BUSH Radio trains children in radio skills such as writing a script, conducting background research, and engineering a radio show.
Initiated with a small-scale, one-hour Saturday show entitled "Street Seeds" that allowed a group of children from township school in the station's broadcasting locality (Cape Flats) to broadcast whatever they wished, the CREW project has now grown to include 60 children ranging from 6-18 years old and hailing from different geographical areas within the community. One group of participants works on broadcasting while the other group is trained and prepares for on-air programming the following week.
CREW is split into the following programmes:
- BushTots (ages 6-9): 10-11:00 am
- BushKidz (ages 10-12): 11am-noon
- BushTeens (ages 13-18): noon-2:00pm
The youngest children produce their own show, which involves discussion and book reviews. The latter two programmes play music and air the BUSH Radio jingles and Public Service Announcements (PSAs). One of the BushTeen producers operates the studio console for the BushTots and BushKidz shows. The BushTeen show is produced very informally with a team of about ten milling around the production room and filling the studio, organising discussions on issues of concern, interviewing guests, reviewing films and videos, and featuring local youth culture in the form of music, drama, and arts events. Listeners are invited to call in to the show. BushTeens also have a Friday afternoon Youth Radio Drama Group and are working to create their own radio soap opera with characters they are developing through improvisation. This drama group produced a series of PSAs entitled "Right to Say No".
CREW members must demostrate continuted devotion to their academic work to remain in the programme. They are asked to bring in school reports once or twice a year to ensure that they are not allowing their radio commitments to interfere with their studies.
A two-day Radio Kidocracy Conference was conducted in December, 2001 in an effort to enable young people to use the medium of radio to make the programmes that they would most like to hear. Approximately 60 young participants (ages 6-18) from South Africa and Africa, as well as one participant from the UK, were trained in radio drama, story telling, interviewing, music and talk presentation, as well as news reading. The ultimate aim of the Radio Kidocracy Konfrence was the drafting of a Children's Radio Manifesto, which organisers hope will be ratified at the Radio Kidocracy Konfrence 2002.
Bush Radio Website and letters from Sarah McNeill (Feb, 2002) and Nashira Abrahams (Jul, 2002) to The Communication Initiative; and BUSH Radio site.