This global co-operative project is made possible thanks to the generosity of a growing number of people who think it’s a good idea to keep radio memories alive.
The idea was born over 10 years ago, and this website went live just after the big Asian tsunami in 2004 and over the years has grown organically.
Almost 60,000 visitors stopped by last year, or about 165 people every day on average. That’s a lot of responsibility to keep things updated, accurate and family friendly.
Where do people live? The Top 15 visitor cities are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, Adelaide, Perth, Wellington, Christchurch, London UK, Canberra, Hobart, Hamilton NZ, Cranbourne [Melbourne], New Delhi and Los Angeles.
It costs A$407 a week to meet the existing operational costs of the Radio Heritage Foundation, and this will be capped for the next 5 years. No-one gets paid for their time or skills. The idea is also to achieve the split funding of these costs as voluntary donations [35%] and commercial sponsors & partners [65%] so access to the community resource of the website stays free.
Since 2004, two board members have mortgaged their own home to pay most of these operational costs and meet their daily living expenses, but the project has now matured enough for this burden to be shared by those who care enough for it to continue. Every one is a volunteer and acknowledged on the Roll of Honor.
The project is based in New Zealand, and receives no government funding or grants, and no financial support from the radio industry anywhere in the world. Radio heritage is interconnected and global, no single station, city, state or country project can tell the full story. This is why this project initially covers the Asia and Pacific region, and over time will expand to include North, Central & South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Radio waves know no borders.
As a true global co-operative, volunteers are based in several countries, donations of funds and memorabilia come from countless countries, board members are in Asia, Europe, North America and the Pacific, and visitors come to learn from all over the world, the top 5 countries being Australia, USA, New Zealand, UK and India, followed by Canada, Japan, Germany, Netherlands and Italy.
People come for memories and nostalgia reasons, to study genealogy, to consult the growing number of radio guides and to learn about popular culture, personalities and how the media has developed in peace and at war and across the generations and the century since the 1920’s.
This year, a new Pay it Forward category allows people to pay for the next 10-40 people who visit the site as a gift to others. Each visit costs about 0.50c in operational costs to service, not everyone can afford to pay or wants to pay for just one or two visits, so this option fits with the co-operative approach started almost 10 years ago and everyone who uses the site benefits from this community gifting model.
Through 2013, look for the new ’25 Years Ago’ series which turns the spotlight on radio in 1988, expansion of the various radio guides, a new series with a focus on over 200 pioneer broadcasters in Australia, and more contributions and columns from interesting people with fascinating radio stories and tales to share.
Through the year and behind the scenes, a growing team is working on designing and building the new website scheduled for launch in January 2014, the 10th anniversary of this global project going on-line. At the back end will be an immense interactive archival database of sounds, pictures, words and documents and at the front end you’ll see a fresh, clean magazine style look to showcase features, services and make things easier to find.
Please stay with us in 2013 and do join the all volunteer team of writers, researchers, data base builders, contributors of memorabilia and memories, financial supporters and commercial partners and sponsors, and of course, visit often and enjoy the fruits of this global co-operative project.