I heard this on my way to work, and had to stop at the top of the car park so I’d hear the end of it. The background of this is that Steve Allen did come to the Student Radio Conference in Nottingham last year, to interview BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills, in front of about 250 students.

My reaction to his comments:

Of course students are more passionate about radio! They want your job! The reason they dissect and have a lot more general knowledge about the more detailed goings on about running a radio station, is partly, as he says, down to the fact that Students do run their own stations, they each have a station manager, who in most cases is a student still continuing to do his/her degree (often their final year) whilst running a station. But I think it’s deeper than that. These students know so much about how to run at station they are much more attractive to professional stations, than someone who simply just comes in once or twice a week – or even 6 days a week – to do a show. It shows that they have a further understanding into the ins and outs of what holds together the station. The imaging, the off air marketing, the publicity, the programming of the station clock, the website development, the promotions, the events, in some student cases the sponsorships.

With radio becoming more and more multi-platform, students need all this extra knowledge to help them get a foot into the door.

If it wasn’t for me doing all the extra things, I wouldn’t have got in so easily!

Oh and with his comments about Hospital Radio, I did that for a short period of time. I can assure you, it’s not ‘all Chinese people’! But many hospital stations are run dictated by the elder generation, who largely lack the new technological ideas, and knowledge to keep their stations anywhere close to a competitive level, given the choice that patients now regularly have at their bedsides. Those hospital stations, in my view, need to make it easier for young people with fresh ideas to get involved and help run the station. Don’t be afraid to do something wrong, and don’t not do something just because “we’ve not really done it like that before”!