The Scottish Community Radio Skills Assessment project is funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Read more to find out how this programme impacts our arts, media and culture.
Most community radio stations in the UK already offer news in some form. This includes announcements of cultural and alternative events, interviews with local artists or volunteers, etc. However, what community radio offers much less is ‘hard news’ - stories that have a high level of newsworthiness - usually regarding politics, economics and social matters.
This project is a training needs assessment that aims to establish what skills and resources community radio volunteers in Scotland would benefit from in two areas:
- News production (news-gathering, writing & editing)
- Media regulation and law.
As part of the project, our lecturer in Journalism, Alex Kocic, is visiting community radio stations in Scotland which have expressed an ambition to start or expand their news coverage. This kind of study is an effective tool to clarify problems and identify appropriate interventions or solutions. The study is conducted on an organisational and individual basis.
The tools used in this study are:
- First-hand observation and analysis in order to gather data about volunteers’ strengths and weaknesses in the above two areas
- Interviews with volunteers and station managers about their own perceptions regarding the role they (wish to) play as citizen journalists
- The difficulty analysis, which would identify duties that volunteers struggle with. This would allow for an identification of the skills gaps and recommendation of areas for future training.
In this kind of study, Alex Kocic’s expertise in the above areas is an essential component in the data-gathering process.