Friday, July 08, 2011

Save Dunedin's Radio One

Flying Nun's Roger Shepherd wrote this piece for the FNnun blog, please give it a read and show them your support....

"It was announced in Dunedin last week that the Otago University Students Association was looking to put its bNet station Radio One up for sale. The move follows a review into the finances of the association that owns the station, and supplies it with a modest annual subsidy.

Like the other New Zealand university student stations that became the bNet grouping, Radio 1 is bound by it’s broadcasting license to be non commercial and to reflect a student community that forms the core of its audience. A feature of bNets is the strong support for non-mainstream music, and most importantly a large mix of non commercial New Zealand music.

In fact the emergence of more organised university stations coincided with the emergence and success of a great deal of quality New Zealand music in the 1980s -and continues to do so. The University stations played and actively promoted New Zealand music to its most natural audience, students and their friends, and this relationship developed and broadened over time.

The emergence and growth that the bNet stations and Flying Nun enjoyed in tandem from the 1980s were connected. I doubt that a sizable chunk of our collective musical heritage often referred to as the “Dunedin Sound” would resonate anywhere so strongly today now without the enthusiastic airplay and support much of that music received from Radio 1 at the time.

Today a broad community of music makers and their audience is centered around bNet stations, like Radio One in Dunedin, throughout New Zealand. These stations play local music and promote local live events thus acting as a glue connecting artists to their audiences. 

It is hard to imagine shows or tours being as well attended let alone young bands making tentative first steps with shows and then developing local audiences without the likes of Radio One. 

And what actually happens is more than just the transmission of songs and gig information. There is a genuine interaction that works on the human level: of helping out with gear, or accommodation, or tips on bands to watch out for. Much of it is intangible and hard for accountants to quantify but its the bit that creates the magic.

The bNet stations are by the rules of their broadcasting licenses non-commercial so they need help in covering their outgoings. I think we all accept that music is culturally important in the same way that books and literature are. We may not personally use libraries on a regular basis but we support the idea that the larger community maintains them. 

You could compare Radio One to a public library while commercial radio will always be a corner dairy. Non-commercial radio is important and a way has to be found so Radio One can continue in its current form.

- Roger Shepherd

Show your support for Radio 1:

Sign the online petition here

Write a submission
Tell ‘em why Radio One is important (to you) – in detail or just send a few words to
Need some ideas - look here.

Save Radio 1 Facebook page


MikeE said...

Has anyone actually done any investigation into R1s finances and why it "needs saving"

Is there a reason why BFM can operate in Auckalnd with VSM successfully over the last few years but VSM is apparently the death knell for R1 in dunedin, or why all manner of LPFM community stations can work without subsidies but R1 somehow requires X amount of student money even from those who do not listen to it..

I think the VSM argument is a red herrign, and that this is just a political stunt by anti VSM campaigners... if R1 is in trouble then that suggests managmeent issues more than anything.

Peter McLennan said...

Hi Mike
BFM has hardly been operating successfully in recent years, if what i've heard is correct - they've been struggling. Part of that is the Students Association at Ak Uni wants them to return a profit, which is a reasonably recent development on their part.

I'd be interested to hear what the $ value of that subsidy Radio One gets, as that seems to be the stumbling block. Along with getting sold off, of course. Cheers