Broadcasting School for teens

From northern British Columbia comes an interesting introduction to broadcasting  & audio production, thanks to 88.7  CFUR-FM “The FUR” in the city of Prince George.  CFUR is a campus/community FM O/O by the University of Northern BC & programmed by both students & the community at large. It’s supported in typical fashion via membership drives & fundraisers.  This novel program engages teens & provides an interesting & entertaining activity for them to pursue during summer school break. By the end of the two weeks, each camper will create their very own hour-long program to be broadcast on the station & may even inspire some to sign up to host their own regular show.  Payment for the camp works on a sliding scale, ranging from $40 to $400 depending on the camper’s financial situation.  The 10-day  curriculum  covers a number of crucial subjects accompanied by plenty of hands-on training

I spent a number of my years in broadcasting employed in management, engineering, programming & production at campus & community FM’s & trained hundreds of volunteers at several stations how to do basic production.  I created a two-hour training program with the objective of having new volunteers be able to pre-record “back-up/emergency” shows for those weeks they were absent, do a show promo to air on the station plus some basics such as good mic techniques, voice-overs using music background, use of simple production software – namely the excellent, free program “Audacity”.  The training sessions were broken up into two 1-hour training tutorials.  The first hour was me showing how to use the mixer, record audio files, use the mic etc with me at the controls of the production studio.  The second 1-hour session was the new volunteer doing it all themselves, with help & coaching provided by me.  I trained new volunteers as young as 10 years of age & can vouch for the enthusiasm & excitement of the young when learning & mastering audio production, then hearing the playback results of their efforts.

While opportunities to get into broadcasting are getting fewer & more far between, opportunities are still prevalent in volunteer campus/community radio plus the exciting self-production world of podcasting.  Kudos to CFURFM for creating an innovative & positive means for teens to spend their summer vacation.

Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening

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