Its been some week. This time last week in Helsinki talking the dissolution of the Soviet Union with Finns, Russians and Estonians and today running our one day social media and online content workshop. In between came half a dozen things like a panel discussion in DIT on radio production, chatting to NUJ journalists about turning into audio-makers, the BAI one day ‘consultancy’ at Croke Park on its strategy document where everyone who is leading in radio was there (well just about everyone) and a full day’s studio recording with Jack L and Julie Feeney for our radio music series High Fidelity. Diverse to say the least.
Helsinki is fascinating. We could all do with being a bit more Nordic. They drink their heads off but remains quite orderly and Helsinki has to feel like one of the safest places to be at any time. You know you are in Finland when the bus and just about everywhere else has free wifi, there’s three forms of public transport and your morning latte costs four euro! Helsinki is about the only place I can go and feel Dublin is not bad value. But its a city that works, with wonderful friendly people and a language which must be great in scrabble as it uses so many uuuus.
The interviews are for our series called Death of an Empire, on twenty years since the end of the Soviet Union. Seamus Martin, ex Irish Times correspondent, is leading the project and he was recording in August in Moscow and we’ve done quite a few interviews here in Ireland. The series goes out at Christmas/New Year on RTE Radio 1.
Straight off the plane and a few hours sleep and it was into edit the Capital D special on Mark Pollock with video editor Barry MacNeill. The piece went out on thursday and its available on the home page and it has to one of the most meaningful TV pieces we’ve done this year. Mark is an incredible guy and it always feel we’re lucky to have known him and to have had the chance to work with him. Mark gets out of rehab hospital very soon and hopefully it will signal a much needed move towards an independent life again. Monday it was participating in a DIT panel on how the radio independent production sector works aimed at journalists coming largely from a print background who are looking to shift into radio work. Good session and nice to meet up with old colleagues like Michael Foley, now a media lecturer who I started life as a journalist with in the Irish Times. (many fish and chip wrappers ago)
We had a busy day Tuesday recording High Fidelity, episode 21,22,23 with Jack and Julie and our wonderful audio engineer Lochlainn Harte. On Monday episode 19 goes out on air on RTE Lyric fm at 7pm. This times its Motown and how music got soul. Great music and lots of extraordinary life stories. We’re nearly at the end of this very long journey - just three more episodes to record and our final show is listeners choice so if you want to submit a song we’ve overlooked let us know via the High Fidelity facebook page or twitter account. On wednesday I met Michael Gallen of Irish band Ana Gog (its their music in the Mark Pollock feature) and what a talented person. Currently based in Paris Michael write both contemporary classical and rock music which is some achievement. I somehow feel everyone will hear a lot more about him.
By thursday (after I had managed to wreck my bike) it was over to Croke Park and the conference centre for the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s one day consultation with the broadcasting sector about its new services strategy. Since Athena Media did a lengthy economic landscape report last year it was a bit disappointing to see how little, if anything, was taken on board from that work and depressing to see the lack of cohesion within the sector. It was a disspiriting day with lots of heat but very little vision and Ireland seems to have a very long way to go to fully understand the concept of ‘consultation’. As I say we all needed to get a little more Nordic. In Ireland it always feel people are just ticking boxes when it comes to ‘consultation’. The one highlight of the day was that the session was chaired by the utterly delightful John Bowman who is still the most learned person with the sharpest mind around broadcasting or any business.
And then to today and a very uplifting group for social media workshop. Its always a treat to get people who start to work together from different backgrounds and experiences and really problem-solve together. By Sunday its London for sessions with the BBC and the whole, wonderful world of work beings again. But bored…..we will never be!