The Wire – Community radio’s national current affairs program turns 20

The Wire, a community radio national current affairs program and springboard for emerging and student journalists across Australia, is celebrating turning 20. It goes to air on 52 community radio stations, in every state and territory.

The inception of the program was back in 2004 when Undercurrents, a 2SER produced current affairs program with support from the Community Broadcasting Foundation and the production of Stafford Sanders changed to become The Wire. Soon after the show involved other stations with 2SER inviting Radio Adelaide and Brisbane’s 4EB to assist in the management. 2SER and Radio 4EB continue to manage the program today with the additional support of community stations 4ZZZ Brisbane, 3ZZZ Melbourne and Radio Adelaide, with The Wire distributed through the Community Radio Network, and proudly funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation. 

Host station, Radio 4EB Station Manager Jo Pratt said of the milestone:

‘The Wire is the community broadcasting sector’s flagship current affairs offering and continues to go from strength to strength after 20 years. The platform The Wire provides for career development and local views on national issues provides a unique perspective. We encourage other station to consider not just programming The Wire, but getting in contact with us to see how broadcasters from their stations might contribute stories. We would love to see The Wire continue to grow its reach and impact.’

Executive Producer of The Wire from Radio 4EB, Dr Eduardo Jordan said:

‘To be part of The Wire’s 20th birthday in such a great position is amazing. The Wire and the community media sector are stronger than ever and provide appealing radio stories from the community to the community. All the involved stations, volunteers and the sector have been essential to get The Wire to where it now stands. In a world where fake news and commercial news are unreliable, community media provides reliable information and amplify underrepresented voices across Australia.’

The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) applauded the work and impact of The Wire across the community:

‘The CBAA would like to recognise The Wire’s contribution to our sector as the flagship national current affairs program on community radio. Since its inception in 2004 it has served as an alternative voice across Australia, including in First Nations and remote communities overlooked by other media. The program, broadcast across Australia via the Community Radio Network, may have the most diverse audience for any individual Current Affairs program in the Australian media sector.’

The Community Broadcasting Foundation CEO, Jo Curtin also offered their congratulations:

‘It’s a tremendous achievement to be a such widely trusted source of news and current affairs throughout Australia. Significantly for us, The Wire demonstrates the huge potential of collaboration between stations in community broadcasting. It’s a
wonderful example of what can happen when we invest in new ideas and innovation and commit to amplify diverse voices.’

You can find out more and get involved with The Wire via their website.

Pictured: Producers from The Wire at the CBAA conference in Adelaide from left to right: Roderick Chambers (2SER), Mary-Kate Hannagan (4ZZZ), Moemina Shukur (3ZZZ), Emma Wotzke (Radio Adelaide) and Eduardo Jordan (Radio 4EB). Image by Eduardo Jordan.

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