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Blog post by Senior Lecturer Zara Healy.

Over 100 Audio and Media Production students gathered for HEADSPACE, a unique industry social event at Lincoln University on Weds 30th April. The gathering was organised by Senior Lecturer in Radio, Zara Healy.

16 industry professionals, including 6 graduates from the radio, audio and music industries attended the event. They included Tim Johns, who produces Jeremy Vine’s show on BBC Radio 2, Chris North, a Talent Manager who has represented Greg James and Scott Mills, Sound Artist Amie Slavin, and presenters from the BBC and Commercial Radio.

Four Q and A sessions allowed students to set the agenda and ask any question about careers, getting a foot in the door or setting up their own companies. The aim of the day was to get students mixing with industry contacts and gain honest, helpful advice. The result was a packed and really useful day, which ended in the Shed Pub for a drink and more discussion.

Zara Healy said “We have great contacts with the industry and HEADSPACE was a chance for people to get together, socialise and celebrate this. I hope this event is the start of more social gatherings in the future”.

Thank you to Brayford Radio for helping host the guests and Dr Sarah Barrow, Head of the School of Media for funding it.

Symposium Summary

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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.

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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.

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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’!

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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.

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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!

Bryan Rudd
Principal Lecturer in Media Production &
Programme Leader BA (Hons) Audio Production

Radio, Sound & Music Symposium II

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Top names in the world of radio, sound and music will be in Lincoln for an unmissable event next week. Wednesday 1st May sees our second Radio, Sound & Music Symposium, hosted by our Visiting Professor and radio supremo Trevor Dann.
The exciting panel of guest speakers and alumni will provide lively debate and insider knowledge around all things audio.

The schedule for the day is as follows:

1000 Welcome and Introduction from Trevor Dann

1020 Ruth Barnes (The Other Woman, Amazing Radio, ex BBC 6-Music)

1100 Adam Bowie (Head of Strategy & Planning, Absolute Radio)

1145 John Williams (Music producer, ex Head of A&R at Chrysalis and Polydor)

1230 Lunch and meet and chat with our guests

1400 Ashley Byrne (Creative Director, Made In Manchester)

1445 Andrew Wilkie (Director of Radio, Prison Radio Association)

1530 Alumni Panel: –
Laura Mather (Brand Manager, Smooth & Real Radio)
Liam Juniper (Studio Manager, BBC WS & 5Live)
Matt North (TV Sound Supervisor and film sound recordist)
Laurence Whitaker (BBC Leeds/York)

1615 Finish

Venue: Lecture Theatre 2: ARM201 (Architecture building)

Guest speaker biographies:

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Ruth Barnes is a new music expert, blogger, podcaster and broadcaster, currently presenting the mid morning show and The Other Woman on Amazing Radio – the new music network dedicated to emerging and independent artists. Ruth kicked off her career in radio with a six month stint on the BBC London overnight show presenting 4 hours of phone-in radio through the night, which is one way to ensure she’s never short of anything to say once the mic is open!

Ruth was a music reporter for the BBC broadcasting live from the likes of the Glastonbury festival for BBC Radio 5 Live to the WOMAD music festival as far afield as Abu Dhabi for the BBC World Service. Years spent as part of the BBC 6 Music news team meant reporting from music festivals around the country, as well as interviewing musicians – both famous and emerging. Ruth has also been a regular feature maker for the Claudia Winkleman Arts Show on BBC Radio 2, presenting and producing ten minute features on all aspects of the arts world.

A weekly radio show on London’s arts network Resonance FM, The Other Woman, led to a weekly spot on Tom Robinson’s Introducing show on BBC 6 Music. Ruth played her top tips for Tom every week as his Girl Music Guru.

Ruth runs The Other Woman new music blog and podcast, which promotes emerging female talent. Ruth has deputised for Tom on his 6M Introducing show and has presented an all-female 6 Mix for 6 Music.

She also has a voiceover career and is one of the voices of BBC 1 and BBC 2 continuity.


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John Williams is an English A&R executive, record producer, photographer, manager, recording artist, and songwriter. In a career that has spanned over 35 years at major record labels, he has guided, A&R’d, mentored, and produced many artist careers including The Housemartins and The Proclaimers,[1] as well as producing and signing Alison Moyet, Simple Minds,[2] The Waterboys, Robert Plant, The Blue Nile, Status Quo,[3] Cathy Dennis, Petula Clark, Ocean Colour Scene, JJ Cale, Blancmange, Shriekback, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Jethro Tull,Beth Nielsen Chapman, Debbie Harry and Luciana Caporaso.


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Adam Bowie has worked for Absolute Radio, and in its previous incarnation as Virgin Radio, since 1996. During that time he’s worked in a variety of roles within the company. Currently he looks after the commercial research interests of the station including RAJAR analysis and conducting bespoke research for clients. He also looks after the interests of the group’s digital radio services including Absolute 80s and Absolute Classic Rock, with a particular emphasis on platform carriage.

He also works with the regulatory bodies such as Ofcom and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, representing Absolute Radio’s interests. He sits on the RAJAR technical management group representing commercial radio, and looks after the interests of Absolute Radio’s digital metrics.

Privately he blogs at adambowie.com

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Andrew Wilkie joined the PRA in 2007 to lead the development of the PRA’s Electric Radio Brixton. Following a successful launch, he guided his staff of prisoners to four Sony Radio Academy Awards, including two Sony Golds, as well as a coveted IVCA Clarion Award. He then led on transforming this local service into National Prison Radio, the world’s first national radio station specifically for prisoners. In 2011 he received a Butler Trust Award and an award from the Greater London High Sheriff for his work.

Andrew has worked extensively as a programme maker for both BBC Network Radio and the commercial sector. He started his broadcasting career as a journalist for BBC Radio Five Live and built a strong freelance portfolio across BBC Network Radio, working with presenters such as Steve Wright, Johnny Walker and Dermot O’Leary on BBC Radio 2.

He was also a reporter for the BBC World Service and a studio producer for BBC Radio 1. In 2004 Andrew produced a documentary on Kurt Cobain called After Nirvana for BBC Radio 2, which was nominated for a Sony Award. He also produced a breakfast show for the country’s largest independent radio group, GCap Media.

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Laura Mather is an award winning and passionate radio producer with extensive industry experience across some of the UK’s largest and most prominent radio brands.
Graduating in 2006 with a BA Honours in Media Production, Laura immediately started refining her craft with a 12 month contract as Station Producer at Viking FM. To further develop her skillset and broaden her industry knowledge she moved to Trent FM in Nottingham as an Imaging Producer, where her exposure to show production sparked an interest that would lead her to GMG’s Real Radio North West. She took on Ditchy and Salty at Breakfast and within three years had gathered numerous awards including Sony Gold for Station of the Year and Sony Bronze for Best Entertainment programme. In May 2011, Laura made the jump from regional to national as she joined Smooth Radio as Brand Producer – leading the station sound for one of the UK’s biggest easy listening radio stations.

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Matt North. Since graduating in 2012, I have since worked as part of the audio team for Ideal Shopping Direct, the company responsible for the popular range of TV shopping channels Ideal World, Create & Craft and The Deal Channel. I have also worked and am still working freelance on an array of projects from short films, including a micro-budget fan-funded feature (shot in only 14 days) in a range of audio roles from location recording all the way through to audio post-production.


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Liam Juniper graduated from the Media Production course with a 2:1 in September 2011. Shortly after graduation he managed to get a temporary contract as a Trainee Studio Manager with the BBC working across all World Service English news programmes at Bush House in London. He is now a fully fledged Studio Manager permanently based in Salford working on output for Radio 5 live, 5 live Sports Extra and World Service Sport.”