Presenters are routinely prompted by the system or their own show timetable to refer to listings for local happenings like school fairs, sports fixtures, exhibitions, talks and fundraisers. They also find that having such material available can be useful for filling the conversational gap in case of a timing miscalculation or other contingency. Stations’ own intranets or private groups and pages on social media platforms carry a wealth of information supplied by colleagues or curated by station management that can be used, and their websites carry event diaries with details provided by the public. This service is pivotal in ensuring that local clubs, businesses, organizations, charities and community groups benefit from associating with community radio; promotional exposure via the station’s social media as well as broadcast output helps keep them ticking over by staying in the public mind’s eye and in word of mouth circulation.
My evidence suggests that these non-professional yet competent practitioners benefit greatly from the advantages of digitally enabled mobility, spatial freedom and time shifting. Most of my respondents described using their own smartphones to record interviews and actuality out on location. This means they do not have to invest in specialist equipment like digital recorders. Either way, saving audio is easily done and just as easily transferred to other devices to work on later. There is widespread use of portable tablets and laptops as well as home desktop computers for production work: recording and editing for upload into cloud-based accounts. Other data such as documents, notes on stories, ideas for features, interview and quiz questions can be conveniently saved in the same manner. For instance, Verulam’s Sunday lunchtime presenter collected local trivia, lists of competitions questions and quiz titles on his smartphone, enough to last him the entire year and beyond, all about famous local people, well-known buildings and interesting facts.