When people ask what you study and you answer Theology they often look at you with a slightly blank expression, and question what you could possibly do with said degree. I occasionally joke about joining a convent (or as I like to say ‘nunnery’) but my real answer is that I want to work in radio. I’ve come to know this through joining Purple Radio as a slightly over-keen Fresher at the Union fair. I love studying Theology, but Purple has turned an enjoyment of radio listening into a true passion for making great radio.
What is Purple Radio?
So, we could be seen as just another society, but I think we’re pretty special. Completely run by students, we broadcast online (as well as through TuneIn app) 24 hours a day during term-time, and create a soundtrack for the Durham student. Our audience is completely made up of the Durham student body (plus a few keen parents!) so everything we do caters for them. From entertainment shows throughout the day to specialist music shows at night, with news bulletins, review shows and so much other stuff in-between, there’s a huge variety of programmes going out on air.
I’ve somehow ended up as Station Manager
Now in my final year of study here, I find myself as top dog in the Purple pack. Woof. I presented and produced a show in first year and on top of this joined the Exec in second year as ‘Head of Broadcasting Standards’ (I basically trained everyone and then monitored our output). In March of this year I took over as Station Manager and recruited a lovely new exec to help me run the place. Now I oversee the running of the whole station but I still enjoy doing my own show every week. I’m occasionally accused of living in the Purple Radio office and yes it takes up a lot of time, but it is genuinely so much fun and so rewarding. Apart from applying for broadcast licences, that’s admittedly a tad boring, but the rest is great!
What I actually do
A fair bit.
I chair a weekly exec meeting, talking through the week in all areas of the station (marketing, advertising sales, on-air stuff, tech things etc etc). I then send our 200 members a weekly email keeping them updated on our goings on.
Then throughout the week there’s always tasks popping up and emails to answer to. Now I think about it I can’t completely pin-point what I spend quite so much time doing but trust me, there always seems to be a new task!
A personal highlight was going to the Student Radio Awards for the second year running at the beginning of November, celebrating Purple Radio being shortlisted into the top 6 student radio stations for Marketing and Station Sound. We also hosted a Student Radio Association training day back in April, where our members (and me) got the chance to meet and get advice from professionals working in the industry.
Whenever you meet anyone and tell them that you’re involved in Purple it always leads to an interesting conversation. Occasionally you just have to remind yourself what a cool thing it is that you’re doing, and what an amazing opportunity you’ve managed to grab hold of.
Watching Purple succeed is what makes me really proud though. Just last week when I looked at our listening figures for and saw we’d had over 4,000 people listen, it felt amazing – we’re clearly doing something right!
Rosie is a 3rd year Theology student at Collingwood College.