Spotlight on Andrew Wilson David


Andrew Wilson David has worked at the University of Lincoln for 10 years and is currently the Managing Editor of Siren FM, where he manages a volunteer team of more than 90. Andrew is also Master of Ceremonies at the University’s Graduation ceremonies held at Lincoln Cathedral.

Here he gives us his advice for those wanting to pursue a career in the broadcast industry and what makes his role so rewarding.

Andrew has spent all of his working life in broadcasting, primarily in BBC Radio and TV, as a producer, reporter, presenter and manager. In September 2006 he was appointed the Managing Editor of Siren FM.  The station went on air in the summer of 2007 and is Lincoln’s first community station. Andrew also lectures at the Lincoln School of Journalism.  
 


How can students become involved in Siren FM and what support does the station offer with regards to working in a real-world broadcast environment?

Siren FM offers an unrivalled experience for both the radio novice and those who have some experience - it’s all very hands-on which is the best way to learn. Each volunteer is given as much training on the desk and the various computer systems as they need to get started, develop and then fly solo. Our volunteers start as young as nine and go up into the 70s. Siren is fully licensed FM radio station with Ofcom and therefore has to comply with all the broadcasting legislation that the BBC and others have to run with. It all has to be legal, decent, honest, Lincoln-centric, age appropriate and content rich.  Many of our volunteers have gone on to be employed by the BBC, other radio stations and in PR and marketing roles.  

What advice would you give students wanting to pursue a career in broadcast media?  

Join Siren or something similar where you live, volunteer and be prepared to be flexible.  Gone are the days when you could simply be a DJ hogging the airwaves; you need to be a researcher, reporter, producer, editor and script-writer - but above all be enthusiastic.

What are the key skills media organisations look for in graduates, and has this changed in recent years?

You need to be aware of what each organisation is about, don’t send out generic CVs, be creative and imaginative and remember employers are well used to the same old same old. Make yourself stand out from the crowd; flatter them and then come up with something they’re not doing and suggest a way you could be vital in their growth. Be fully aware of trends in the industry and potential changes – the switch from FM to Dab, for instance. And, as above, show your enthusiasm.

What do you like most about the University and the city it is in? 

They’re both small and beautifully marked! You can get around Lincoln easily and the University has transformed the city into one of the best places to live, work and, above all, study. Thirty years ago you couldn’t get a decent hot meal after 5pm. Now you’re spoiled for choice!
As a key figure at graduation, what makes Lincoln’s ceremony so special? My good friend Roger Mosey, one of our Honorary Doctors and now Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge, always says that even Cambridge doesn’t have as wonderful a location for its Graduation. In September, on a warm late summer’s day with the sun catching the Cathedral it is beyond superlatives. I deem it the best of privileges to be the Master of Ceremonies, settling nerves and preparing Graduands for their moment of glory.

What inspires you? 

Seeing how lives can be changed by the simplest of moments. When a student or a volunteer suddenly smiles and says: “Radio, I never knew it could be so much fun!”

What are you most proud of? 

That Siren FM is heading for its second re-licensing against the backdrop of being East Midlands Station of the Year for two years running.

What would be your perfect day?

Sitting in my beloved Joshua Tree Park just outside 29 Palms in California listening to Siren FM online!

 

 

 

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March 2016

   

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