10 February, 2009

My Radio Segment, Episode 6

This week's episode is available for download HERE, and for listening on the listen icon.

ListenAs promised in a previous episode, this episode will be widely take into consideration the Universities radio stations, but before that, here's what we had on the Jordanian airwaves during the past week:

We start from several activities by a couple of Jordanian radio stations to support the people of Gaza. Mazaj FM's event, which was a political-comedy play by a group of Palestinian artists entitled “Gaza – Ramallah” was held last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 5,6, & respectively 7 February 2009, and had the revenues of this event collected for Gaza through “Tkyet Um Ali” foundation's campaign. & Mazaj FM had promotions for this event for the entire week on its airwaves. Another event is Sunny FM's poetry night with the Palestinian poet, Suhair Hammad, that is to be held on February 17th. This is the 2nd activity for Modern Media Co after the successful one held by Play 99.6 for this cause, and which was mentioned in several episodes of this segment [event announcement recording attached].

On the Jordanian Airwaves, Friday 6-2-2009 was probably the most notable one on the Jordanian airwaves with having the Tawjihi results being announced. Despite the fact that Friday is not a day with on air shows for most of the radio stations.

Starting from Friday morning, where the tawjihi results topic was all over Radio Amman FM's shows, even the sports show being aired in the morning, and the interaction followed on all the next shows on its airwaves. Same case was on Radio Jordan – English Service, whose famous show “Listener's Choice” had also a high degree of interaction on this occasion in a funny and a joyful style. Hayat FM on the other hand had a special show on its airwaves in the afternoon of that day for receiving the phone calls and greeting of listeners celebrating the occasion, the presenter of the show was also mentioning from time to time during the show positive & kind suggestions to celebrate this occasion, instead of some bad habits that are being used to celebrate it. Similar suggestions were also discussed by the presenters of “The Boring Show” on Ayyam FM, but in a more comedy style, this topic had taken quite a big part of this show the usually has no certain topic to talk about. And the day ended with “Shabab 3al FM” on Radio Al-Balad, that had a big rate of interaction and phone calls and greetings on this occasion.

Starting Sunday 8-2-2009, a new guidance radio segment started on Amen FM for the school students, the segment presented by the Jordanian comedian “Hussein Tbeishat” aims to increase the traffic and pedestrian safety and awareness of school students, and is being aired on sundays, tuesdays, and thursdays at 7.50 AM on Amen FM, and through all schools morning announcement services in the regions covered by Amen FM's frequencies according to the agreement made with the ministry of education.

Getting into the week's main topic, talking about the Jordanian Universities radio stations and their role on campus and off campus in the surrounding community.

Currently, there are 2 working university radio stations, the 1st is “Radio New Ma'an – Voice of the south”, broadcasting from King Hussein Bin Talal's University in Ma'an ever since July 2006 on 90.3 FM, ever since there was only one station Jordanian FM station reaching Ma'ans area. While there are 3 stations aside Sawt Ma'an. About the station and its role, i had spoken with mr Basem Twesee, chief of research and society development center in King Hussein's university. Who had stated that this radio station is more of a community radio that a university radio, as its main objective is oriented towards the people of Maan and the local society, but the students are making a part of the radio station throughout specialized selection and training to be gradually more and more involved, and some are even professionals now. Radio New Ma'an is also not afraid of the competition, as Dr Basem thinks that getting more stations into the airwaves will even enrich and make their station more notable in the area due to its direct interaction with the public.
[the very interesting phone call recording attached]

The 2nd radio station of this kind to go on was Yarmouk FM, which started broadcasting for a couple of hours daily starting October 2006, and extended it broadcasting to 24/7 later in October 2007. This station's efforts come from the college of media and journalism in the university (ever since it was a dept part of another college), as most of the workers in it are students of this college. The role of this radio station also exceeded the limits of being a university radio station to being a community radio for the city of irbid and its people. Especially since there are another 15 radio stations that have working frequencies in Irbid or in Ajloun covering Irbid's area, thats beside 10s of radio stations being receipted from neighboring countries, making ibrid's airwaves one of the most jammed airwaves of the kingdom.

On the way also as mentioned in a previous episode are a couple of university radio stations that got broadcasting licenses, one is for Mutah University in Karak, a city that has only 1 radio station having a working frequency in it, that is, Fann FM on 94.3 FM, and also receives the broadcasting of several stations from their working frequencies in Amman, but in a mainly weak reception and a varying one depending on the area. The other one is University of Jordan, which will be competing on the ammani airwaves with 10s of radio stations of all kinds. On this radio station i have spoken to Dr Darweesh Badran, one of the people that are participating in establishing this radio station. Dr Badran has stated that the idea behind this stations was enriching the relation between the university and its students, as well as the university and the surrounding community, noting that this station will be a pure “students' radio station”, also, as Mr Badran answered on one of my questions, that the radio station can be one that would interact and represent students from other universities and colleges and not only UJ, as there are several universities and colleges in Amman, the area that this radio station will be covering. Last but not least, Dr Badran stated that they have already several suggestions for programs and cooperations offered to them from students as well as from people in the private sector for their radio station.
[phone call recording attached]

Its very obvious that university radio stations in jordan are taking away of being apart from each other, so we are not seeing one station based on cooperation between several radio stations, and not even partial cooperation, of having for example one radio station with one identity and license but with customized shows for each and every area.

One interesting notice is also that those radio stations are exceeding their university boundaries to be community radio stations. Having priorities and concentration on their community role.

Last but not least comes the observation that the private sector is not participating in investing or cooperating with those radio stations, like some big broadcasting corporation in some European countries that took the role of supporting students radio stations and investing in them in their countries.

Thanks to the guys at Modern Media Co, specifically Mrs Ghada Odeh for her cooperation. Remember that you can contribute too, and send in your comments, feedback and any radio observations on radio@ammannet.net

and note that this segment is being replayed Wednesdays at 4 PM now, beside the basic airplay time, Mondays at 10.30 AM.

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