15 March 2013
Students from SOAS and KCL experienced the business of producing radio programmes at BBC Broadcasting House earlier this month.
The trip was organised by Dr Lucy Durán of SOAS, as part of the SOAS Music Department course, Presenting World Music on Radio, giving students unique access into editing and producing world music for BBC Radio 3.
Presenting World Music on Radio, which is co-taught by Dr Durán and Carlos Chirinos of SOAS Radio, focuses on practical skills in the studio, such as script-writing, presenting, and interviewing. It won the SOAS Director’s teaching prize in 2009.
Dr Durán brings to the course over a decade’s experience as the presenter of BBC Radio 3's flagship world music programme World Routes. She arranged a tour of New Broadcasting House with a talk by Graham Dixon, managing editor of BBC Radio 3, and a session with Radio 3 senior producer James Parkin (World Routes, Late Junction).
Students were tasked with writing a short script, which James later discussed from an editorial point of view, giving three students the direct experience of presenting and recording their own scripts in one of the Radio 3 studios.
SOAS Anthropology student Tenzin Sekhon said: “The visit to the BBC really helped me picture and understand what it means to present and produce radio programmes. It also helped me apply the skills acquired from the course. It was a great opportunity to gain an insight into the workings of the BBC."
Third-year SOAS Music student Stewart Hughes continued: “It was quite incredible to actually get a glimpse of how the BBC works. The atmosphere of the place and the opportunity to observe the processes that go on there was a rare and gratifying experience. It was enlightening.”
Gabriel Power, second-year SOAS Music student, described the trip as “fascinating and remarkably thorough” and Sophia Choi a final year student studying BA Korean and Linguistics, summarised: "I am really thankful for the wonderful visit that took place as part of the course and hope others who will take this course will have the chance to experience the same thing!"