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Celebrating 40 Years of Independent Radio

Paul Van Lieshout Hunt, Reporter

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Independent radio station RTRFM 92.1 is celebrating 40 years of on air broadcast this year. The community station will hold special events throughout 2017, remembering its grassroots beginnings.

Th station boasts a listenership of more than 30,000. Its specialized programing focuses on WA local music and provides a platform for discussion and ideas often not covered by mainstream media.

Long-serving executive producer, Peter Barr believes this has been key to the survival of the not-for-profit station for four decades.

‘As the EP, my job is finding news stories and discussions that aren’t the mainstream. We don’t copy the trends of the news cycle. If [the story is] something being covered by commercial radio, we try to take a different slant on the issue,” Barr told ECU Daily.

“It’s also important to for us to not only be original with talk production, but also music. We’re licensed as a community arts station. We play independent, locally home-grown music. With our licensing requirements, we legally have to play a quota of minimum 10 per cent local stuff,” he continued.

The station first began broadcasting as UWA’s on-campus station known as 6UWA in 1977, before becoming 6UVS after acquiring external funding. In 1990 the station became an entity of its own, changed its name and bandwidth to RTRFM 92.1 and began broadcasting from Mount Lawley.

Roscoe Holyoake has been volunteering at the station for more than four years. He told ECU Daily that what drove him to present and produce for the station was his love for community.

“It’s infectious. Once you get a taste of the station and the community of the station, you can’t help putting your hand up to volunteer on multiple shows. I started out as a presenter and coordinator of a the gay, lesbian, bi, trans show All Things Queer.  I’ve recently become a news reader and I’m pretty sure I’ll be helping out with Mornings soon enough,” Mr Holyoake enthused.

The station celebrates 40 years with an event called Neon Picnic on the 1st of April, showcasing content from its cultural past on and off air.. More events will be announced next month.

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Featuring the best student journalism and broadcasting @ ECU.
Celebrating 40 Years of Independent Radio