BUDDING radio presenters from across Mitchell Shire are hitting the airwaves this week as Mitchell Community Radio’s Young Presenters Quest draws to a close.
The station, which broadcasts as OKR FM 98.3 across most of Mitchell Shire and 97.1 in Wallan, has run the talent quest for the past eight years as a way of giving young people in the region exposure to the broadcasting industry.
School students have spent several weeks training for the competition, hosting their own radio segments each week.
This year’s participants are presenting their final shows this week and will be judged by the winners of last year’s competition.
OKR FM president Mark Perrot said the quest was a great way for young people to learn new skills and build confidence.
“They learn a lot from the competition,” he said.
“Once you’ve learned the technical side, it’s more a case of assembling the show. That’s where you choose your music and you try to work out your conversation topics.
“They’re working on their final shows [this week] and that’ll be for the judging.
“Last year’s winners of the quest judge this year’s participants on their overall presentation, their conversation and their technical ability, so that there’s not too much silence and things like that.
“In the first session with some of the boys, one of them turned on the wrong mic, so we couldn’t hear him. That would probably go against him a little bit if it was in the final.
“I think they’re going to talk about Christmas, so they’ll have to carry the conversation for that period.”
Broadford Secondary College year seven students Emmeline Mastevski and Natalie Hannemann said they had loved being part of the Young Presenters Quest.
“I like playing songs that I like and have chosen, and having people hear them,” Natalie said.
“I think we get to choose a few songs that we might not get to hear on the radio otherwise.”
Emmeline said she had found radio presenting easier than she first thought.
“I thought it was going to be really technical and involve using the computer a lot,” she said.
“If anyone was thinking about doing it, I think they should go for it because it’s not as hard as it looks. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of everything.
“My favourite part has been getting to play some of my favourite songs and getting a chance to build my confidence up talking on the radio.”
Mr Perrot said the young presenters often brought a fresh perspective to both the music and conversation topics discussed on the radio.
“We had a really good conversation about how they were coping with online learning,” he said.
“We’re trying to pin them down to the local area where possible, like the boys who were keen cyclists were talking about riding and how that sort of thing works in the local area.
“The boys are talking about continuing, maybe not every week, but every now and again, because it’s something they enjoy and they’ve got the skill to be able to keep it up.
“Hearing new music has been one of the good aspects. They come in with their own choices, whether it’s entirely their own or has a bit of input from mums, dads, brothers and sisters.”
The Young Presenters Quest is run in conjunction with Victorian Youth Week each year.
A boys’ team of Matt and Ben presented their final show yesterday from 4pm to 5pm, with Emmeline and Natalie presenting their final show immediately afterwards from 5pm to 6pm.
Roman will be the last of this year’s participants to present his final show today from 4pm to 5pm.
For more information on the competition, people can call OKR FM on 5781 0919.
People can listen live on the radio or stream the broadcast online at okrfm.com.au/listen_live.php.