Niall O’Connor is Political Correspondent for the Irish Independent. He studied journalism in DCU and was heavily involved in DCUfm while doing his degree. He told us about his time in the station:
At the heart of the DCU campus lies a community within a community.
It’s a place that seems to attract students who are a little bit nuts and particularly skilled at talking shite.
No, I’m not referring to the NuBar or the Students’ Union but instead that little glass box which serves as the modest home to DCUfm.
Niall was a key part of making Newswire the award winning show it has become
As Head of News, I experienced many good days and tough days – but never a single bad day.
That in itself is testament to the exceptional people who I worked alongside with in the station, many of whom to this day I still call my best friends.
I could fill this entire website with writings of my memories in DCUfm.
There was laughter and tears, arguments and awards, politicians and celebrities but above all a shared desire to produce good radio.
But my objective is instead to persuade as many as you as possible of the awesome possibilities for you in the station, let alone the craic you will have.
If you fear you are too nervous to speak on air, all the better. Use your time in the station to deal with those nerves by getting in front of the mic as often as possible.
Or seek out one of the many roles available behind the scenes on the now infamous and awarding winning shows such as ‘Action Replay’ and ‘Newswire’.
I had the absolute privilege of being part of a team that built ‘Newswire’ up from scratch.
Niall interviewing Senator David Norris in the DCUfm studio
I still remember vividly the buzz experienced in producing a show that, on many occasions, was as good quality as any of the news programmes on national radio stations.
Politicians quickly began to realise who we were and some of my best contacts today are those we had on air for Newswire. To this day, I count Newswire among the projects I am most proud to have been part of.
The University deserves credit for producing some of the most talented journalists across the many media platforms today.
Many of them were part of our news team and are now working in organisations such as Independent Newspapers, RTE, TV3 and even US media firms such as NBC.
I still get goosebumps when I listen back to some of our old bulletins because the voices on display are now in such big roles in Irish and International media.
And each of them always say their careers began in DCUfm.
Newswire has consistently been one of the top student news shows in the country, attracting a caliber of guests to rival any professional news show
Irish radio has not suffered the type of decline experienced by sections of the print media. Irish radio maintains a level of trust with communities across the country because, most of the time, it is in honest and thrives on integrity.
I know that the new DCUfm management team will uphold those values every single day. They are a group of people who are completely approachable and extremely hard working.
But there is no doubt that they need you all to get involved and become part of something really special.
They say college isn’t for everyone, and that is probably true. But DCUfm is for everyone. Get involved, talk your shite, be yourself, make your mistakes and learn from them.
But above all, enjoy being part of the country’s best student radio station – this is your opportunity to get your career off to a wonderful kickstart. Seize it with everything you have and you’ll never look back.