Why be a Volunteer Presenter on Community Radio?

What’s the point if nobody is listening?

It’s a concern many volunteers and potential volunteers have voiced to us.

It’s obvious community radio is never going to draw in numbers the likes of the BBC or national commercial stations, so we wanted to find out what it is volunteer presenters LOVE about their work. 

Mark Armitage of Phonic FM, with permission

Mark Armitage has presented a show entitled ‘Strangely Strange but Oddly Normal’ for the past four years. He told CommunityRaedio about his experiences… 

 “I’m not a musician but I’m an avid music fan”.

“When I was 12 I was subjected by my sister to the Beatles in the mid 60’s. I started listening to a wider range of stuff when my aunt gave me an LP of Blood Sweat and Tears when I was 15. “

“The show features a lot of 70’s music, and more recent artists who’s material is a bit more interesting and challenging.”

“I’m a bit of a Hi-Fi bore and analogue recordings played on a decent record deck can still sound remarkable. “

“It’s great fun and we don’t take it too seriously”.

“You hope people are listening but then it’s just great to play a variety of music. Preparation is very casual, we have a few themes, or feature a particular artist and genre and then work round that with a playlist. We sometimes have guests on too.”

“I like to introduce friends to new things or stuff they have missed. I am used to interviewing through my work and feel comfortable in this role”.

“Community radio can sound very amateur, but can also be inspiring”

“It’s great because at Phonic there are no adverts or playlists yet we do pay attention to the community. Soon we are to feature a community playrite for example.”

Phonic FM studios, with permission.

“We have a very good response from the community”.

“Teachers have brought year 10 youngesters into the studio for experience and we recently publicised the school musical with some pupils singing live on air.”

“We get emails to our show and the more regular shows have built up a bit of a following.”

“The best moment is getting emails about something I’d played, and knowing people were listening and appreciative”.

We want to hear from YOU about what YOU love about presenting on community radio- why is it a unique experience?
or email us here. 

Mark’s show is on Sunday’s, 4-6PM once a month on Phonic FM.

You can read more about Phonic in our article.  

Let us know about your experiences


3 thoughts on “Why be a Volunteer Presenter on Community Radio?

  1. I currently am doing a few shifts in our own community radio station Alexfm in my country town of Goolwa SA. I love your thoughts on why being a volunteer presenter. Being only in 6mths of my new area of interest I have loved every minute of it all… and yet things do breakdown or make you think on your feet…heheh but it is all for the cause! Thanks again.

      • Hmm … I guess you mean more than doing 2 things at once!… I have learnt to relax when techno break downs occur. I am the only one that uses a laptop with my playlist for the day. That makes it easier for me plus widens the music selection and saves me having to bring tooooo many cd’s for a 3 hour show (mind you i do bring some standby music just in case). But it does leave me up to issues if the laptop has problems. I have learnt to like my own company for 3 hours… You just never really know who is listening.. and I do get a bit of a shocked when someone rings in about a song . Live reads are always the magicians hat!…. Learning to relax and just read the read and get round the pronunciations of names can have some funny outcomes. But reading the weather is the one thing that is hard every time! My mouth is saying the words of ‘knots’ and ‘northeasterly this or that’….. and my head just wishes to say. ÓK… good day for washing…. bring it in by 3 or if your going out on your boat let someone know which way your going!…. and Great day for a Surf…. have a good excuse for your boss today!

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