Young woman at microphone in a radio studio

Media training to make radio:ACTIVE Christians

Bruce Gulland from Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global) tells us about a unique training opportunity.

At the start of this week, we’re thinking of and praying for those suffering from the Nepal earthquake and the continuing Mediterranean migrant trauma. In many places in the world where disaster strikes radio is at the frontline, helping co-ordinate a response, and advising and comforting those affected. Radio is no doubt playing a role in helping to alleviate the current suffering in Nepal; and indeed in recent years opportunities for specifically Christian content on Nepalese radio stations have greatly increased, enabling the gospel to touch more of its society.

In the west, radio is sometimes seen as the ‘little sister’ of television – less brash, less in-your-face, and well, less visual – despite what anyone says about the pictures being better there. But radio has distinct advantages over other media: its ubiquitous nature, relative ease both to listen to and produce, ability to get information out quickly, and the sense of intimacy and community it can generate. And yes, it can be excellent for story-telling and appealing to the imagination. It’s holding its own as a popular medium, despite the rise of a whole gang of new-media ‘kids on the block’. Radio can fit into our everyday life in a way that other media can’t. You could say it reaches the parts other media don’t: at the breakfast table, in the car, as a podcast while jogging etc. It can also effectively tap into and incorporate social media, keeping it dynamic and edgy.

As in every part of the media, more Christians are needed. One opportunity to help make this happen is the radio:ACTIVE two-week intensive radio course, which helps equip participants who have a faith to work and serve in the medium, both here in the UK and overseas. And if you think, ‘I’m not that interested in radio’, well wait just a second – this may be of interest to someone else you know. So do consider sharing and spreading the word.

The course is residential, based on the outskirts of Leeds at the home of Radio Worldwide, part of the Christian mission WEC International. It’s designed to teach core radio skills, with the opportunity to practise them in the second week by running a live radio station – the only Christian UK course to do so. Radio skills learned include: understanding the audience; creating ads, short reflections and features; digital editing and using radio equipment; conducting research and interviews; news, music and presenting. So participants get a basic grounding in a lot of key areas. In the second week they work in small teams to prepare for and operate a live station, run in conjunction with the local ‘Rothwell Carnival’.

The course is run by Radio Worldwide, in partnership with colleagues from the international media and healthcare mission Reach Beyond, and is also supported by the Journalism & Media Department of the University of Huddersfield. It runs this year from 4-17th July. The fee of £550 includes full-board accommodation and all course materials. To find out more, just click here, email, or call 0113 2822291.

So if you love the media, would like to learn radio skills and enhance your ability to share your faith, this could be for you. Or if you know someone like that, do share it with them!

Radio:ACTIVE on Facebook

Paul Arnold
  • Just to add… I did this course back in 2000, then in 2001 joined the wonderful volunteer radio team GRF in Glasgow, making faith-inspired material for mainstream stations such as Clyde 1, before joining Reach Beyond/Whistling Frog Productions in 2008. So for me the course was the start of a great radio journey…