At MediaHQ, we love chatting to talented media professionals about what it’s like to work in the industry. This week, we caught up with SPIN South West’s Nelius Stackpoole as part of our 5 Minutes with the Media series.
What is your current role at Spin South West and what does it involve?
I present the weekend talk/Magazine show ‘SPIN Now Weekend’ which features sport updates, showbiz & entertainment news plus live music. Every show features Irish Music from well known Irish bands to up and coming Irish Artists who pop into the studio for a chat and session. The show also features interviews covering local events and stories from across the South West. I also work freelance for the station, covering a variety of different shows.
How long have you been working in the industry? Have you always wanted to pursue a career in radio?
I’ve worked in radio since my college days back in Mary I when I began volunteering in the college radio station Wired FM, so we’re talking about 2011 (I’m getting old!!!). I don’t think radio was always the end game but I knew a career in the media was, and I think that’s why I felt Media and English in Mary I was the best option.
What are the best and worst aspects of your role?
The best thing has to be interviewing Irish bands and artists. It’s the highlight of my Saturday! There really is great pleasure in being able to offer a platform like radio to an up and coming artist who you believe in!! – You really get the sense you’re helping them out. And of course, it’s always nice getting the really big-names in for a chat – Come on, who wouldn’t like that? Sometimes the show can be pressurised as I’m usually flying solo but I get a great buzz from it.
The worst part is never having a Saturday off! But it’s a small complaint to have, you always have Saturday night to socialise and if there is a holiday calling you can always go Sunday morning!
How do your experiences in the industry so far compare to the expectations that you had while studying English, Media and Communications in college?
Wow! That’s a thought one, but I’ll give it my best shot! Studying media in college is great and you learn a lot, but the experience you gain on placement is the real eye opener. For my third-year placement, I worked as a Studio Executive with Wired FM and it was in that year that I really got to know the ends and outs of radio and it was during that year I made a final decision that radio was the path for me. The amount of hands on experience I got was incredible, interviewing, news reading, editing, podcasting etc… The year really opened my eyes to what was to come.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing radio today?
I feel the biggest challenge facing radio today is delivering content to audiences in ways they want to consume it. It’s getting more difficult to know exactly what people want, but the way to overcome this is making sure you know your audience inside out. This will help when creating content for radio!
What advice would you give to people considering a career in the industry?
My advice – if it’s what you really want then do it, but make sure it’s 100% what you want! It’s not an easy path and you really need self-motivation and determination to make it happen. I would strongly advise you to get some hands-on experience if you can. Get on to your local college or community radio station and ask to shadow someone for a day. This will really open your eyes and give a great insight into the industry.
Last piece of advice, always be yourself, never try to be someone who is already on radio. Remember that the industry already has that person, they don’t have you!
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