On air with Radio Fuze, the French community radio of Uzès
Created in 2011, Radio Fuze is constantly renewing and diversifying its programming.
FR - Made in Uzès for and by the people of Uzège is the hallmark of this community radio station. And you'll notice that right away.
Want to find out more? Well, so are we. Follow us on the airwaves with Marie Fringand-Requin, journalist and former reporter and columnist for French radio France Inter, a member of the Fuze team since the start of the adventure, and now the station coordinator.
LET'S SPEAK INTO THE MICROPHONE
Delighted to welcome you in the pages of UzEssentiel. One media to another !
You're a great radio specialist. How did you arrive to Uzès and how did you become so involved with this community radio station?
I arrived in Uzès in November 2004 with my family, after falling in love with the region and growing tired of life in Paris.
I met Fuze by chance, through a friend, Martial Jourdan, one of the founders of the radio station, who knew about my 'radio' past. He asked me to support and train non-professional presenters and to run radio journalism workshops in schools. I made an even bigger commitment to work with the team on the application for a permanent frequency in 2019 and 2020. It was a big project that required a lot of hard work, but it paid off, because in the end we were awarded the definitive frequency in May 2021.
At Fuze, you manage the schedule and the day-to-day coordination of programmes as well as contributors, I assume in close collaboration with Martial Jourdan, co-founder and chairman of the radio station. You take part in reporting, editing and presenting. How are the tasks divided up?
Since September 2023, I've been working part-time in tandem with Jean-Christophe Quilez, who has long been involved in the life of the radio station and the day-to-day production of its programmes, as well as being in charge of technical aspects and production. My role is to coordinate the broadcasts, provide close support to the presenters and work on developing the radio station: meeting local players, developing partnerships and conceive new projects. I also present current affairs programmes such as Zoom and Le Goût des Autres.
The Board of Directors has placed its full trust in me and let me manage the programmes. We're a very close-knit team. Martial works a lot on the administrative and grant applications, which is a huge job, very time-consuming but essential to our survival.
Your team is extremely eclectic, with a wide variety of profiles. In the music department we have Céline Castellvi, dj, Paul Snelgrove, who surfs the classical music scene with his Thèmes et Variations in collaboration with Pierre-Henri Xuereb, for classical music fans. Amélie Perrault - Graine d'Eveil for her nature and gardening column.
Then there's Jenny de Belly and her Goût du sorbet for lifestyle and gastronomy, and Claudine Védy for the local agenda. Nicky Clouter, a British subject who is very involved in the UK version of the Radio Fuze agenda, Alexia Michel - Je mange et je m'aime, for well-being and yoga, etc. How do you choose the themes for your programmes. Do each presenter is free to make his/her own choices?
Once a programme project has been framed and validated by the team, the future presenters do a pilot or 0 programme, which allows them to refine the project and the constraints of a radio programme. In the early stages, we provide technical and editorial support, depending on the level of autonomy of the people involved. After that, the themes are chosen by the presenters and I don't get involved anymore, apart exceptional cases. We have regular discussions on subjects likely to be of interest to our listeners and to make great programmes.
What new things are you planning for 2024? We see that you have a lot of guest contributors, like Valentin from the Capitole cinema for Avant-Première, the curator of the Georges Borias Museum for Fréquence Musée and members of the ATP association for La Minute théâtre.
We've also just launched a new programme, Les coulisses du Livre, put together with passionate book professionals.
One of the hosts is preparing a programme on sport and martial arts in particular. Alexandra Portlock is proposing a programme with links to our Anglo-Saxon friends... We've also just launched a new programme, L'Echo des boutiques, which takes the pulse of the shopkeepers of the Uzège region, and so on.
We'll also be continuing our collaboration with Thierry Allard, a journalist of Objectif Gard, who hosts our new Bien Public programme, which covers political and social news from the region.
News, change, expansion, new features... Can you tell us what's going to make Radio Fuze tick this year?
As well as the new programmes and ongoing projects, we're planning a series of outside broadcasts to coincide with various cultural events. It's important to go straight to the heart of the events. We'd also like to develop a talk show...
But what we're also really excited about at Radio Fuze is the Media and Information Education project supported by DRAC Occitanie, which we've been running for 4 years now. This year, we're working on the theme of gender equality with two journalists in residence.
We're working with various cultural and social players in the town to organise workshops around this theme. In May, the results will be presented to the public in the form of a print and radio magazine.
Last year, for the first time, we had a project with the Uzès old people's homes, entitled Mémoires Vives. It was a moving experience that delighted both residents and carers. We hope to renew the partnership.
I also do a lot of workshops in schools. It's all very exciting.
Will you also be opening up your studio to other columnists, perhaps through partnerships?
Yes, of course. We're always open to partnerships. Our mission is local social communication. We're here to promote cultural, social and economic initiatives in the area. That's one of the interests of local community radio stations. And we take our mission very seriously!
We also give local people the opportunity to speak out and 'do' radio. We support and train them to develop their projects. So yes, we're open to proposals, as long as the people involved are motivated and committed.
What can you tell us about the training centre? What training do you offer? Who can take part?
We offer both tailor-made and more general training courses in radio and podcasting: animation, journalism (interviews, reports, chronicles), technical subjects such as editing and mixing, sound recording and so on.
We have "youth and popular education" accreditation and welcome audiences of all ages. And as radio is a fantastic teaching tool, I use it in my public speaking courses.
What else would you like to add?
We're very lucky to have a community radio station in our area. A local medium that belongs to the people who live here. So don't hesitate to make it your own. Everyone is welcome to take part in the programmes and in the life of the association.