Saturday, March 22, 2014

Learning from the Pirates

It's 50 years ago since Radio Caroline disrupted the UK radio scene by starting to broadcast from a ship anchored offshore. Today, several hundred people from the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Australia, and Thailand came together in for a gathering to recall those days. Curiously it is not about radio (I only counted one radio set in the entire exhibition outside). It's everything about telling the story of how pirate radio stations changed the face of broadcasting in both the UK and the Netherlands. Why did it work? Because the presenters understood their audiences. They were totally dependent on letters to know there was anyone out there. The names that people still remember understood that good radio is a craft. And it's amazing how many stories have survived the last half century.

Which begs the question: how quickly will all this fade? Actually, we're already seeing that the web has saved many of these stories. YouTube and Soundcloud have become the archives that radio stations threw out. And listeners did a much better job of curating the best stories than most of the professionals.

Dick Klees, ex Veronica and Radio Netherlands International. One of the many radio specialists who understand good radio produuction.

May be it was the radiation that turned many of us all bald!

One of the few conventions where engineers are heroes. Peter Chicago, chief engineer at Radio Caroline.

More photos on Flickr

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