Express FM Portsmouth celebrates World Radio Day

Portsmouth is fortunate to have Express FM as its local radio station with their wide range of music spanning the decades from old to new.
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Earlier this month marked World Radio Day, founded by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Launched in March 2006, Express FM were one of the first community radio stations to be awarded a full five-year Ofcom license the month they started.

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From the outset, they aimed to provide a platform for the people and organisations of Portsmouth to “express” themselves, train volunteers, facilitate discussion about community matters and strengthen links within the city, all remaining at the forefront of the station’s aims. The station is a small not-for-profit organisation, staffed largely by a team of passionate volunteers.

Ian James, Miles Henson, Harrison RB and Chris Carnegy with staff from Aiir.Ian James, Miles Henson, Harrison RB and Chris Carnegy with staff from Aiir.
Ian James, Miles Henson, Harrison RB and Chris Carnegy with staff from Aiir.

They champion Pompey’s vibrant local music scene as “one of Express FM’s greatest achievements over many years”. They have a weekly show dedicated to artists and bands in the city as well as a Local Music Chart voted for by listeners, “we are proud to provide a platform for musicians in our area many of whom were/are destined for big things”.

They’ve partnered with the city's own Victorious Festival for their “Road to Victorious” competition for a local artist/band to get a professional video recording session and play UK festivals including Victorious.

Express FM broadcasts from local events as well as showcasing upcoming events in Portsmouth from charities, community groups and other organisations.

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Harrison RB, content manager at Express FM commented on World Radio Day and why radio is still so relevant: “Humans. Connection. Friendship. It’s entertaining, it’s emotional; it makes you smile, it makes you sad; it makes you think, it makes you angry. Overall, radio makes you feel something. It also benefits from the fact it’s still very convenient for most people given it is often consumed in the background while doing other things, unlike other media that requires more from you.”

With over 4,000 jobs in the industry, how do you get a career in radio broadcasting? Harrison RB said: “Many years ago, most aspiring presenters would bang on the door of their local station and maybe start out making the tea before getting an overnight show.

"These days, presenters are multi-platform content creators and by using social media effectively to get your name out there and engage an audience you will become instantly more attractive to a future employer. By putting the work in, showing your passion, having faith and making the right connections, you can achieve great things.”

There are certainly changes to radio ahead including to infrastructure with analogue radio and licensing as well as artificial intelligence but the human connection can never be replaced.

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Surveys have shown radio is still the most trusted medium for information. Rest assured, video won't kill local radio.

Harrison RB concluded: “We’ve been waiting decades for the demise of our great medium that has been predicted by so-called ‘experts’. Call me cynical, but might that be because… it will never happen? Spoiler alert: it won’t.”

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