CJSW learns from the best

By Vianne Fung

Listeners of campus radio station CJSW can now wake up to the voices of seasoned CBC broadcasters.

CJSW has joined hands with CBC radio staff for a weekly morning news program which began in August. Aptly re-titled Locked Out, the program is temporarily replacing CJSW’s Local Revolutions to cover news highlights and in-depth stories on international and Canadian headlines. CBC employees host the program, with up to eight people from both stations reporting.

The radio installment was the brainchild of CJSW alumni Dan McSwinney, now local traffic reporter and weatherman at CBC Radio. He approached the campus station for a collaborative public relations program geared at keeping the CBC voice alive during the staff labour dispute.

Locked Out installed CBC Radio staff over the past few Sundays and Mondays in an informal mentorship with CJSW volunteers. The two co-operated throughout the process of writing news stories to on-air presentation although production and story ideas were the responsibilities of CBC staff. The program welcomed any CJSW volunteers who were interested in working with the CBC staff. Through the collaboration, Locked Out showcased a hybrid of casual and professional ambiance from both stations.

“CJSW and CBC have unique styles,” said CJSW Spoken Word Coordinator Lindsay Bowman. “We didn’t want to assimilate with the CBC. I think it’s been a learning environment for both sides. We really rubbed off on each other. The CBC helped guide the story but the stories were written by CJSW volunteers.”

“It took a long time because we added musical stingers to fit with the CJSW format,” added CJSW Office Coordinator Kenna Burima.

CJSW volunteer Kallen Law also commented on the independent nature of his behind-the scenes work for Locked Out.

“We could have asked any of the [CBC] staff,” he said. “The experience helped me learn how to make a news program for professional use. It made my piece more precise and interesting to listeners. It was a lot more professional environment. They caught me off-guard with their standards but I was able to get used to it. I still want to work in print journalism in the future but now I can appreciate it for their work [in radio].”

There is mutual interest in further joint programming but there are no definite plans yet.

“We’re not sure of the format,” said Bowman. “We’ve had a fun time working with them and they’ve enjoyed their time with us.”

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