The Herzli (Herzogenmühle public school, Zurich) has its own radio station, which has regularly been broadcasting on the schoolyard for 25 years. RADIO AKTIV is run by pupils and their music teacher Daniel Odermatt. On a smaller scale it works just like a professional radio station - with one difference: RADIO AKTIV has a 100% audience rating!
RADIO AKTIV - that used to be two CD players, a mixer and a cheap microphone. Today, there are three quality broadcast studios in a specially equipped room at our school. On the main console the live broadcasts are produced, the other two are used for training purposes.
At half past nine, three presenters, a CJ (computer jockey), a technician and three reporters gather around the main broadcast desk, visibly nervous, and immediately make their final preparations. The team is going on air in 30 minutes. High time to revise the presenter’s script and the interview questions, brief the studio-guests, set up the music playlist, move the loudspeaker trolley out onto the schoolyard, check the walkie-talkies, and hopefully there is still time for a rehearsal run.
20 minutes to take the pulse of the school
At 10:01 sharp, the CJ plays the RADIO AKTIV jingle and the show begins. The presenters welcome the audience on the schoolyard and introduce the topic of the day. The reporters with their radio microphones mingle with the students, looking for interview guests.
Which music suits a rainy autumn morning? Which song goes with the theme of a heartache? The choice of music sets the mood on the schoolyard and is therefore always chosen with great care and diligence. So if there is a peaceful atmosphere during the 10 o'clock break and students are dancing to the sound of RADIO AKTIV, the CJs know that they are doing a good job.
RADIO AKTIV talks about everything that moves young people at Herzli: friendship, music, sports, fashion, stars, trends, career choices, the spring festival or the best holiday experiences. RADIO AKTIV has been responsible for the announcements of the rankings of the annual sports day for many years. From time to time, we have studio guests for an exclusive interview - from the former Herzli pupil who misses the good old days to the founder of the Swiss Pop Charts, radio legend Christoph Schwegler. In between, RADIO AKTIV plays station IDs from numerous celebrities, such as Sting, DJ Bobo, Baschi, Scooter, Matthias Seger, Bendrit or Viola Tami - you name it.
The break is coming to an end. A look at the studio clock - time to say goodbye. The closing remarks and the final jingle end the show on the dot. The team is happy with their successful broadcast and enjoy the compliments they get from their colleagues on the way back to class. Another RADIO AKTIV broadcast will go into the archives, along with countless others that have been recorded since 1995.
Running RADIO AKTIV
RADIO AKTIV usually goes on air twice a week during the 10 o'clock break. The moderation training takes two to three months and needs to be done in some of the music lessons at our school. Then the radio teams are on air for one year before making way for their successors.
RADIO AKTIV has witnessed the development of 26 years of audio and computer technology. It started with CDs, minidiscs, paper and pencil before the first affordable computers appeared that could be used for school radio purposes. Today, broadcasting is software-based with the help of Internet services and - still - with a lot of homemade audio material. However, whether RADIO AKTIV broadcasts are made with the help of tape cassettes or the cloud is eventually irrelevant. What counts is only what resounds from the loudspeakers down on the schoolyard. We gotta keep da funk alive!