Course content

Our research suggests that community radio training for young people may include several elements.

Obviously one of these will be:

1. Radio production skills, including:

  • Having good ideas for shows
  • Putting a programme together – e.g. doing research, writing running orders and links, doing good interviews, finding sources, preparing questions, interview genres

But equally importantly (depending on what funders and/or clients want) it is often possible (and desirable) to ‘map’ some or all of these transferable skills onto your radio training project …

2. Transferable skills, including:

  • Speaking and listening skills
  • Self esteem and confidence
  • Teamwork and diversity
  • Employability skills eg time management, using the telephone, dressing for work
  • Literacy especially media literacy, digital literacy

Radio Production Activity Ideas

Activity 1: Radio Styles

Tutor intro into radio styles – play 10 clips from a variety of stations and ask them to guess which station the clips are from – followed by group discussion inciting comments on station styles.


Activity 2: Radio Styles Bingo

Tutor introduction into radio styles and content – play audio bingo.  Each person gets a bingo sheet with a variety of content features – play an example from each feature and ask the learners to tick them off as they hear them.  Replay each one back to see how they’ve done.


Activity 3: What is community radio?

Ask participants– what do they think community radio is?

Tutor explanation of the 3 sectors of radio; public, commercial, community

Practical: Tutor intro to ideas for content of shows – split learners into two groups – Group One will be producing content for a Drivetime Show, Group Two for a Breakfast. Each group has to devise content for a community radio programme to include 5 items, taking into consideration the type of show they are presenting and the time of day. Tutor provides examples.  Encourage groups to: 1) brainstorm 5 ideas, 2) decide on the best order to put them in, and 3) devise an intro to the show telling the listeners what is coming up.  Make sure objectives of the task are on a whiteboard or flipchart.  Each group needs to choose a spokesperson to report back to the whole group justifying their choices and giving reasons why their running order works.

Every radio programme needs an ‘identity’.  Before thinking about your programme, remember what community radio is all about.

This diagram may be useful:

Activity 3: You can’t say that

NB Before this activity it is necessary to provide participants with a brief introduction to regulation that applies to community radio output.

Split learners into pair and give each pair a statement that might be broadcast on the radio. Each pair has to decide whether they could say this statement on the radio or  not.  Once complete each pair discusses their answer with the whole group.


Activity 4: Researching for Radio

Tutor intro into research – why should we research?

Ask the group/ brainstorm information sources – where can they get ideas from?

Ask learners to list the advantages and disadvantages of some of the sources they have identified. Follow up with a group discussion.

Practical activity: Supply a variety of sources, local newspapers, the internet etc for research purposes and ask each learner to write a short one minute script for a ‘What’s On’ guide for their local area

Each learner reads their What’s On guide to the whole group as if they were presenting the piece on radio.  Ask the group whether the guide gave all the necessary information, or gave a taste rather than a full description? Is it aimed at a varied audience? Does it sound interesting/ appealing? Is it timed correctly?  Make a point about the importance of timing as most learners will probably go over time.


Activity 5: Running Orders

Tutor intro to running orders – why do we need a running order?  Ask learners to list (either orally or on paper) 4 reasons why they think running orders are important.  Ask the group what items they think should be included in the running order.  Encourage group discussion on the order items should appear and why.

Practical activity: Divide into 2 groups.  One group are planning a Breakfast Show, one group are planning a Drivetime Show.  Each group has to write a running order for 1 hour.  The running order should include all essential elements; timings, news on the hour, jingles, promos, weather, travel etc.  Each group has to choose a spokesperson to present their running order to the whole group explaining their choices.


Activity 6: Presenter links

Tutor intro to presenter links.  Explanation of what a presenter link is.   Ask the group what they think a good cue should do?

Practical activity: Each learner has to decide on the person in the world they would most like to interview.  Then, they must write an effective presenter link for their interview.  Once completed they then read these out individually to the whole group – feedback encouraged.


Activity 7: Radio interviewing

Tutor intro into different interview styles.  Encourage group discussion.

Play audio clips from different types of interviews – ask learners to identify each type individually.  Play clips back to check answers and encourage group discussion. Whilst listening to the interviews, tutor writes down good examples of open ended questions on the flipchart.

Explain the use of ‘open-ended’ and ‘closed’ questions using the written examples recorded – explain different types of questions and ‘invitations to speak’.

Practical Activity: Divide learners into pairs.  Use prompt cards with different scenarios for interviews on each.   Each pair has to create 5 effective questions for each scenario.  Ask learners to read questions to the whole group.  Pay particular attention to the following: are they right for that type of interview; do they incite the necessary information; do they miss anything out that the listener might want to know; are they open or closed (write the objectives beforehand on a flipchart).

Additional practical activity: Divide into different pairs.  Learners find out 3 interesting/unique facts about their partner – then write a link and 5 questions aimed at getting these interesting facts out in an interview.  Each learner will carry out a recorded interview using questions prepared.  Play back the interviews to the whole group.  Encourage constructive feedback.


Activity 8: Editing audio

Use some audio already produced by the young people (eg their interviews with each other as suggested in the radio interviewing section) and ask them to edit the audio into a one minute interview

Introduce the basic tools within Audacity. Use or point to the Audacity resources on our website, or some of the tutorials or other resources listed on that page.

Team people up who have experience with those who don’t.  Use existing volunteers or trained up young people as mentors to provide one to one support.


Transferable Skills Activity Ideas

Activity 1: Listening Icebreaker

Put learners in pairs – back to back – one learner is a ‘communicator’ and one learner is a ‘receiver’.  The communicator needs to be given a picture to describe.  They have 5 minutes to describe a picture to the receiver who attempts to reproduce it.  Tutor points out the skills needed to do this – clear communication skills, active listening skills, teamwork.


Activity 2: Speaking Icebreaker

Use prompt cards face downwards on the table.  Each learner has to pick up a card and talk about the subject for exactly one minute.  Use a mobile phone to time them.  Make sure that all participants appreciate the need to support each other as everyone will have a turn at some point during the course.


Activity 3: Discrimination

Tutor intro to discrimination – what is discrimination – relate to community radio and the importance of diversity.

Materials: Intro Sheet

Community radio is all about including everybody. It is about giving anyone and everyone access to Radio. Community radio values every voice and wants every voice to be working together as a team.

Valuing diversity and understanding the importance of teamwork in making radio will improve your work as a broadcaster.

The problem with discrimination is when people use others’ attributes to:

  • Make decisions about them.
  • Make assumptions about them.
  • Treat them differently because of their attributes.

We base these decisions on information and experiences, which may or may not be accurate. Over the years, in order to combat negative discrimination, governments have created legislation that aims to prevent discrimination occurring.

Has it worked?

It has raised awareness but overall it has worked not very well.

We still discriminate against people who are different to us; the difference is now that people have legal redress to their discrimination.

What is discrimination?

Legally, discrimination is when one person is treated less favourably than another is, has been, or would be treated in a similar situation.

Generally speaking, there are three ways that people and organisations discriminate




  • aimed directly at someone because of his or her difference.
  • it means treating someone less favourable because of a person’s race, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability or age.
  • this can be deliberate or accidental.
  •  example, not employing a woman who has caring responsibilities, as she might take time off if her children are ill.
  •  exceptions can only be justified on limited grounds – genuine and determining occupational requirement.


  • where apparently neutral conditions for employment, or the provision of a service, or a practice mean that some people are excluded, or put at a disadvantage compared with other people.
  • this can be deliberate or accidental.
  • example, having a policy of only recruiting people with specific lengths of experience, that cannot be justified for the job.
  • another would be asking for    specific qualifications when basic skills would be sufficient.


  • where the organisation has discriminatory practices embedded, which appear “normal” to the workforce.
  • this can be deliberate or accidental.
  • example, the team going to the pub for a drink on Fridays after work.

There will be changes to discrimination law in the future:


Some jobs require certain characteristics that are needed to do the job properly.

For example a Women’s Domestic Violence Refuge may want to only hire women because the clients do not feel safe around men. They can ask for an exemption from the discrimination laws.  Another example is when certain sections of the population are under-represented in a profession and there is an active recruitment drive to target them – like police forces employing officers from minority communities.

This is called active discrimination.


Activity 4: Discrimination and teamwork

What does it feel like to be discriminated against? Split into 2 groups ‘O’s and ‘X’s – ‘O’s are minority and ‘X’s are majority.

O group

Talk about the effect of being in a minority (being an O).

  • What’s it like being the only O?
  • What pressures do you think O’s are under?
  • Have you ever been an O and if so how did it feel?

X group

Talk about the effects of being in the majority (being an X)

  • Can you imagine being an ‘X’?
  • What pressures do you think ‘X’s are under?
  • How have you felt when you have been in an environment where you are an ‘X’?

Activity 5: Teamwork

There are many similar activities to this that use a gaming method called simulation to enable people to learn about themselves and others.

Group activity – moon landing

You are a member of a space crew originally scheduled to rendezvous with a mother ship on the surface of the moon.  Due to mechanical difficulties, your ship was forced to land 200 miles from the meeting point.  During landing, much of the equipment on board was damaged and, since survival depends on reaching the mother ship, the most critical items must be chosen for the 200 mile trip.

Below are listed the 15 items left intact and undamaged after landing.  Your task is to rank order them in terms of their importance to your crew in allowing them to reach the rendezvous point.  Place number 1 against the most important and so on, through to number 15, the least important.  You have 20 minutes to complete this exercise working together as a group.

Actual               Group

_______          _______          box of matches

_______          _______          food concentrate

_______          _______          50 feet of nylon rope

_______          _______          parachute silk

_______          _______          portable heating unit

_______          _______          two 45 calibre pistols

_______          _______          one case of dehydrated milk

_______          _______          two 100lb tanks of oxygen

_______          _______          Stellar map (the moon’s constellation)

_______          _______          Life raft

_______          _______          Magnetic compass

_______          _______          Five gallons of water

_______          _______          Signal flares

_______          _______          First aid kit

_______          _______          Solar powered FM receiver-transmitter

NB when facilitating this kind of activity it is important to let the group get on with the activity on their own.  However, when they feel they have completed the activity it is vital that the facilitator asks the group to reflect on what happened and what they have learnt about themselves and about working in a team.


Activity 5: Media Literacy

Encourage learners to listen to a variety of radio stations. You could either ask them to do this in their own time, or you could record a variety of radio shows to be played in the session.

In sessions, ask learners to discuss what they think of the programming, etc., they’ve heard.

Some suggested questions for learners to think about while they listen to the programmes:

  • Who is this radio programme aimed at? (Age group? Gender? Ethnicity? Profession/Job? Interest?)
  • What is the purpose of this programme? (Educational? Entertainment?)
  • What relationship does the programme have with its listeners?

You can use these questions to facilitate discussion in the session, after they have listened to the radio stations. What do learners think about the identity of this radio station?