On a bright and sunny first of May, the Lincoln School of Media held its 2nd Radio, Music & Sound Symposium based around the key themes of future directions & opportunities in the radio and music industries. The series of guest speakers and a panel of former LSM students were chaired with verve and humour by Visiting Professor of Radio & Sound Trevor Dann.
The guests included Ruth Barnes (BBC6 Music & Amazing Radio) who kicked off the day with an almost breathless guide into good preparation, dogged determination and remaining focused! In contrast, Adam Bowie (Head of Strategy & Planning, Absolute Radio) provided a more sobering analysis: a ‘state of the nation’ type of address if you will, on the future of radio listening. Our third speaker, John Williams (music producer and former head of A&R at Chrysalis and Polydor records) detailed how the key relationships and dynamics between the music industry and broadcasting remain much the same, whilst the music industry adapts to the realities of a digital culture.
After a lunch break in which our students had the chance to mingle freely with our guests, an Audio Production first year remarked ‘this has been a really fantastic first year and I didn’t think it could get any better, and then we have a day like this’!
The afternoon session began with Andrew Wilkie (Director of Radio, National Prison Radio) providing a thought provoking insight into the role of prison based radio on the lives of prisoners. With a hint of black humour he noted that ‘you have to be banged up to hear NPR’! However, he followed this with audio clips that were incredibly poignant in terms of both their vitality and their simple but brutal honesty. Our final guest speaker Ashley Byrne (Creative Director, Made In Manchester) set out the vital and growing contribution of the independent sector to the radio industry. He demonstrated and explored a myriad of creative approaches in which radio could be made, developed and marketed. Ashley issued an open challenge to our students to take up these opportunities. The symposium ended with an LSM alumni panel session consisting of Laura Mather (Brand Manager, Smooth & Real Radio), Liam Juniper (Studio Manager, BBC WS & 5live), Matt North (TV Sound Supervisor & film sound recordist) and Laurence Whitaker (BBC Leeds/York) taking questions from students and guests. Each graduate emphasised the importance of their studies at the university in order to pursue their individual career choices. Similarly, in turn, they each encouraged all LSM students to seek out and take advantage of project and work experience opportunities.
The day might be described in six key words, with one or more perhaps representing each speaker and the panel in turn: energetic, informative, enlightening, inspiring, enterprising and re-affirming! In summing up, Trevor Dann provided a motivating adaptation on the famous ‘JFK’ quotation when he told the students: ask what you can do for the industry, not what can the industry do for you!
Principal Lecturer in Media Production &
Programme Leader BA (Hons) Audio Production