Tune!FM broadcaster Jacob Hunt sits in the studio with a microphone in front of him, smiling at the camera

Interview with Tune!FM’s Jacob Hunt

UNE Bachelor of Arts Theatre and Performance student Jacob Hunt has been having the time of his life working as a Radio Broadcast Assistant at Tune!FM, UNE’s student powered radio station. The work he does on and off the air varies by the day, whether it be writing stories for the Tune blog, choosing songs to play, or even running his own radio show.

We caught up with Jacob to chat about how he landed the role at Tune, the different ways students can listen in across the globe, and ways the station are helping to keep online and on-campus students connected.

Tell us about you and your role at Tune!FM?

Tune started out as a way for me to kill some time and relax in between my studies. I enjoyed coming to the station, hanging out with the wonderful people that make up the team, volunteering to do announcing shifts, and playing some music on the air. Eventually, I started running my own shows, and I was lucky enough to be offered the Radio Broadcast Assistant role the next year. Since then, I’ve been running the ins and outs of the station and having the time of my life!

What does a regular day at Tune!FM entail for you?

A regular day at Tune always starts with a coffee from Café Life, of course! After that’s out of the way, I comb through Tune’s emails, which always include artists sending us their music to sample, stories from all different news sources and updates on UNE events. After completing admin work, most of the day is dedicated to voice tracking and announcing. We spend hours finding important announcements, events, reminders, news stories, and other stuff to talk about on the radio, and then record 24 hours’ worth of talk breaks to keep you all informed for the next day! Along with that, we all have different jobs to do depending on what day of the week it is. For me, I’ll spend time on selecting new music, podcasting shows and writing blog posts!

Who produces Tune’s content and who decided its direction?

Tune’s content is entirely student-produced, and it can go in any direction our wonderful volunteers decide! It’s been a little quiet at times in the last few years, since COVID restrictions have unfortunately kept some of our wonderful volunteers away from the studio, but our shows are often club, society, study or hobby-focused. We’ve had everything from Dungeons and Dragons to medical students, theatre to news and current affairs!

Tune!FMs audience includes students across the globe. How has your content changed since COVID lockdowns have become “the (unfortunate) norm”?

Tune has always focused on keeping our online students engaged in the same way we engage with on-campus students, and COVID only made it clear we need to make that focus even stronger! We’ve been working hard to make sure there is online content and engagement available for students through Moodle, our social media, and our online stream, since pretty much every student needed to be accessing us remotely at some stage in the last year!

You host a variety of podcasts,  can you clue us in on some of the content you’re currently producing and how students can listen in?

There’s always something new on Tune! Some of our regular shows are on a hiatus at the moment due to COVID restrictions, but you can find the podcasts of previous episodes on our Spotify. They include Dungeons and Airwaves, the UNE Gaming Society, The Weekly Review, and plenty of others that have popped up over the course of the last few years. And we’re always looking for more if anyone was keen to volunteer once things open back up again!

Podcasts aside, what other programs can students tune into?

My personal favourite is our Townies. Every Thursday at 4pm, some of UNE’s townie freshers run a couple of hours of laid back music and announcements. It’s so exciting to see a new batch of freshers just as excited about announcing on Tune as I was, so I always enjoy listening in while they’re on the air. They’re just a fun bunch – perfect to put on in the background if you’re studying!

Besides broadcasting, you also have a blog! What sorts of topics do you guys’ cover?

What don’t we cover? Tune’s blog covers whatever is going on in the world that we find interesting, funny, or wacky enough to write about. There’s been everything from science to sport, movies to music, even self-care and, of course, all of our interview and podcast clips.

How would you recommend students stay connected in these tricky times?

It’s so important to reach out to one another. Even as a bit of an introvert myself, I didn’t realise the first time around just how lonely COVID lockdown would get. The saving grace for me was the Zoom calls and messages that I started scheduling with all my friends on a regular basis. Social interaction is so important, so if there’s someone in your life who’s important to you and you’re missing them, just give them a call for an hour or so! It’s a great way to unwind.

Thanks, Jacob for taking the time to speak with us! We love sharing our student journeys and keeping everyone in the loop!

Interested in becoming a volunteer at Tune!FM the team is always on the lookout to collaborate with likeminded students,
who want to develop their skills and share their interests!