General Manager Conrad Browne discusses the ethos of Australia’s only dedicated gay-and-lesbian radio station and what's coming up...
Conrad, how is 2013 shaping up for JOY?
Over 2012, we brought it back to what we do so well and what people love about JOY – and that’s producing great community radio, connecting with lots of different people and celebrating the community. One of our strategies for 2013 is that we have the L and the G pretty covered, but we’d love to see more of the B and the T and the I and the Q. We want to extend our voice and give those people an opportunity to be heard as well. We also want to keep doing great broadcast events and partnering with other stations and community organisations, like we did with 3AW last year to cover off those important and entertaining topics that come up. There’s going to be a lot of political change and talk about same-sex marriage and equal rights; those conversations are going to continue and we want to be able to provide a platform to talk about them.
You’ve been busy recently with Midsumma but what’s coming up next?
We’re doing outside broadcasts for Pride March, ChillOut and Mardi Gras. Technically Mardi Gras might not be seen as something that we should be doing, but because it’s Australia’s biggest celebration of queer culture, we want to be there and bring it back to Melbourne. In partnership with 2SER up there, we will help bring the parade, through our iPhone app and live streaming, to the world. We know we have a national and international audience, and we are the only true live broadcast of the parade. We’ll also be doing a special broadcast for IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) in May, called JOY to the World, and will be bringing together lots of different GLBTI ethnic groups and celebrating diversity.
Diversity is the key to JOY’s success – how do you keep all areas covered?
It can be hard to tick all the boxes, but simply, if what people are seeing and hearing is reflecting themselves, it makes it easier to engage with more people. The more they hear the B, the T and the I, the more they’ll want to be involved with JOY, and the more they’ll understand that if they dig a bit deeper, there’s something for everyone. We’re not going to develop or change if we don’t try to be more diverse; JOY is representing a group of people that is extremely diverse, and you can’t please everyone, but there is something for everyone – you just have to find it.