BBC Radio Lincolnshire's week of outside broadcasts

Tuesday 15 May 2012, 18:16

Michael Hortin Michael Hortin Senior Broadcast Journalist

Michael Hortin, joint News Editor at BBC Radio Lincolnshire, blogs about how the local radio station has given over an entire week of programming to outside broadcasts.

If 36 shows on the road across 89 hours in a week, and up to nine reporters out every day providing live reports, doesn't sound that daunting - trust me, it is.

From May 14, BBC Radio Lincolnshire has been taking all of its shows out of the building and into the great outdoors. In the year of the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee, we hope to reflect life in Lincolnshire; from the food we eat, to how we celebrate faith, to where we work, and what we do to relax. In a sense, you might say it is a modern day audio Domesday Book.

I know some stations have done similar projects over a short period of time but I can't think of any who have taken their entire output (bulletins aside) on the road, to match what we are doing. In fact, in my opinion, what we're doing has only really become possible in the last year or so as technology has developed.

The technology in question is the use of the 3G network. Though that is not new in itself, we have used kit with a collection of 3G network cards to broadcast around 80% of the shows. Having several networks available gives the shows a resilience such that so far far, touch wood, they haven't fallen off air. At the same time our reporters have used a mixture of our own and borrowed iPads to broadcast.

For all the talk of ambitious plans and technology, the real way we (and more importantly) our listeners will judge whether the week is a success is by what comes out of the radio. Despite all our planning and technological wizardry we've found that we've also gone back to basics. Back in fact, to the famous phrase of the BBC's founder Lord Reith "educate, inform and entertain".

Melvyn Prior broadcatsing at Boston's Pilgrim Hospital

Melvyn Prior speaking to patients at Boston's Pilgrim Hospital.

The Rod Whiting Breakfast Show continued to cover the day's events but instead of being in his usual studio, Rod has been at places right across Lincolnshire like the Old Hall in Gainsborough, Grantham Train Station and the National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford. At the same time Melvyn Prior's programme has focused on an issue a day as he travels the county including health care while touring Pilgrim Hospital in Boston and policing whilst broadcasting from Grantham Police Station.

As joint News Editor at the radio station, it would be remiss of me not to mention the reporters who, through the week have been clocking up the miles providing live reports from RAF bases across the county; a speed reduction seminar at Cadwell Park and the Lincolnshire Echo on the day it goes to print. We've also had a reporter travelling the length of the Witham from south of Grantham to Boston reflecting on the lives of those that live and work near the river.

What has also been so gratifying has been the response of the people in Lincolnshire. This has been shown most vividly in Market Rasen where a local group, working to rejuvenate the town and become a Mary Portas Pilot, organised a special market to mark the visit of our Drivetime show to the town. It sounded great on air and also seems to have helped their push to improve the town centre.

So, as you can see a unique project - but more than that, a chance to get Lincolnshire voices, sounds and issues on the air. In just seven days and in more than 300 places across the county, we hope to sum up what Lincolnshire is all about in 2012.

One Week in Lincolnshire is on BBC Radio Lincolnshire from Monday 14th to Sunday 20th May on 94.9FM, 104.7FM, 1368MW and online.

Catch up with BBC Lincolnshire programmes on iPlayer.

The Rod Whiting's Breakfast Show and Melvyn Prior's Radio Lincolnshire programmes, in addition to the full radio schedule are available via BBC iPlayer.


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