December 21st, 2005 at 01:47pm
On December 21 2004, a new community radio news service started, then known as Australian National Radio News. This service started on a trial basis, running three bulletins per day Monday-Friday. Within the first two days ANRN picked up their first subscriber station, and within three months they had 12 stations.
In April, director Artie Stevens relaunched the service as Australian Independent Radio News, on a subscription basis with an expanded service, only three stations stayed with AIR News. Now, 12 months after the first day of operation, AIR News is back to 12 stations, spanning every state and territory except for Tasmania and the ACT. At present seven stations are trialling AIR on a free, non-broadcast basis.
Director of AIR News, Artie Stevens remembers the start of ANRN,
“I remember the doomsayers telling me it wouldn’t work, and me being a stubborn old coot and saying it would.”
AIR News has developed a “virtual newsroom”, enabling news readers from all over the country to operate from the comfort of their own studios.
“One of the things we have developed is our Virtual Newsroom and it seems to work so well. All our readers operate from their own home studios, some a little more flash than others, but they all work fine and sound great” Artie said.
Since moving to a subscriber basis, AIR has expanded to provide more than just a news service.
“We provide AIR Sports Mon – Fri at around 6:15am, AIR NEWS Headlines around the same time and The World Mon – Fri around 10am Eastern. ”
Artie describes The World as a “10 minute daily magazine style program compiling reports from our affiliate reporters around the world” on the AIR News website.
AIR has established not only a national presence, but also brings in stories from all over the globe, as Artie explains.
“Our association with Feature Story News in Washington has given us access to reporters around the world, with Washington, New York, Orlando, Ottawa, London, Brussels, Moscow & Tehran all on board.”
Artie also says that AIR News provides Asia-Pacific reports for Feature Story News.
Sport is also covered,
“We also have an association with The Broadcasting Company in London which provides us with elite sports reports. We had some great “exclusives” during the Ashes test series and currently we’re getting updates on the Volvo round the world yacht race.”
Radio historian, Wayne Mac, thinks that AIR has been a fantastic success.
“It’s bloody terrific see someone put themselves out there and to make something happen in this business. As we all know, there are many armchair critics always waiting to pounce or poo-poo an idea.”
Artie Stevens agrees.
“I think it’s been a bottler of a year and I think I’ll have a cold one
tonight to celebrate.”
For more information about AIR News, or to recommend AIR to your local community station or blackspot commercial station, visit www.air-news.net
Disclaimer: Samuel Gordon-Stewart has a commercial agreement as a newsreader for Australian Independent Radio News.