Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Announcers to captive audience win prestigiou -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

Reporter: Emma Alberici

PETER CAVE: There have been some surprise winners at this year's prestigious Sony Radio Awards in
London.

Two of the award winners were presenters of shows that are only ever heard inside a prison. Their
programs aren't broadcast to the outside world for security reasons.

When the judges heard the nominee announcers for the first time, they were quite clearly impressed.

Europe correspondent Emma Alberici.

EMMA ALBERICI: Most people will never get a chance to hear Electric Radio Brixton. It has a
potential listening audience of just 800 at any given time. They are the inmates at Brixton Prison
in South London.

It sounds like any other radio station until you hear the talk back callers.

CARLOS: Hello this is Carlos from G wing. I just want you to ask the Governor one question about
why the portions of food are so small, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes I go to my cell
hungry and I can't sleep at night. Is it because you don't want to feed us a lot of food so we are
not bigger than the officers?

EMMA ALBERICI: The Governor's question time on Electric Radio Brixton won Sony Radio's Academy
Award in the listener participation category. It was up against three highly acclaimed BBC radio
programs.

ANNOUNCER: The gold award goes to A Sound Fix.

EMMA ALBERICI: Radio Brixton also got the nod in the community award category. In this excerpt from
its entry, Steve from G wing introduces a dance track then describes how it reminds him of a time
in 2001 when he had just come out of drug rehab.

STEVE: This track reminds me of that time, a time of new friendship and awakened dreams. A time
when we would go out and dance and enjoy ourselves without using drugs. A time when anything was
possible.

EMMA ALBERICI: The Prison Radio Association is a charity that runs similar programs across 20 jails
in Britain. It's chief executive Phil McGuire has ambitions to run radio stations in every prison
in the country because he's so convinced that it helps rehabilitate offenders.

PHIL MCGUIRE: Perhaps if prisoners are nearing the end of their sentence, preparing them for
release. How to re-establish or maintain the relationship with the family, how to find
accommodation, how to go on to find further training and employment, how to address issues that
they may have whilst they are in here such as bullying or drug issues - all of these that are
issues that have been identified as key to reducing reoffending.

EMMA ALBERICI: In 2007, Electric Radio Brixton became the first 24 hour satellite radio station in
a UK prison and as well as disseminating information, it provides training to prisoners in all
aspects of radio production.

TISS: Your first night, was you in a single cell or was you ...

JONATHAN AITKEN: I was in a single cell. I think I was put there ...

EMMA ALBERICI: The station's interview entry in the Sony Awards was by an inmate called Tiss who
chose as his subject Jonathan Aitken the former Tory Cabinet Minister who was jailed for seven
months for perjury.

TISS: Nights spent in the Brixton Paris, relationship with wealthy businessmen from different parts
of the world, high powered jobs and I can only assume that there was nice houses and flashy cars as
well. Your life must have been like a dream. That probably is a feeling that many prisoners can
relate to - the feeling that you are, you know, untouchable - possibly a bit of a megon...

JONATHAN AITKEN: Megalomania I think you mean.

TISS: Megana... I can't get the words out (laughs), around my tongue but I mean, how did you feel
about yourself?

JONATHAN AITKEN: I think I suffered from an enormous success of personal pride. I just thought I
could get away with telling a lie.

EMMA ALBERICI: The prisoners who participate in the radio training can graduate with the equivalent
of the UK's General Certificate of Secondary Education and their qualification doesn't specify
where the study was done.

This is Emma Alberici in London for The World Today.