Ella Robson is a current MA Student at the Birmingham School of Media, where she also studied BA (Hons) Media and Communication, graduating with First Class Honours. Ella currently works both for the University, as a School Rep and Student Academic Mentor, and actively volunteers at various radio industry organisations. 

Thursday November was a fantastic day for Scratch Radio. The Student Radio Awards, supported by BBC Radio 1 and Global took place at the Indig02 in London, and students from all across the country joined forces with industry professionals to celebrate another successful year of student radio.

Scratch Radio, the Birmingham City Students’ Union station, headed to the awards with three nominations; one of those nominees being me. Two of my fellow students, now graduates, were nominated in the Best Journalistic Programming category, Johnny Seifert was nominated for his incredible work in ‘Auschwitz Remembered’, and Emma Boyle for her documentary ‘The Student Underworld.’ For me it was the Best Interview category, in which I was nominated for an interview from a recent documentary I produced ‘Boscastle: 10 Years On.’

Student Radio, I believe, is highly influential and important in the career of any student wishing to work in the radio industry. Moreover I feel it is an incredible feature of Birmingham City University; Scratch Radio allows students to work creatively and indulge in something which can not only further their university experience but allow them to shape their futures.

Finding out I was nominated for an award was highly overwhelming for me as the interview I entered is particularly personal due to it being an interview with my mother. The staff at Birmingham School of Media and my colleagues at Scratch Radio supported me throughout the process of making the documentary and at the awards; I couldn’t be more thankful.

As a nominee I was offered the fantastic opportunity to visit Broadcasting House, home to BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, and also Capital Radio London, home to Global Radio – with brands such as Heart FM, Classic FM, XFM and many more! The day was brilliant, I really enjoyed the tours, and the awards ceremony, yet the most pivotal moment was the feeling of winning Silver for Best Interview. During the awards I was sat with the team from Scratch Radio and when my success was announced my colleagues and friends were incredible. The feeling of camaraderie that I felt in that moment really cemented my love for the guys at Scratch Radio – these are students who share similar interests as me, and are really passionate about the station and Birmingham City University. I believe it is wonderful that something as simple as audio can bring people together, and create a team, just like the guys at Scratch.

The success at the awards certainly is significant for Scratch Radio, and I. We received Silver for Best Interview, yet we also received Gold for Best Journalistic Programming. Emma Boyle was honoured for her documentary ‘The Student Underworld,’ receiving Scratch’s first Gold award, and completing a fantastic evening for the station.

Throughout my time at the university I have participated with Scratch Radio several times; though I began to help out more regularly during my third year of my undergraduate course. The move to The Parkside Building has been brilliant for Scratch Radio as it has made the station more central for students from all campuses, and the studio facilities now available mean that Scratch Radio can stand out more than ever before.

In January 2014 I was project manager for the Two Week Takeover on Scratch Radio; I can quite happily say that, despite how stressful it was, those two weeks were packed full of some of my favourite university moments. Being able to work in a friendly, fast-paced environment such as Scratch Radio pushes you to work to your very best, whilst remaining creative, and passionate. It is highly enjoyable being a part of Scratch Radio, I have been able to interview musicians, create documentaries, produce radio shows, present and so much more!

I only hope that this success continues for Scratch Radio, and the other Scratch teams in Birmingham City Students’ Union. Scratch Media has grown wonderfully this academic year, and I feel that this success is only going to continue, helping to craft and produce industry-ready professionals and provide students with a unique, fun, place to develop and learn.

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