Noongar FM is a much-loved community-based radio station that has been entertaining and informing listeners of Perth and the wider metro region since it first hit the airwaves in 2008.
The station is now extending its influence even further with the introduction of a dedicated news service started by Curtin journalism club, Newsspeak.
Students from the club are broadcasting news bulletins into the station’s breakfast show, and will be training radio volunteers to source and present their own news. It is the very first dedicated news service for the station, and the first project of this type in Australia.
“News has always been a personal passion of mine. I’m a news and current affairs junkie!” says Noongar Radio station manager Paul Whitton. “In the era of clickbait and fake news, when traditional mastheads and platforms are under threat, it is extremely exciting and encouraging to buck the trend and launch a good local and ethical news service.
“It is a vital step in giving one of Australia’s proudest first people a stronger voice in the community. We welcome the students to the Noongar Radio family.”
The students worked with volunteers from the station to develop a roster system of bulletins that feature Noongar-based and national Indigenous stories, as well as general news of the day.
Newsspeak director Glynn Greensmith says having a news service which provides stories that are relevant to and include Indigenous Australians can help start a cultural shift.
“Noongar FM is a classic example of a passionate and dedicated community radio that cares about, informs and serves its passionate and dedicated listeners,” he says. “It’s the perfect place to try something new that could be the start of something; that could start a conversation.
“If we can take one little positive step as a club to engage Aboriginal people in the news at their station, then I think we’re making a real contribution to the media landscape and possibly to the Noongar community.”
Curtin journalism student Rhiannon Arnold is the editor of the Noongar Radio newsroom. The long-term goal of Newsspeak, she says, is for students to train the radio volunteers so they can manage and present their own news stories.
“The aim is to get to the point where we have trained a self-sustaining full roster of Noongar FM volunteers populating dedicated bulletins throughout the day,” says Arnold. “The students and I could not be prouder to be involved in this hugely important project – for Noongar FM, its listeners, and the Perth media landscape.”
You can listen to Noongar Radio by tuning in to 100.9fm.