Just received: a press release about the launch of the UK’s first online commercial radio sound archive. Thanks to funding from JISC of just over £760,000, the Centre for Broadcasting History based at Bournemouth University has spent the last three years digitising the noteworthy radio dating from 1973 up to the mid-1990's - preserving over 5,000 searchable recordings including the first hour of UK commercial radio in 1973, coverage of five UK general elections and the end of apartheid.
The collection is available online for researchers, lecturers and students
at the LBC / Independent Radio News (IRN) radio news audio archive which
gives access to the catalogue and audio of reports filed by some of the UK’s
leading journalists including Jon Snow, the late Carol Barnes and Dickie
Among the 4,000 hours of radio are a number of historic events covered by LBC/IRN including:
• The first hour of UK commercial radio including the first commercial radio
• Broadcasts of the Falklands War, the miners’ strike and Northern Ireland
• The live reporting of UK election results from five general elections,
giving a unique sense of the political shaping of the country
• News related to the whole of the Thatcher government
• The whole of the 'Decision Makers' series 1974-86: weekly 30-minute
programmes of political and current affairs analysis which provide a unique
insight into politics and its reportage within the UK at the time
• State President PW Botha’s speech at the opening of the South African
parliament in which he announced that the era of apartheid was over, with
political and journalistic analysis of this event.
The archive was unveiled by internationally-acclaimed broadcaster, radio
historian and academic, Professor Seàn Street, at the Radio Centre in London.
He said: “This was at a time before the Broadcasting Act of 1990 which
brought significant change to the structure of British broadcasting. The
change in commercial radio since this period is extraordinary. It is
impossible for the young student of radio, born since this time, to imagine
that such independently funded radio could have existed. As a result, it is
vitally important that these programmes be preserved, as part of the
evolving history of post-war British broadcasting.
“This archive forms an important part of the history of radio broadcasting
since it provides an alternative source of radio journalism and news and
current affairs broadcasts to the BBC’s own collection,” he concluded.