Meet SOAS Radio’s station manager

Miia Laine, SOAS Radio Station Manager

Please introduce us to the Radio

SOAS Radio is a student-led online radio station that has been running for over 10 years. We mainly produce podcasts  that you can listen to on our website but we also broadcast live on Wednesdays on The radio station builds on the rich and varied expertise of SOAS, producing programmes with a focus on Africa, Asia and the Middle East – our music shows cover everything from Japanese Electronic music, South African Jazz to the latest music coming out of Latin America. Our speech shows include a lot of lectures and academic content, but also student programmes and panel discussions such as our newest show Big Up Better with its episode on Social Justice and Tourism. Basically anything you won’t hear on mainstream radio!

Is the studio accessible for students as part of their course?

We are accessible to all students for their own projects, but if departments want to use our studio, they need to contribute to our costs. Because of this, the only academic programme taught in the radio at the moment is Presenting World Music on the Radio with Lucy Duran, however we are keen to work with more departments in the future.

Can Media Studies students use the Radio?

At the moment media students unfortunately cannot use the radio as part of their degree, but they’re always welcome to do their own student-led projects here. We’d like the radio to be more integrated with academic programmes in the future and are working on that, so hopefully that will change. Many of our alumni have gone on to work in radio as journalists and producers, so it’s a great way to start.

Who else can benefit from the Radio?

We offer free studio and editing training to all SOAS students that gives them the basic skills to record, produce and edit a radio show. After that it’s up to them – they can either have their own show, assist on existing shows or resurrect an archived show. They can work as editors, events coordinators or even graphic designers – there are lots of possibilities to get involved.

Do you provide volunteering opportunities for students?

Yes, our core radio team is all on volunteer basis. We offer internships in editorial, programming, editing, marketing, graphic design, event coordination and more. You can apply at the beginning of the year for a whole year or enquire whether there are any positions to be filled – experience is desired but not necessary. What we need is committed people.

Do you organise events?

We want to support and mobilise SOAS talent as much as possible. Many of our radio DJs are interested in music, so we started to organise regular events at SOAS. At these events, our presenters have the opportunity to play their music. We also have put on SOAS-affiliated live bands for many occasions. At last year’s World Radio Day Party we had the SOAS’ Brass Band BYOB and Gypsy Butter, or when South African musician Spoek Mathambo came to our studio in 2015, his band Fantasma did an impromptu set in the Students’ Union bar which was a lot of fun! Same happened with Manu Chao in 2011, but that was before my time…

Bhekisenzo Cele and Cubain Kabeya of South-African band Fantasma playing in the SOAS Students’ Union bar in March 2015

Anything else coming up we should know about?

We’ve got World Radio Day coming up this Friday, 10 February at the Brunei Gallery – it’s a free day of everything radio has to offer – including a radio fair, radio production workshops and a panel discussion in the evening with inspiring radio makers, so drop by!

Contact SOAS Radio for any questions and enquiries on or simply drop by the studio in the main SOAS building, 5th floor, room 545.


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