First-time radio producers get work on BBC Radio via Multitrack Audio Producer Fellowship

Eight first-time radio producers From backgrounds underrepresented in the audio industry are getting their work aired on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.

New documentaries on a rich array of stories have been created via the Multitrack Audio Producer Fellowship for a third year.

After completing training placements at audio production companies, thirteen fellows who took part in the most recent scheme were invited to pitch documentaries to BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. Eight projects were commissioned. This work, completed with editors and sound designers at Loftus, Whistledown, Audio Always, Reduced Listening, and other companies, offers listeners the perspective of a fresh class of audio makers, who bring a wide range of experiences and perspectives to their work.

Founded in response to the growing need for increased diversity and inclusion in the audio industry highlighted by OFCOM’s 2019 “Diversity And Equal Opportunities In Radio” report, Multitrack is an entry level fellowship which provides opportunities to people from groups that are groups that are underrepresented in the audio industry due to barriers linked to ethnicity, class, disability or gender.

The fellowship has expanded its reach to welcome the largest number of production partners since its inception in 2019. Multitrack fellows have gone on to win recognition at the Audio Producer Awards and the British Podcast Awards.

During this year’s training programme, which ran for two months from mid-September to mid-November, Fellows were paid the London Living Wage for their work while gaining hands-on experience in a demanding production environment and having the opportunity to learn from their peers in the radio and podcasting industries.

As the culmination of their fellowship experience, the producers pitched and created documentaries on topics of particular personal interest.

Ellen Macleod’s documentary “Disability and the Adult Industry,” which examines questions of desire, consent, and exploitation in online sexual content featuring disabled adults, was called “bold and important work,” by Radio Times.

In other projects, Laurel Wilson investigates the history of the djembe drum; Stephen Maguire celebrates the plurality of Scottish languages and dialects (from the Urdu of Glasdow’s southside to the Doric dialect of Scotland’s ‘granite city,’ Aberdeen); and Saga Hersi dives deep into the use of Somali Funk as a tool of sonic resistance.

Here’s the full list:

Ellen Macleod, “Disability and the Adult Industry” for Radio 4, produced by Audio Always; presented by Ellen Macleod and Nastaran Tavakoli-Far; producer: Elen Macleod; executive producer: Ailsa Rochester; editor: Jo Meek, sound design: Rob Green / airing 7 Nov on BBC Radio 4, File on 4 More..

Laurel Wilson, “Djembe Drum” for Radio 3, produced by Laurel Wilson; executive producer: Ailsa Rochester; sound design: Sean Allsop / airing 13 Nov at 22.45 on BBC Radio 3 More..

Ricardo Burt, “Rhythm of the Run,” for Radio 4, produced by Reduced Listening; produced and presented by Ricardo Burt; executive Producer: Phil Smith; original music: Parkland / airing 14 Nov at 22.45 on BBC Radio 3 More..

Stephen Maguire, “An Turas / The Journey” for Radio 4, produced by Bespoken Media; producer: Stephen Maguire, executive producer: Leeanne Coyle, editor: David Howard; mix engineer: Joel Cox / airing 15 Nov at 22.45 on BBC Radio 3 More..

Sochima Iroh, “Crying for Strangers” for Radio 4, produced by Vespucci; presented and produced by Sochima Iroh; executive producer: Thomas Curry, Matt Willis; sound design: Ivor Manley / airing 24 Nov 1445-1500 on BBC Radio 4

Cat Gough, “My Mother’s Tongue” for Radio 4, produced by Loftus; presented and producer by: Cat Gough; executive producer: Tom Woolfenden; editor:: Kirsten Lass; mix engineer: Dan King / airing 1 Dec 1445-1500 on BBC Radio 4

Riham Moussa, “Nameless Mothers” for Radio 4, produced by Whistledown; produced by Riham Moussa; executive producer: Eve Streeter; sound designer: Riham Moussa; mix engineer:: Dave Thomas / airing 8 Dec 1445-1500 on BBC Radio 4

Sagal Hersi, “Somali Funk: A Story of Sonic Resistance” for Radio 4, produced by Absolutely Productions, written, presented and produced by Sagal Hersi; executive producer Gordon Kennedy / airing 15 Dec 1445-1500 on BBC Radio 4

Previous commissioned works from Multirack Fellows include: Hip Hop’s Laughing Stock, by James Trice for BBC Radio 4; Pause The Plié, by Raymond Tannor for BBC Radio 4; Nsukka Is Burning, by Deborah Shorindé for BBC Radio 4; Rap Gets Real, by Charlie Tower for BBC Radio 4; Unread, by Calum Perrin for The Essay on BBC Radio 3; Sounds From An Armenian Childhood, by Olivia Melkonian for The Essay on BBC Radio 3 and Peace At Last, by Meera Kumar for The Essay on BBC Radio 3.

As well as increasing the number of new production partners, Multitrack has expanded further outside of London, with fellowships offered in Manchester, Salford, Bristol and Edinburgh as well as additional part-time fellowships to widen participation.