LJMU and the Listening Project
30 March 2012
LJMU Broadcast and Media Advisory Panel welcomes its new members as BBC launches 'The Listening Project'.
'The Listening Project', launched by BBC Radio 4 asks people up and down the country to share their thoughts and feelings in a recorded conversation with a loved one or relative. One group that is particularly excited by this ground-breaking project is the Broadcast and Media Production Group based in the School of Engineering, Technology and Maritime Operations.
Course leader Colin Robinson commented:
"The BBC project is a fantastic development that we feel everyone will benefit from. The Listening Project is based on a hugely successful American initiative called 'StoryCorps' whose methods and approach to collecting oral history, have been used at LJMU for a number of years.
"In 2009, we were invited to contribute material to a BBC Radio Four documentary called 'Tell Me a StoryCorps'. The programme investigated the StoryCorps project and contrasted its methods of collecting oral history with the more traditional methods that have been employed by oral historians for many years. The effect on student learning and engagement was so positive that it was decided to embed the StoryCorps methodology into our Professional Development modules to ensure every student benefitted from the process.
"It is always exciting to observe and benefit from what the staff here now call 'The StoryCorps Effect'. This is the name we give to the way student learning benefits from using the StoryCorps method. The process not only provides the students with a practical learning experience, which allied to their World of Work skills, provides them with a responsibility to deliver industry standard products that will in years to come be cherished family heirlooms."
As a result of this innovative approach to learning and other project successes, the LJMU Broadcast and Media group is pleased to announce that it has gained another BBC member on its Advisory Panel, Steve Coleman, producer of The Billy Butler Show and co-ordinator of Listening Project at BBC Radio Merseyside.
"I'm thrilled and honoured to be part of the Advisory Panel and really interested to hear how the University has embraced the StoryCorps model with students. I'm very excited about the possibilities that will arise between LJMU and us here at BBC Radio Merseyside for the Listening Project and beyond.”
Steve joins BBC colleague Marya Burgess, Senior Producer for the BBC Radio Documentaries Unit on the panel. Other members include award winning media artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Sky Television Technical Director Simon Hartley and broadcaster, historian and educator Professor Sean Street, Emeritus Professor of Radio at the University of Bournemouth.
Marya Burgess added:
"Since collaborating with LJMU students on the Radio 4 documentary in 2009 I've been impressed by their standards and commitment, and look forward to working more closely on their development for a future in the industry."
Professor Sean Street said:
"I have been following the idea of the potential revolution in oral history linked to radio and audio projects as exemplified by the Listening Project and StoryCorps in the US for some years, and have been particularly interested in the initiatives taken in this direction by LJMU. I'm extremely pleased to be involved in helping to explore the exciting possibilities that Colin and his team will be using to get involved at the start of what promises to be a new age in spoken word witness."
The LJMU Broadcast and Media Advisory Panel has been put together to ensure that the courses and modules delivered at LJMU are fit for purpose and reflect current best practice, guiding the academic development and professional outlook of media education programmes. It provides effective dialogue between members of industry and academia to ensure that materials and skills delivered are appropriate and valid for the modern media industry. Panel members act as suitable mentors to the development of students, staff and content within media programmes at the University.
Further information about 'The Listening Project', an ambitious new partnership between BBC Radio 4, BBC local and national radio stations, and the British Library is available at: