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2ser - Active Listener

Author: Daniel Crichton-Rouse
Thursday, 11 October 2007
Kids, it’s that time again where we do the call out for you to subscribe to 2ser FM, Sydney’s much loved community radio station. 3D’s Daniel Crichton-Rouse caught up with station volunteer Kurt Eckardt to find out a little more about 2ser.

Can you tell us a little about 2ser FM-

2ser FM is a not-for-profit, independent community station, which broadcasts to the greater Sydney area on 107.3 FM, and can be streamed via  We pride ourselves on exposing and promoting truly alternative music from Sydney, Australia, and around the world, as well as covering under-reported news and current affairs, and have done so since 1979.

Ingrained in the culture and programming of 2ser is our commitment to social justice, and to political change, as well as a commitment to offering a voice to those in our community that are not otherwise given the chance.

On top of this, 2ser’s a really fun and enjoyable station to listen to and to work at; as it’s run by volunteers, everyone’s there because they’re passionate about it. That really comes through on air, and makes for killer listening.

Why is community radio important-
Community radio is one of the last places that we can go to get a balanced view on what’s going on in the world, musically and otherwise. As most media is controlled by big business – men with stripy political ties – community radio and television, along with independently run print and online media, can provide a much needed alternative for people that don’t accept what is spoon fed to them by these amoral monsters.

Community radio is also a medium that’s unparalleled in its ability to expose local independent music. It provides a platform for local artists to showcase what they’re up to, without having to pay for much more than a CDR.

But most importantly – to me as an individual – community radio provides an opportunity for people to create their own entertainment, and to express their points of view without interference, and without the influence of dollars. Along with the advent of mp3 downloads and podcasting, it is the most accessible media for members of the community to produce entertainment, or serious news content for that matter, that isn’t being represented anywhere else; the idea that if you’re not hearing what you want to hear, that you can make something that is what you want to hear yourself, is an extremely positive notion.

What sort of programs are airing currently on 2ser-
Along with our magazine style programs – Breakfast, The Daily and Overdrive – which feature new music, news, and culture, as well as current affairs, 2ser offers a niche program grid of specialist shows. 2ser’s programming touches on a little bit of everything, with music shows ranging from breaks and hip hop, through reggae and swing, via soul, funk and jazz, psych, punk, indie, beats, experimental, global, blues, country, Americana, folk, roots, rockabilly, and so much more. Listeners will find a strong focus on local and Australian music on many shows on 2ser, with two shows that play only Australian music; Electroplastique (electronic) and We Come From Garageland (DIY anything).

Along with our fantastic music programming are a truckload of talks programs, which cover everything from prisoner support, to media and communications, books and writing, screen culture and performing arts, political satire, current affairs, health, science, sport, Sydney’s LGBTI community, national current affairs and the environment.

Soooooooooooo much good radio to be heard! 

So the reason for this article is the current Radiothon. Why is it important that listeners subscribe to 2ser-
I think that everyone that’s involved in community radio, and everyone that listens to it, will have their own reasons for deeming it worthy of financial support. The reason that it’s so important that listeners actually ring up and subscribe or donate is simple: without financial support from the community, those stations can’t survive.

There has to be an element of mutual support between communities and community organisations for said organisations to survive. Radio may seem free to listen to, but if you choose commercial radio, you’re paying by having to listen to ads all day selling you shit that you don’t want. If you’re choosing to tune into community radio, there’s a good chance that it’s to avoid these aspects. The trade off is that because we don’t get those advertising dollars, we need listeners to help by splitting the difference. It costs about $900,000 dollars a year to run 2ser, and we rely on the community to help us raise those funds. Listeners subscribing to 2ser is win-win.

In regards to why its important to subscribe to 2ser specifically, that’s easy; I can’t think of another radio station that is so dedicated to supporting its community, musically and otherwise. That is why the theme of this year’s Radiothon is Grow Your Own Radio – it’s an invitation to Sydney-siders to make a direct contribution to sustaining their own radio station, 2ser.

There’s also no other station in Sydney that is so completely committed to promoting ideas of social justice – human rights and equality in particular – and that’s certainly something that I want to see remain available to a Sydney audience for a long time to come.

We hear you’re giving presents to all those who subscribe… is this true- Can we ask what the gifts are-
Yep! Everyone that subscribes to 2ser during Radiothon (15 to 26 October) will receive a CD compilation from Spunk! Records, as well as a copy of 2ser’s new magazine transmission. The first 500 people to subscribe will also get a copy of The Monthly magazine.

Plus, everyone that pays up during Radiothon will go in the major prize draw, which includes a trip for two to Thailand from Intrepid Travel, and heaps more. There are also daily prize draws, and special prize draws for artist and business subscribers. But the biggest prize is the feeling that you get knowing that you’ve helped such an amazing radio station to continue to provide Sydney with a much needed media alternative! (Spew! I should write greeting cards).

Word on the street is that George W Bush himself stopped in during his APEC visit. How did that go down-
Ah, the esteemed Mr Bush. Yes, we tied him to a chair in the studio and grilled him for a while – actually, we just laughed in his face and took photos of him. The last time that I saw him before he left, someone had scrawled abusive messages all over his face! People can check out photos on – and can subscribe while they’re there!

WHO: 2ser
WHAT: Grow Your Own Radio Radiothon
WHEN: Until 26 October