Want to Be a Radio Presenter?

CoastFM was established in 1997 by a group of volunteers at Smithfield State High School with an aspirant community license as part of the country’s first ever accredited radio-broadcasting course in a secondary school. The students operated this facility very well. So well, in fact, that they became the second highest rating station in Cairns in several peak listening times. In 1998 an arson attack closed the station, but it was reopened in 2000 through the work of Warren Entsch.

It has been through highs and lows in following years. The last 5 years working to produce a station that meets its licence requirement of Youth, Culture and Arts with an experienced radio person to help.

Now it has students from years 9, 11 and 12 doing radio as part of the school classes and years 7 using their lunch breaks to help. The station has received grants to fund running Cert II & Cert III courses now with 12 getting their Cert III.

The majority of its programming is music covering the needs of its target audience. Comments from the listeners show that workers such as tradies like the music policy and it’s limited commercial content.

Peter Gill was with the early development of a Community Radio project in Sydney which was exclusively Australian Music. Each week a performer joined the show talked of his life and played live for the program. The show is now in its 10th year and is heard on around 70 radio station around Australia through the Community Radio’s Digital Radio. Peter feels that with the huge number of quality musicians in Cairns we would have enough performers to do a Cairns program that would be distributed through the same network letting Australia hear our talent.

CoastFM has produced over 500 radio specials with performers in the past 5 years. The interviews have been more toward the style of the ABC following their life, hobbies and beliefs rather than short advertorials for a new release or gig. This also meets the style required for Community Radio. The performers like this because it does not contain the same questions they get during continual media inquiries.

Coast FM are on the lookout for a presenter to host a Cairns based original music program, I caught up with Peter Gill for a quick Q/A..

What are you looking for in a presenter?

The most important thing is researching the performers and submissions so the program is not a chat, it is informative and interesting information that will help grow a wide audience. It is a volunteer roll.

Are you after any particular styles of music?

Not really. Helping the performers is a priority, those who look to independent music.

If local artists want to get airplay on 101.9 CoastFM, how do they go about it?

Send the work to us either electronically or CD. We are looking for someone to help us develop a category for local that we can incorporate into daily programming, they would need to respect our present format but help us take it to a new level in our 24/7 format.

Do any potential presenters need any previous experience in radio?

No but they must be prepared to learn the Codes of Practice adhered to Community Broadcasting that vary from the Codes for Commercial Radio.

Why do you think it is important for people to support community radio?

Community Radio can provide local content all day every day. Most programs on other outlets have large periods of networked shows which restricts 24/7 access by locals. We are a training opportunity for those who have radio or journalism in mind as a career.

Anyone interested should contact Peter Gill on 0408 198 195

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