William Bowkett



Bill is the Website News Editor for InQuire. He’s currently doing a BA in politics, and therein lies his interest. If you’re looking to break regular news online, both locally and nationally, drop him an email at website.news@inquiremedia.co.uk

Jake Peach, 23, is a student in his final year of university at Canterbury Christ Church (CCCU). He is the Station Manager of Canterbury Student Radio FM (CSR 97.4FM), overseeing all aspects of the day-to-day running of the station, whilst also championing its reputation with the local and student communities in and around Canterbury. An aspiring broadcaster, Peach has big ambitions of becoming the next big thing in radio. “I want to leave a legacy in the radio industry; I want to be one of the greats,” says Peach, who recently has become the Regional Officer for the London and South East with the UK Student Radio Association for 2018/19.

InQuire caught up with Jake to ask him about his new role, his time at CSRfm, and what the future holds for broadcast radio.

InQuire: Congratulations on becoming the Regional Officer for the London and South East with the UK Student Radio Association, 2018/19. How do you feel?

Jake: I feel great! It’s fantastic to be part of such a great organisation, especially one which has been essential in developing my understanding of radio and all the support that they have provided over my last three years at CSRfm. The opportunity to now give back some of the knowledge I’ve learnt from student radio and support stations get better and better is a privilege and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.

InQuire: What does your role entail? What responsibilities do you have as Regional officer?

I’ll be responsible for liaising with all student radio stations within London and the South East, linking them to the national industry in as many ways as possible. This includes regularly providing information of job opportunities in the radio industry which may be a good first step out of student radio. I will also be responsible for organizing local training days, sourcing a group of industry practitioners to speak and conduct workshops with the region’s stations – the workshops are always very useful for picking up useful hints and tips and a great chance for people to network which is a key thing in the radio industry.

In a nutshell, I am their first point of contact between the stations and the Student Radio Association itself; they are there to represent student radio across the UK and if there is any way that stations can be helped, then it will be our job to do all we can to solve the situation. This can range from providing content, to sourcing the latest music for playlists, to increasing awareness of the role student radio plays.

InQuire: What process did you have to go through to attain the role? And what made you go for it in the first place?

Jake: The SRA holds an AGM at the annual Student Radio Conference and hustings for the SRA’s committee take place, where you outline why you want to take on the role.

I wanted to take on the role as I’m really passionate about all-things radio and wanted to get some experience of the national industry. I feel I’m a great communicator and sociable person, that enjoys interacting with different people and helping to achieve and make things happen. I feel the experience I’ve accumulated being Station Manager of CSRfm was very useful as well.

It’s also about wanting to be at the heart of a great community that is the SRA. Not only do I hope to help as many people as I can with radio but I feel it will also be a great learning curve for myself for seeing what the ‘real world’ is like! I hope being amongst other like-minded people will help me learn and become better in the industry.

InQuire: What credit can you give to CSR, and your degree at CCCU, to help you get to where you are now?

Jake: It goes without saying that they have both been invaluable for developing my knowledge of radio and teaching me things I never knew that could make me better. Particularly within CSR, I’ve had some great role models who have been willing to help and provide advice whenever I’ve needed it. But above all, to be given the chance to run a student radio station teaches you not only about what you hear on-air, but all of the work that goes in behind the scenes to make what you finally hear. Having seen all the different components, it makes you appreciate all the effort that’s required to make great radio and all these experiences helped to further my understanding of what radio is all about.

InQuire: What is the dream?

Jake: (Laughs) If I told you that, I’d have to kill you…

My dream is to be a radio presenter. I want to be able to be that person in people’s lives that puts a smile on their face when they hear their favourite song or share stories that everyone can relate to and invite them into the conversation. Most of all, I want to leave a legacy on the radio industry, knowing that I’ve worked as hard as I can to be the best broadcaster I can be, whilst enjoying it all along the way and making a difference in people’s lives. I want to be one of the greats. Whatever that is, I guess we’ll find out.

InQuire: Radio seems to be seeing a bit of a renaissance, with more adults listening to it than ever. But we are seeing some changes in its overall appearance. FM is on the decline, digital radio is on the rise, and the medium is seeing a direct threat from streaming services like Spotify. What’s your current analysis of the radio industry and where do you see it going next

Jake: I think in the last few years it’s been very easy to assume that radio is dying but I think what we’re seeing is radio adapting to this ever-changing digital world, whilst also trying to understand this new multi-media landscape we find ourselves in. I think social media has had a major role to play in the way radio is made nowadays, with the power of Facebook videos causing stations to visualize more than ever before. Stations can connect with the audiences much more directly now than in the past, and I think visualization is only one example of this. Away from traditional broadcasting, we’re also seeing people harnessing innovation in technology. Someone nowadays can quite easily create their own personal ‘brand’, through the use of podcasts, vlogs, playlist curation and social media, catering to a particular but loyal and niche following. We are so lucky to have the amount of services we do, making it much easier than ever before to fit around a person’s particular wants and needs. You can have complete control over what you want to do, rather than it be dictated by someone else – I think this level of freedom is something our millennial generation crave, watching or listening whenever you want and when it is most convenient in your life.

FM looks like it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future, as the radio industry is nowhere near ready to go all-digital. Too many people are stuck in their habits of listening to FM like they have for so long. However, digital radio is beginning to increase with the range of services that DAB provides – it’s giving the audience more choice and once again, catering to more specific audiences.

I think streaming services are making an impact on the radio industry, but radio is being very careful about which ones it allows in. Some can help complement the listener’s experience where as others are trying to steal radio’s purpose. Radio is learning and re-defining itself, harnessing a multi-media approach to connect with their listener as much as possible. The radio is only one part of the puzzle now – all the surrounding factors that make up radio are enhancing the listener experience, which can only be a good thing for relating to people more closely and being a part of people’s lives in as many ways as possible. These are the principles radio was born on and that will never be lost, only enhanced.

You can catch Jake on CSR 97.4FM on Friday’s from 13:00