BU PhD student Tony Stoller talks digital radio on BBC Radio Solent

BU PhD student and former chief executive of the Radio Authority Tony Stoller spoke on BBC Radio Solent about the switchover to digital radio.

Tony took part in Breakfast Show host Julian Clegg’s Big Conversation feature, which looked at new technology in the radio industry and the government’s decision not to switch off the FM frequency for digital DAB signals until after at least 2016.

“There’s been a lot of pressure on the government from some of the bigger battalions in radio to switch off FM because that way everyone is going to be forced to digital,” said Tony.

“But the government’s come up with a good solution – it says we still believe in digital, but not yet, and we’ll do some things to help digital along.”

He added that there were still some issues with the current digital DAB radio technology – including inconsistent signal and an inability to access some of the smaller, local radio stations.

“There’s a real question about the technology itself,” Tony said.

“There are two things you could do – you could make the present system better by finding a way of putting in a stronger signal. In some bits of the home it will work perfectly, but you may take it to one room where it may not work so well.

“The other thing you could do is look at other ways of doing digital radio. I can listen to radio through my television, on my computer, on my new tablet. There are lots of different digital options these days – you don’t want to be hung up on what we call a single platform for broadcasting.”

Tony’s PhD is looking at aspects of classical music on UK radio, and Julian asked him what made him leave the radio industry to go back to education.

“I wanted to study aspects of radio that interest me,” Tony said.

“Bournemouth University is a great place to do it, but it’s very hard.

“If I’d known what I was taking on, I might not have done it, but it’s huge fun as well.”

Listen to the programme (available for seven days after broadcast)

The changing face of student digs on BBC Radio Solent

Around 12,000 first year students will be arriving at universities across the South over the next week – with many staying in Halls of Residence.

BBC Radio Solent’s breakfast show looked at how ‘student digs’ had changed and improved over recent years, and reporter Jo Palmer visited BU’s recently refurbished Cranborne House Halls of Residence.

The Halls have undergone an £8.3 million transformation, with all of the flats being completely remodelled, the creation of a common room and outside seating area and even wireless technology to allow students to see if the washing machines are free from the comfort of their own bedroom.

Jo reported live from Cranborne throughout Julian Clegg’s breakfast show and spoke to BU’s Residential Services Manager Richard Search.

“I think the vast majority [of student accommodation] have improved considerably over the last ten or fifteen years,” Richard said.

“I think the time’s gone now when you could get away with the charity shop furniture and the old 1950s-style carpet. I think it’s got to be a little bit more modern, a bit more minimalistic.

“There’s an element of supply and demand here – I think students are demanding more, and if you are a landlord then you need to improve your premises to get them let.”

He added that he didn’t think students were missing out on ‘character building’ by going into more luxurious accommodation.

“Times have changed and I think perhaps modern students have quite a lot of other things they have to worry about without worrying about things like that.”

BU has built six new Halls of Residences from 2005 to 2012 in the Bournemouth and Poole area, and Richard told Julian that students could typically expect their own bathroom.

“Our surveys of students tell us that en-suite is the first thing that they look for in their accommodation.

“So you’ll find that the vast majority, if not all, of new buildings will have en-suite facilities.”

Listen to the feature in full on BBC Radio Solent (available for seven days)

Rufus Stone featured on BBC Radio Solent

Rufus Stone, a film based on research conducted by BU’s Dr Kip Jones, was featured on Julian Clegg’s BBC Radio Solent Breakfast Show.

The research project looked at homosexuality and ageing in rural communities and Dr Kip Jones, Reader in Qualitative Research at BU, spoke to Julian about the project and explained its importance and discussed why the findings were turned into a film.

Kip said about the making of the film, “It took about six years [to make the film], it was a large project of research all over the country. There were three years of gathering research of older lesbian and gay men’s stories who lived mainly in rural areas in the south of England and Wales.”

Continuing the conversation to talk about how it is being used to train and teach communities, Kip said, “We recently held a two day ‘train the trainers’ event where we brought together local councils and service providers and community organisers from all over the country and we worked with them, showing them the film and showing how they can lead discussion groups afterwards.”

Talking on future showings of the film, Kip said, “Bournemouth University is having its Festival of Learning in June and Rufus Stone has two showings, in Poole and Wareham.”

The interview ended with Julian and Kip discussing whether the culture in these rural communities has changed and whether this film represents current rural culture.

You can listen to the interview again for the next seven days on the BBC website.

For more information about Bournemouth University’s Festival of Learning, including the showing of Rufus Stone, on the Festival of Learning website.