A new season is nearly upon us. The Fall, as my fellow Americans like to say, is a coming. Though you can’t tell from this lovely scene above. [And it has actually hit this morning with a mini storm] But, yes, I have moved. Albeit temporarily. This is Woods Hole, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This is the reason I’ve not posted anything in a while. I’ve been busy preparing for a life change. I quit my job in Ireland and I’ve moved to the States for two months. Of course I didn’t just do this on a whim. I got accepted to a radio training course called Transom. More on that later.
The change itself has been a while coming. I was in an interesting job that had it’s challenges and while I was learning a lot I wasn’t getting enough out of it. It was making me very stressed and I didn’t feel like I was reaching my potential. And to be honest I just wasn’t getting that ‘I really enjoy my job’ buzz. So I decided a change needed to be made.
So why Radio?
Radio has always stuck with me. I remember I used to make radio shows as a kid. My cousin and I would stage these extraordinary long talk shows with our teddies. Eighties cassette player, blank tape and away we went. Hours of endless chat shows about god knows what. But while I studied radio and audio in college as part of a media degree, it wasn’t until several years later that I really considered working in it. I joined my local community radio station and was given a great opportunity to produce my own show, which I did for 6 months. Alas, the lack of an income got the better of me and I had to give it up much to my dismay.
But in all honesty, I still felt I hadn’t discovered my radio nova just yet. As I wrote in my application to Transom, I hadn’t found my niche. That is, until I was introduced to American radio, in particular podcasts. Binging on shows like This American Life, Radio Lab, Love & Radio, Death, Sex & Money, Reveal, Snap Judgement, Serial. The list goes on and on. Over used metaphors coming up…. My heart skipped multiple beats listening to these shows. The bulbs burned bright as every light switch in my brain flicked on. [It’s been a long couple of days since starting the course – hence the tired phrases. I promise to be better next time. I hope]. As I realised…. I can do this. Or at least… I want to do this. Tell people stories. It was as though it was all coming full circle.
What was the next step? In Ireland, get involved with RTE [Ireland’s national TV and Radio broadcaster]. Which I did. I took part in their two day Radio Documentary training course. But I wanted more. I feel American is on the cusp of a radio revolution, if it isn’t already happening. Digital media, i.e Podcasts, are changing the face of how we consume our radio content. For example, in Ireland, most of the older generation still listen to the radio. Know the time of favourite programme. Turn the dial, set your channel, away you go. The younger generation, those that are choosing to listen to good audio content are turning to Podcasts. And in their droves!!
But Ireland is still lagging behind. Miles behind. And listeners old and young are switching off. This is mainly due to us lacking good quality content that goes beyond current affairs, music shows, talk shows and news piece. I believe we do current affairs quite well. We’re educated and informed and we like to talk about politics. But we’re stunted when it comes character based stories. So how could I solve this? Well, I needed to find the people that were on the pulse. That were living, breathing good radio. And that’s when I found Transom. Well my better half introduced me to them.
So what is Transom?
In brief, it’s an amazing online resource for radio producers, beginners, enthusiasts and the likes. But they provide several types of radio training courses.
I’ll go into more detail about it and how I’m getting on in my next post. But in the meantime check out their website. It’s not just for radio lovers. There’s a wealth of good reading and listening on here. And this is just the beginning.