able to realise our mandate:

    n10.as is committed to providing a respectful and safe space involving a diverse community of people. Our intention is to provide an inclusive environment where people feel and are welcomed. Our goal is to provide a platform where you will be able to connect and contribute to the community. A space to relax, listen, and learn some new names.

n10.as hopes to empower all interested members of the community to develop broadcasting knowledge through active engagement as radio hosts, workshop participants, and to engage with thought provoking alternative content.

What we do: n10.as is a medium that presents music, literature and cultural exploration through listening, whilst promoting art through website skins and event installations.

Most of our shows are currently focused on the music community sustained by the emerging youth culture. Within this community, there is a broad range of interest and hosts are encouraged to search for, and share aspects of sound relevant to their lives. n10.as gives a platform for artists to showcase their interests in a context independent from live performance. This is valuable as it offers artists time to develop their practice and conduct research into the history of different musical genres. Current radio platforms in Canberra are not specifically geared towards youth culture and development. n10.as is run by young people who aim to reflect the music of young people.

Tools: To broadcast to the website, we use ‘butt’ and ‘airtime’.

Butt (broadcast using this tool) is a program that takes the stream from your computer and feeds it to airtime. In airtime, you can broadcast through a calendar feature which allows you to pick-up live shows from butt and schedule re-runs.

Airtime feeds the stream to our website, which was made in Montreal using Github pages. On this website we have archived shows which can be replayed. A larger archive can also be found on mixcloud.

Other features of the website include a chatroom which fosters peer engagement, an online shop, monthly artist skins used as the background, an event ticker and noticeboard.

The impact: n10.aus has made a positive impact to the local Canberra music scene. We have seen interstate and international artists share the same platform as people performing (immaculate) radio shows for the first time. The intimate nature of radio has allowed for self-expression and musical risk taking that doesn’t fit into a clubbing context.

n10.as is a platform that increases visibility of Canberra based artists. We have facilitated community engagement by encouraging new shows. As we have begun actively seeking involvement from women and other minorities, we have discovered that many individuals have not had access to broadcasting or musical equipment. It is important that community broadcasters reflect their community. We are committed to increasing the visibility of minorities and believe that our capacity to do so will be strengthened by hosting workshops and finding a dedicated space for the station.

The future: In the future, we would like to expand our programming and open up the radio platform to more people through training and community development.

Training is vital to giving people who are traditionally excluded from artistic dialogues the confidence and skills to create and refine content. We want to be able to present workshops which develop the skills of our broadcasters. Our ability to achieve this will be supported by our equipment that is expensive and difficult for marginalised groups to gain access to. Training with aforementioned industry standard equipment will also increase the accessibility of starting a radio show, allowing us to present a more diverse range of content from Canberra. Already, we have seen skill sharing develop between show hosts before and after their scheduled times. We want to facilitate this development through designated training and skill development sessions.

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