When you’re head of speech content, what you make becomes a reality, you’re in charge of the majority of the content which airs during the first hour of the three hour broadcast, although because of personal complications on my behalf, I was unable to perform in this position to the best of my abilities and I was bumped down to a utility position on the content team by Chloe, the head of the pop up radio station. I picked up the role of presenting and producing the Outside Broadcast with Alex Jones, as well as helping out with arranging and producing digital content for the station’s social media platforms and YouTube channel.
The Outside Broadcasts for the demo weeks went without much of an issue, Alex had contacted the vicar for All Saints Church in Ealing through a family connection for the first week where Atlas London had focused their theme on traditional values across different religions and ethnicity and the second, where the theme we were running was entertainment; Alex had found and contacted a Bollywood dance company called ‘Absolute Bollywood’, we interviewed one of their founders ‘Natasha’ at their home in Southgate, North London. One of the problems we had to deal with throughout the lifespan of the radio station is the lack of a good connection with the studio through a tie-line, so we had use our phones by calling one of the producers on Facebook Messenger which was logged in on the computer. One of the problems we encountered through this was the amount of feedback coming through the phone, we also had problems with finding a good connection which led to most of the outside broadcasts and interviews not sounding particularly great, although the first two sounded decent as we were inside, in a quiet space and using private WiFi which had been kindly provided to us by our interviewees.
The first week of the station’s launch, we stuck to the theme of entertainment and we visited SumeetsStep2Step studio inside Hounslow Arts Centre, which Alex Jones had arranged on the phone the week before hand. We were without a tie-line in this situation, and although we had arranged the interview with co-founder Monika Deo, her husband and fellow co-founder Summeet Deo also attended the interview, and provided an amazing insight to the foundations and history of their dance studio.
The second week of the live show was Love week, and we had a rockier start than intentionally planned, as our original idea for an outside broadcast; which was an interview with a bridal store called MyShaddi, who were based in West Ealing; had fallen through due our calls and emails falling on deaf ears. We had other initial backup plans, which included visiting Southall High Street, which is pouring with predominately Asian and Indian bridal and marital shops. We eventually settled on visiting the Indonesian flower exhibition at Kew Gardens, as it featured high up on the website’s Top 10 Date Locations In London post that week. Alex Jones and myself played role reversal in this week’s broadcast, with Alex Jones presenting the outside broadcast and me being the producer.
The third week had similar issues as we did with the owner of MyShaddi, with the theme of this week being food; a few weeks before hand I had visited the Bang Bang Oriental Food Hall in Colindale and had been in contact with the manager of Tiger Hill, a bubble tea stand inside the food hall. All of our calls went nowhere and there wasn’t any other way of getting in contact. So, as a back up plan we had decided to travel to one of East London’s most iconic streets when it came to food, Brick Lane; with the idea being that we reported on the cultural history of the road and how it stands today, all this without having a tie-line to broadcast with. Then, 5 minutes before we were due to be on air, someone in the production staff had the idea of moving us up the road to Old Spitalfield Market which was more lively than Brick Lane was at the time, where the restaurants were still pretty quiet. I felt that this wasn’t the greatest idea to move us at such short notice, especially with little to no chance of grabbing any information about the market; we also struggled to get vendors and visitors alike to talk to us on air before we started broadcasting.
The fourth week week saw us come back full circle back to traditions, at least it would have if the course hadn’t been grounded to a halt by the corona-virus pandemic which is currently sweeping across the world. I had been in contact with the Edgware and Hendon reform synagogue, which is a small synagogue based in Edgware and I had been given a contact of one of the rabbis ‘Rabbi Emily Reitsma-Jurman’ by my grandmother, who has been a regular attendee at the synagogue for the past 50+ years.
Before the final week of live broadcasting, I had also helped with a recording for the digital content team, as well as provide equipment for the team to use and buy the food which was taste-tested by Callum & Chloe during the recording.
Looking back on the past two months and being involved with Atlas Radio, I had ideas which I would have liked to have implemented which I feel might have worked with the ideas currently in place, I think pre-recorded interviews instead of Outside Broadcasts would have worked better, as well as having those people that we interviewed as part of the Outside Broadcasts do some extra content, I feel that is something we didn’t utilise on enough as a group and personally, nobody really took a lead on it and I feel like I probably should have.