Dunedin’s Radio 1
Radio 1, the student radio station at the University of Otago, is in the process of being sold by the Otago University Student Association. This was after Deloitte suggested the amount OUSA received from Radio 1 does not measure equal with the amount they pay for the station, therefore it should be sold. There are a number of people blaming this on VSM.
As someone who’s involved with student radio, I feel quite strongly about this. I do feel that student radio is really important. It opens doors for students that would not normally be there. I would not have the chance to spend five minutes talking with the Prime Minister if I wasn’t on Contact FM. In fact, Radio 1 started the career of TV3’s Samantha Hayes. Employers don’t like employing people who don’t have experience. For people wanting to get into a vast range of areas, from journalism to sound engineering, this can be the experience they need.
Though I would like to point out, I do not blame VSM. I blame the poor management of the student associations. Look at the situation with Contact FM. When WSU went voluntary in 2000, the association kept trying to do the same things it was doing before with less money coming in. The association was going bankrupt. In a panicked reaction, they sold off most (or possibly all, I’m not sure) of the property WSU owned, as well as the frequency and equipment of Contact FM. This has caused huge legal problems that I’m not going to go into, that hopefully will come to an end in the next few months.
I do think that VSM is a hugely important thing for students of New Zealand. However, students need to make sure that they vote in a Board of Directors this year who have the ability to make good decisions to ensure the future of their student association. It will make it difficult for a few years for these student associations, however given proper management over this time, it will result in a better student association with happier students. But selling off student media assets is a very bad idea.
I would also like to point out, my view here does not necessarily mirror the official stance of Contact FM. You’ll have to ask them about that. Though I’m pretty sure you can tell that there’s something in here they wouldn’t agree with, or else I wouldn’t have put this statement 🙂
Posted on July 4, 2011, in New Zealand Politics and tagged Contact FM, Deloitte, journalism, Otago University Students Association, Radio One, Samantha Hayes, TV3, University of Otago, Voluntary Student Membership, Waikato Students Union. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.