Radio team combines expertise to win award

Otago Access Radio's Heritage Matters team (from left) producer Bill Southworth, presenters Judy...
Otago Access Radio's Heritage Matters team (from left) producer Bill Southworth, presenters Judy Southworth, Dougal Stevenson, Richard Stedman, producer/presenter Jane Edwards and sound engineer Geoff Barkman air their show twice a week. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Three retired journalists who worked together in television 40 years ago are finding a new outlet for their creativity in a radio show about Dunedin's heritage.

Bill Southworth, Jane Edwards and Dougal Stevenson all worked together at Avalon Television Network in the 1970s.

These days, they are more likely to be found off-camera, but still behind the microphone at Dunedin's Otago Access Radio station, where they and five others, Judy Southworth, Richard Stedman, Ann Barrowclough, Geoff Barkman and Keith Scott make up the team behind Heritage Matters.

The programme, broadcast fortnightly, tells a wide range of stories from Otago's past, such as The Beatles' visit, an assassination attempt on the Queen and escaped lions in Lawrence.

At last week's New Zealand Radio Awards it won the award for the best spoken programme in the community access section.

It is only the second year the programme has been running - it was a finalist in its first.

Mr Southworth said it was very pleasing for everyone involved to win the award.

"It's great for us old buggers. I'm glad for Dunedin and the Southern Heritage Trust."

Although the project was started by volunteers, there was a lot of combined professional experience in the group.

"The whole team are highly educated and accomplished in their respective fields."

Each episode was 30 minutes long, made up of three or four stories, which took about a day each to create.

Otago Access Radio station manager Lesley Paris said she was "thrilled and very happy" for the Heritage Matters team.

Episodes are broadcast on Otago Access Radio every second Monday at noon, and are available online on the Otago Access Radio website.

Gus Patterson

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