Community Media/MARAA/Community Radio/Management/Technology
Managing Technology in a CR
The management committee needs to be sensitized to various kinds of technologies utilized for the CRS. Depending on local needs, the management committee can take decisions pertaining to adding or removing existing technologies. They can also take key decisions regarding maintenance of existing technology for long lasting operation with minimum cost.
A Day at the Station
Take your management committee on a day long tour of the radio station. Start off with the studio. Inside, start off with the microphones, since people identify this with the radio most. Get a volunteer to talk on the mic, and trace the path of sound, explaining each component in brief. The sound traveling from the mic to the mixing console, to the sound card to the computer. Then get your editor to show the committee how sound is shown on the computer as a wave, and how it can be manipulated through editing. Once this is done, invite the management committee members to talk about something they want on the radio. This way they'll get an up close understanding of how recording is done. Once they record something for say half an hour, then get them to sit with the editor while he/she edits the clip. This makes one realize what a time consuming process this is.
Take them outside, some where close the radio station, and get a volunteer to do field recording. Show them the field recorder and explain in brief, how the technology works. Take them back to the studio and show them how the bytes are transferred and later edited.
Later on in the day, if your radio station is broadcasting at a particular time, invite committee members to sit in the studio while the shows are going on air. It would be great if the committee members can be present while there's a live show going on, or a phone in show going on.
Somewhere mid-way through the broadcast, take them out of the studio, and to the place where the transmitter, tower and antenna are set up. Explain how the output from the studio is fed in the transmitter which then feeds the signal to the antenna which is mounted on the tower. Explain the dynamics of transmitter power and antenna height and gain in brief. The greater the power of the transmitter, the greater the height of the antenna and greater the gain of the antenna, it will result in more coverage, and how things like concrete or tree cover can interfere with FM broadcast.
Save an hour for regrouping and discussion. Facilitate a discussion with the committee on what they felt about the various kinds of technology put in to use by a simple community radio station. Get your technical/production team on board to answer any questions the committee might have.