It’s a third-year radio journalism class with an average of 20 students. I emphasize current affairs. In the fall-term, we learn how to tell stories with sound from the 60-second news story to soundscapes and short documentaries. In the second term, we put those skills in service of live radio on CHSR. Every student has to produce a Lunchbox show.
2) Tell our readers what is involved in this project, broadcasting on CHSR’s Lunchbox?
The students have to come up with a focused idea/subject they can sustain for half an hour. They’re put in groups of two, so they can cover the entire hour Lunchbox slot. As producers, the students are expected to do far more than just book an interview or two and play a tune. Usually there are several packaged items, including short (5 minute) documentaries. They need to script it, time it and then perform it. My hope is that students understand the care, hard work (and sometimes the bossiness) required to be a radio producer.
3) How many years has this been going on?
I’ve been teaching this class for five years and we’ve been doing the shows every year since.
4) What has been the student response to these shows?
The students love the rush of doing live radio. Most want to do it again. But beyond that, the student producers are proud of the depth of their work. It’s practically like doing a half hour documentary.
5) What are some of the highlights of this year’s broadcasts?
I’d hate to single out any one show out, but we’ve had shows on everything from “The Internet and Over-sharing” to “The Employment Prospects of Generation Y” to “Concussions in Hockey.” We’ve had some great shows this year, with more to come before the term is up.