Home NewsAustralia In an age of declining regional media, meet the broadcaster fighting back one rock anthem at a time

In an age of declining regional media, meet the broadcaster fighting back one rock anthem at a time

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Being a neighborhood radio rock music DJ was not the profession Alaina Earl deliberate, particularly in a small city of simply 9,000 folks.

She mentioned she was “born to be a author”, however after falling sufferer to the decline in regional media choices, dropping her job twice at native papers and magazines, she made the change to the airwaves.

For six years she has labored within the coronary heart of Queensland’s coal nation at Moranbah’s 4RFM neighborhood radio station, which runs 24 hours a day.

Whereas different media firms broadcast to the city, it’s the solely outlet with a bodily base in the neighborhood.

Ms Earl hosts three reveals and, in true small-town style, additionally acts because the neighborhood liaison officer, journal creator and programmer.

“Then we had nothing like that in Moranbah, so the neighborhood radio right here 4RFM they selected to select up that hole and begin their very own month-to-month e-newsletter, so I began that.”

A woman stands outside a brick building with 'community radio' in large writing
Ms Earl outdoors 4RFM in Moranbah.(ABC Capricornia: Jasmine Hines)

Speaking COVID-19

Moranbah is 150 kilometres south-west of Mackay and is within the Isaac native authorities space.

The area has a number of the worst COVID-19 vaccination charges within the nation and Ms Earl mentioned as the one neighborhood radio station on the town, she has been utilizing her platform to advocate for vaccination.

The federal authorities’s most up-to-date printed vaccination information reveals solely 63.5 per cent of individuals have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

A woman stands smiling in front of stacks of CDs
Ms Earl says the station shares necessary data with the local people.(ABC Capricornia: Jasmine Hines)

One thing for everybody

Ms Earl mentioned other than COVID-19 data, the station serves the neighborhood by promoting neighborhood notices and educating kids media abilities akin to podcasting.

“We’ve got a plenty of youth applications. We get the first faculties to return in they usually learn their college notices on air … and watching their confidence change from that first week to that final week after they are available in is simply phenomenal,” she mentioned.

The station additionally supplies volunteers an area to broadcast content material of their very own selecting.

“We get individuals who tune in particularly for these sure reveals, or then there’s the individuals who hate nation they usually’ll flip it off for that two hours after which flip it again on later.”

Native voices wanted

Central Queensland College media knowledgeable Celeste Lawson mentioned with out native media sources, folks in small communities akin to Moranbah can really feel extra remoted.

“It is an rising problem to have native information retailers, particularly in remoted and regional communities,” she mentioned.

A woman with pink hair and glasses smiles
Celeste Lawson says there’s been a discount in native information in central Queensland.(Equipped: CQ College)

Dr Lawson mentioned there are fewer journalists working in regional communities, which makes it “extra necessary than ever” for people who stay to report on occasions and actions.

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