Kim Townsend

 

Community Outreach Manager

Kim TownsendMy job involves getting out and about, visiting community groups, and helping people to use digital media to get their voices heard.

I started my career as a Broadcast Journalist at the BBC, and went on to become a Community Broadcast Journalist working on the Open Centre Project at BBC Radio Stoke. I really loved connecting with the local community through this and helping people to develop media skills in order to tell their own personal stories.

Wanting to do more of this kind of work I moved on to become the Radio Station Tutor at Brixton Prison where my job involved teaching inmates to make radio programmes on their own in-house radio station, Electric Radio Brixton.

My students there were the first serving prisoners to win 2 Gold and 2 Bronze awards at the Sony Radio Awards in 2009. Many of these prisoners had problems with basic literacy, and none of them had any previous radio experience, and yet they beat off competition from the likes of BBC 5 Live and BBC 6 Music – I think that’s testament to the power that digital media has to change lives.

I hope that, through Community Voices, I can see many more people learning media skills and using them to get their voices heard and make a difference to their communities.

The communities I am part of are... rural North Shropshire (where I grew up), South London (where I now live), vegetarian/environmental, musical (I would definitely count my choir as a community).

My chosen form of communication is face to face – there’s nothing like a cup of tea and a chat!

When I communicate digitally, I prefer…. to IM – Skype, Facebook chat, whatever. My first love, though, is radio – listening to it and making it. Its an incredibly powerful medium for telling and listening to personal stories.