Tuning In To Climate Change

Report on Phase One:

Planning and Implementation of Four Special Event FM Simulcasts

Project Goals

The goals of the project were to:


To date four radio/webcast special events are now complete.

The tools, products and processes are still in development.

Events Summary

Four special events were held throughout Newfoundland during the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2003 in:

For each three-day event a portable FM radio station was set up and broadcast via a forty-watt transmitter. Broadcast range varied according to elevation and landscape but locations generally resulted in favorable broadcast conditions.

A typical broadcast day ran for eight programming hours (either 12 pm — 8pm or 11 am — 7 pm). (The radio station was generally put on the air earlier than this (9 am) to play local music. This gave the station an identity on the FM dial for people searching for it in advance.)

Publicity was carried out through posters, local media, e-mail lists, community partnership building and word of mouth.

Web Cast and Integrated Web Site

Each event offered simultaneous web casting either through high speed or dial up connection, depending on the location. Each event offered an integrated website with a discussion board which allowed participants and listeners to post comments and questions which were answered by project staff. Updated news, schedules and photographs were constantly added to the site throughout each event.

Community Ownership

For all locations an effort was made to plan the events collaboratively with community partner organizations. The extent to which community partners embraced the project varied from location to location (e.g. Terra Nova partners took strong initiative where Corner Brook partners took less of a leadership role.) Lead-time was a significant factor in community partnership building — the events with greater lead-time for partnership building were the most successful (Terra Nova and St. John’s.)

Community Interaction

Panel discussions were set up at all the events and covered a variety of topics. Some were made up of local experts on a particular topic (e.g. Forestry or Climate Change) others were made of local citizens on a more general topic (local environmental issues or youth issues.) The most successful panels involved a live studio audience which encouraged community interaction. None of the attempts at phone-ins/phone-outs were particularly successful. This could be explained by a sense of shyness among the listening audience and the lack of an established listener-ship.

Dialog about Climate Change

Programming encouraged community education and dialog about climate change through

live and taped interviews, live interactive activities and workshops, trivia contests and Public Service Announcements. Workshops and presentations with local youth were particularly successful in stimulating discussion about climate change. It was interesting to observe how participants made an effort to connect seemingly unrelated topics (e.g. composting or recycling) to climate change. In general the local on-air hosts did a wonderful job at bringing the focus back to climate change. Many people commented that having this discussion initiated by "regular people" as well as experts made the topic interesting and accessible.

Cultural Celebration

Local musicians, storytellers and youth performers played a large part in all four events. The integration of local culture and music helped promote community "buy-in" and vary the programming.

Technology and Local Youth

In all communities control of the technology was handled to some extent by local youth. This varied from location to location depending on how available youth were (this was largely determined by timing in relation to the school year.) In Terra Nova and St. John’s the technology was handled entirely by local youth. Their participation was vital to the sense of energy and enthusiasm surrounding the events.

Documentation and Participatory Evaluation

After each event the management team, and in some cases community partners, met to discuss and critique all aspects of the process. High points, low points and goals for the next event were set out. Each event grew on the successes and failures of past events.

The next stage of this project is the development of tools geared toward a "how to" approach to this process based on experiences from this project.

Please see Appendix A for a preliminary summary of processes and lessons learned from the perspective of the project coordinator.


Appendix A

Processes and Lessons Learned

Processes and Lessons Learned


A project coordinator was hired to:


Enthusiastic and reliable community partners are crucial to this process. Without local representation and responsibility the events fall flat. Some criteria for effective partnership building are:


Choosing the right venue is vital to pulling off a successful event. Several factors must be taken into consideration:


A participatory community radio/ web cast event can happen at any time throughout the year but we found our summer and fall events were particularly successful:

Advantages of holding an event in summer are:

Disadvantages of holding an event in summer are:

Lead Time

Once the dates, venue, and key partner are confirmed allow at least three weeks to a month to plan the event. This includes:

Content Planning and Scheduling

It is best if the planning and scheduling of content is carried out by a team rather than by an individual (i.e. the coordinator.) This not only shares the workload but also makes the process more enjoyable and shares the sense of commitment and ownership. A content planning committee can be made up of representatives from partner organizations. It is also easier if the coordinator is based in the same community as the event. If this is not possible make sure there is one reliable contact resident in the community who can be available to help out "on the ground." Here are some things to consider when assembling the committee:

Once you decide what your broadcast hours will be, draw up a blank schedule to distribute to the team. The schedule itself is divided into ten-minute blocks — if you expect an item to take ten minutes section off one block, if you think it will take twenty minutes section off two blocks and so on.

Please see Appendix B for an example of a blank schedule.

Content: Try to find a balance between live and taped content. You’ll need some taped material (music, taped interviews, PSA’s etc.) to play while transitioning between live item. However the majority of your programming should be live — it’s generally easier, less time consuming and more interesting for the people in the studio!

At the initial planning meeting:

*Live local entertainment is a huge part of a participatory community radio event:

We used a couple of systems to do this:

Obviously both of these systems have their faults — the first has large potential for errors and confusion/overbooking (though it actually worked very well) — the second results in people receiving huge attachments on their e-mail every day.

Your group has to decide on what system will work best for you!

When booking a guest or item always get:

All this information should appear on the schedule.



The coordinator is responsible for organizing the publicity. For our project this was carried out through:


Please see Appendix C for an example of a press release and PSA

During the Event:


Participants can be recruited through:

Besides content planning, people can participate in a variety of ways:

People of all ages can take part in a participatory community radio event but generally the technology is handled by local youth. A crew of four to six youth should be present at all times (not including hosts.) Kids aged twelve and up can handle the technology.

It helps to recruit a team of two to four youth who can serve as your full time "staff." This team will take part in training on the day you set up (the day before you go on air) as will be available for the majority of the event. This works well because:


Job Descriptions of Key Positions

On-air Hosts

On-air hosting is carried out by local youth and other members of the community. Hosts should be:

Hosts can be anywhere from high school-aged and up, though we found slightly older youth who were a little more mature and were better equipped to conduct interviews (though high school students had great energy!)

The coordinator should avoid hosting. He or she will have enough to do keeping the schedule on track, organizing musical set ups, greeting guests, taking phone calls, training tech volunteers, making sure volunteers have enough food, juice, coffee, and generally trouble shooting when items go long/short and guests don’t show up!

Two co-hosts generally work well. Most people have not done on-air hosting before and feel more comfortable with a buddy. With two people it’s easier to chat and fill air time if necessary. Hosts:

Please see Appendix D for "information for hosts"

Director — (Usually the coordinator) keeps track of the schedule and is generally at the ready to pass last minute info to hosts, rearrange microphones and keep an eye on the schedule, ask people to be quiet if noise level gets disruptive etc.

Assistant Director — (Usually a volunteer participant) works with the director as a trainee and will gradually assume the role of director as s/he becomes more comfortable with the role.

Technical Support

The technology is very straightforward and is generally the same type of equipment people would have at home.

The jobs that need to be covered at all times are:


Audio board operator - basically controls what goes on the air. The audio board is hooked up to:

The audio board operator turns the sound up/down as needed and communicates with the hosts using hand signals letting the host know when the microphone is "live."


CD and tape deck operator — works hand in hand with audio board operator.

He/she keeps track of pre-recorded material which can be played from two sources:

The CD player holds five disks at a time, so this person must know what CD is in what slot.

The tape deck holds two cassette tapes at a time.

When it’s time to put a recorded item on the air, the Audio Operator signals the CD/tape operator to press play.


CD recorder and log keeper - Everything that goes to air is recorded onto CD for archival purposes.

This person inserts tracks (breaks) onto the CD every time a new item starts.

This person is also responsible for labeling the CD's and keeping a program log.

Please see Appendix E for "how to label the CD’s"

Please see Appendix F for an example of a program log


Other non-technical jobs to be covered are:

Greeter - welcomes any studio guests who you may have invited.

Phone operator - answers phone calls and calls out to any phone interviews that have been lined up.


Appendix B

Sample Schedule

Tuesday October 28, 2003

studio telephone: 777-5555

frequency: 101.1 FM

Host/s: Jane Spencer

Assistant: Harry Smith

Tech Help: Joe White, Lee Drodge





Jane Spencer

Live Host Sign on, chat about project


Barry Taylor


Live Music


Terry Furlong


Live interview Climate Change Education Centre


Fred Green

Taped interview, Honda hybrid car



























































































Appendix C


Example of Press Release

Example of Public Service Announcement


In the Footsteps of Marconi - Tuning In To Climate Change Part 4

Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada teams up with the Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador and Ryakuga Grassroots Communications to present Tuning In To Climate Change - an innovative new project that encourages listeners and participants to talk about climate change and related environmental issues.

For three days this month (October 28, 29 and 30) the Interpretation Centre at Signal Hill will be home base for an interactive community radio broadcast and Internet web cast. Listeners can tune in locally at 101.1 FM or log on at www.conservationcorps.nf.ca

"The Conservation Corps, is a not for profit organization dedicated to providing youth with training and employment in environmental and cultural heritage conservation. Throughout the year we undertake and participate in numerous special activities and projects -Tuning In To Climate Change is one such event," explains project coordinator Janet McDonald.

"During the three-day event, people will have the opportunity to learn more about climate change and how we can all help address the problem. Content will also include live music, features about Signal Hill, interviews with community groups and others who want to share their talents, talk about their volunteer organizations and other community-based projects."

Ryakuga director Fred Campbell adds, "We aim for maximum involvement of community groups including the total operation of the grassroots technology by non-professional volunteers."

Jeremy Roop, Manager of National Historic Sites in Eastern Newfoundland adds, "Parks Canada is pleased to participate in this innovative broadcast to engage audiences in the St. John's area on environmental issues related to climate change. The Conservation Corps broadcast is an important tool in informing and changing people's perspectives on global issues such as this. Such a broadcast though would not have been possible without the earlier research in wireless communications by scientists such
as Guglielmo Marconi, whose 1901 and subsequent work here at Signal Hill, is commemorated at the site."

"This partnership with Signal Hill is such a natural fit," says McDonald, "Considering the history with Marconi and its impact on radio communications it seems like the perfect place to do our own pioneering radio event"

Tuning In To Climate Change will utilize Internet web casting to bring the three-day event into the homes of people living outside the immediate broadcast area. People can log on via the Conservation Corps’ website at www.conservtationcorps.nf.ca and they can also post questions and comments on the web discussion board at http://www.glinx.com/~ryakuga/eco/eco.html

The Signal Hill event is the fourth of a cross-province tour that saw Kippens, Corner Brook and Terra Nova National Park Tune In To Climate Change throughout the Spring and Summer of 2003.

Tuning In To Climate Change is funded by the Government of Canada through the Climate Change Action Fund.

For more information please contact Janet McDonald at (709) 729-7280 or jmcdonald@conservationcorps.nf.ca or visit http://www.ryakuga.org/climatechange/index.html



Public Service Announcements

Two versions of a general Public Service Announcement were sent out, one for print, one for radio:

PSA for Print

Tune in! 101.1 FM October 28-30, 11 am-7 pm The Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador presents Tuning In To Climate Change — live from the Interpretation Centre, Signal Hill National Historic Site. Log on at www.conservationcorps.nf.ca Contact Janet 729-7280

PSA for Radio

Tune in! The Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador presents Tuning In To Climate Change — a live community radio broadcast and web cast. Live from the Signal Hill Interpretation Centre. Tune in to 101.1 FM from October 28-30, 11 am - 7 pm. For more information call the Conservation Corps at 729-7280

A third PSA was sent to the Rogers Television Ad Channel:

PSA for Performers

Attention Performers! The Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador

is looking for musicians, storytellers, writers, DJ’s, actors, magicians, etc. to perform on a live community radio broadcast/webcast October 28-30. Please call Janet at 729-7280


Appendix D

Information For Hosts

Info for Hosts

Announce frequently: 104.7 FM in Terra Nova National Park

log on at www.conservationcorps.nf.ca

broadcasting live from the Marine Interpretation Centre

invite people to drop by

Be aware that the schedule is a guide but is flexible. Things will be added and may be removed continuously. For example recorded PSA’s, music on cd and taped interviews will be inserted as needed. The floor director will hand you notes telling you what’s up next so you’ll know what to say — go with the flow!

Interviews: Make sure you have the correct title and organization your guest is representing (you may want to write this down — it’s easy to blank on someone’s name on-air.) Make sure you have enough information beforehand. Talk to the person who lined up the interview and if at all possible do a pre-interview with your guests. If you wish, do up a question line. Go from the general to the specific — start with a general question such as "Tell me a bit about your research/company/organization — what do you do?" then go on to more specific questions. A good guide is the five W’s Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

Introducing Taped Interviews: We don’t have formal written intros for items on cd. The Floor Director will hand you the cd cover or a note which will have:

Feel free to do impromptu streeters/chats with people who are around. (eg. What comes to mind when you hear the term Climate Change? Have you taken part in any of the Park’s programmed activities? What do you think of the touch tank Etc.)

Periodically put a call out for trivia contests (see list of trivia questions attached — check of questions as they’ve been used so we don’t repeat the same question!)

Announce what’s coming up later in the day/week. Promote (for example):

Climate Change workshop for kids with the Green Team (Tuesday 1:00)

Music and reading for kids with Ed Kavanagh (Tuesday 2:30)

Climate Change Presentation with Terry McNeil (Wednesday 11)

Youth the Environment and the Economy panel discussion (Wednesday 2:00)

Earth Day Game with Kim Murphy (Thursday 11:00)

Musical guests: work out with the guest how many songs they’re going to do (two or three for each set) and how many sets. They’ll be aware that we’d like them to be a bit flexible. Do a little chit chat with them on air before and after they play. We’ll have to juggle the microphones a bit, so be aware of that.

Appendix E

How to Label the CDs


How to label the CDs


Mark cd itself by Day and Disk

Eg. Tuesday/Disk 1

Wednesday/Disk 2

Label CD cover the same way at top

Eg Tuesday/Disk 1

Wednesday/Disk 2

Write down what is on each track.

Change the track every time something new happens.

(live activity/interview/music/long taped piece)

Eg: Tuesday/Disk1


  1. sign on/junior naturalists
  2. cd music Felix/climate watch psa
  3. interview Bob Gregory
  4. live music Sara Diamond


Appendix F

Example of Program Log

Program Log, Tuesday October 28, 2003: Day 1

Tuning In To Climate Change

Signal Hill National Historic Site


Start time



Sign on host - Kate Reiken, live chat with Janet McDonald, project coordinator


Live music: Barry Canning


Live interview — Terry McNeil — Climate Change Education Centre


PSA — Climate Watch #1


Live music — Barry Canning


Live interview — Mike Smith — City of St. John’s Environmental Technician on CC programs


Taped interview — Kevin Blackmore — on composting


PSA — Climate Watch #2


CD music — Peter Narvaez


Live interview — Pam Coristine — Folklore Masters on Signal Hill


Taped interview — Jack Layton on climate change and economics


CD music — Brothers in Stereo


Live Interview — Dave Taylor, Wayne Smith, Doug Mercer — SONRA (society of radio amateurs)


Taped item — the climate change play


Live interview — Kim Murphy — Waste management educator, the Heritage Foundation for TNNP


CD music — Jackie Sullivan


Live panel/phone in — climate change experts — John Jacobs, Norm Catto, Bruce Whiffen


Taped item — the Lorax — reading and discussion


Live music — Ian Foster


Live phone interview — Jeremy Murphy — Youth Environmental Network on CC workshops


Live music — Ian Foster


Sign on hostsMelissa Shea, Tim Hiscock, Peter Shopin — Canada World Youth


Live interview — Willow Jackson — Renaissance Youth Conference


Live music — Andrea Monroe and Peter McGuire


Live interview — Diana Cardoso and Danielle Fequet — MUN Project Green


Live music — Andrea Monroe and Peter McGuire


Live phone interview NS — Ted Jennex — Ecoaction Program of Environment Canada


Cd music — Brothers in Stereo


CD music - Brothers in Stereo




CD music — Buddy Washisname


Taped item — the Climate Change Show #1


PSA — Climate Watch #4


Taped interview — Claudette Gallant, Island Waste Management, PEI


Live Activity — Susan Todd and kids — Environmental Game


CD music — Russian music


CD music — Russian music


Live interview — Dr. Don Deibel — Biological Oceanographer MUN on CASES Artic Climate Change study


CD music — Rasa


Live interview — Dr. Don Deibel continued


CD music — DJ Scrawney


Live interview — Bruce Peters — Sean McCann (by phone) Ocean Net


CD music — Barry Canning


Live interview — Tony Dawe — Quadratec, New Wind Project


CD music — Two 13


Live phone interview BC — David Boyd — author "Unnatural Law"




Appendix G

Media Clippings

Other Media



See Video Tape:

St. John’s Event:

News item NTV News October 21, 2003

Current Affairs Rogers Television October 24, 2003

News Item NTV News October 28, 2003

Weather/Current Affairs CBC News October 29, 2003

See AudioTape:

St. John’s Event:

Radio Interview CBC Morning Show October 28, 2003

(Janet McDonald)

Corner Brook Event:

Radio Sound Montage CBC Morning Show May 28, 2003