National Film and Sound Archive launches its first podcast


The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s first podcast – Who Listens to the Radio? – launches today, featuring guests Wendy Harmer, Benjamin Law, Sally Cockburn (aka Dr Feelgood), Fenella Kernebone, Christopher Gilbey and more.

The podcast charts the rise of Australian radio over its 100-year history: crystal sets as the must-have device of the 1920s and 30s, radio’s role in such seismic cultural shifts as the emergence of the modern teenager, the growth of talkback, the impact of radio on under-represented communities, and the podcast boom.

Who Listens to the Radio? also uncovers the story of Big Fat Radio – Australia’s now largely forgotten early experiment with internet broadcast.

Christopher Gilbey OAM, music industry executive and one of the station’s founders, reflects on the failure of the rollout of broadband to keep pace with cultural change in one of the untold tales of the dotcom bubble.

Legends of Australian broadcasting join the NFSA’s CEO and Who Listens to the Radio? host Patrick McIntyre to relate some of their most memorable on-air moments, and to reflect on radio’s way forward in the 21st century.

Broadcaster Wendy Harmer talks about her experience hosting talkback and being on air during some of the most momentous news events in recent decades, including the death of Princess Diana and the September 11 attacks of 2001.

“I have been behind the microphone when big seismic things have happened. And it feels like a real privilege to have been there,” she says. “When there is a disaster of some kind or when there is a celebration, everyone is going to switch on the radio because they know that’s where they’ll find the most immediate up-to-date news.”

“That’s where they’ll find eyewitnesses who are on the spot. That’s where we will all gather. And I think that will happen for many years to come.”

All six episodes are available now.

Today also sees the final chapter launch of the NFSA’s major digital exhibition Radio 100, which has celebrated a century of radio history and achievements in Australia. In Let’s Get Digital, the NFSA looks at digital disruption to the traditional broadcasting model, tech convergence and radio’s rebirth as audio culture in the early 2000s.

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