Student Radio Association
|Slogan||Where young people run the show|
SYN Media (Student Youth Network Inc.) is an Australian youth-run media organisation that provides training and broadcast opportunities for young people. Commonly referred to as SYN, the organisation produces new and independent media that is made by and for Melbourne's young people. It's a multi-media organisation utilising radio, television, and online. Approximately 80,000 people tune into SYN's radio broadcast on 90.7 FM weekly. Volunteers are all aged 12–25 years, and fill various roles in the organization. These include presenting and producing programs and working within the various departments including radio, TV, online, music, talks, marketing and publicity, IT and technology. A 2006 McNair listener survey showed a similar age group, 15–24, as the largest age group listening to community radio in Australia.
|City of license||Mt Dandenong|
|Slogan||"Where young people run the show"|
|Frequency||90.7 MHz FM|
|First air date||28 January 2003|
|Callsign meaning||3 - Victoria
Student Youth Network
|Former frequencies||94.9 MHz FM (test broadcasts)|
(Student Youth Network Inc.)
|Sister stations||SYN Nation|
|City of license||Mt Dandenong|
|Slogan||"Where young people run the show"|
|Frequency||204.64 MHz DAB|
|First air date||1 April 2014|
(Student Youth Network Inc.)
|Sister stations||SYN 90.7|
SYN has three major production departments: SYN Radio, SYN TV, and SYN Online.
SYN produces two independent broadcasts - SYN 90.7, on 90.7 FM; and SYN Nation, on DAB+ digital radio. The two stations also simulcast online. While programming on both stations rotates four times each year in seasons, a number of flagship programmes remain consistent, including:
- Get Cereal, SYN 90.7's flagship breakfast radio programme. Weekdays, 06:00-09:00
- Panorama, SYN 90.7's flagship current affairs programme. Weekdays, 16:30-17:00
- Amplify, SYN 90.7's flagship drive programme hosted entirely by under-18s. Weekdays, 17:00-18:00
- The Hoist, SYN 90.7's flagship Australian music programme. Mondays-Thursdays 18:00-20:00
- New & Approved, SYN 90.7's flagship new music programme. Fridays 18:00-20:00
- Player One, SYN Nation's flagship video game programme. Fridays 17:00-19:00
- Represent, SYN Nation's flagship political news and analysis programmes. Saturdays 15:00-16:00
- Breaking Curfew, SYN Nation's flagship variety programme. Saturdays 19:00-20:00
Other flagships and seasonal programmes cover a broad range of subjects.
SYN evolved out of MSR (Melbourne Student Radio) which consisted of Thornbury High's (then Thornbury Darebin College) 3TD, RMIT's SRA, Latrobe University's SUB FM, Swinburne University's 3SSR, Monash University's 3MU and Deakin's BAS radio. MSR had a one-month temporary aspirant broadcast licence in 2000 between August and September. Due to in-fighting at the board level of MSR, SRA station manager Jesse Nonneman approached Colin Thompson and Paul Van Eeden (the teachers from Thornbury High) and proposed a split from MSR to form a new youth radio station that would have 50% content from primary and high school students and 50% university content. The new station was called SYN FM, or Student Youth Network.
The full-time licence application was co-authored by Nonneman (SRA station manager), Simon Goodrich (SRA assistant manager), Van Eeden (3TD president) and Thompson (3TD treasurer). The public hearings held at the Melbourne Town Hall in 2000 (to hear the claims of the 22 aspirant radio stations) with Professor David Flint saw Goodrich, Van Eeden, McCarthy and RMIT University lecturer and ABC Media commenter Lee Burton represent SYN. The tag line for the application was "creators not just consumers of media". The budget plan for SYN was paid for by the Victorian Education Department with the backing of the Education Minister Mary Delahunty, who also donated her own money towards the costs of the lawyers developing the SYN constitution. Delahunty personally launched the SYN incorporated company in 2000 with two students from 3TD, Moshidi Manaka and future comedian Danny McGinlay. SYN had the backing of a number of ministers including state minister Justin Madden and federal minister Martin Ferguson. The original board included members from the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria and other Victorian youth bodies. When the licence was allocated to SYN in 2001 the then ABA (ACMA) commended SYN for being inclusive of all youth groups, citing in particular the involvement of Multicultural Youth Affairs Victoria and the Debaters Association of Victoria.
In late December 2002, SYN was awarded a permanent broadcasting licence, and commenced broadcasting as SYN FM on January 28, 2003. In late 2012, the "Pay for your SYNs" campaign was launched, in order to raise funds to upgrade and expand the studio facilities of SYN. The campaign was a success and as a result the two existing studios were upgraded alongside the addition of a third studio.
In April 2014, SYN Radio was split into two services - SYN 90.7, with Melbourne-focused content, on 90.7 FM; and SYN Nation, with content created from young people around Australia, on DAB+ digital radio. The launch of SYN Nation was attended by Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull, federal MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt, and Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle. Content for the station is supplied by volunteers at Bay FM Byron Bay, 2XX FM Canberra, Edge Radio Hobart, Gippsland FM Morwell, and 3WAY FM Warrnambool, as well as by Melbourne volunteers.
As well as radio, SYN also produces television for Melbourne's community television broadcaster C31. At SYN TV's height in 2010, it produced up to 15 hours of content per week.
Launched in 2003, SYN TV's current flagship production for C31 is 1700, a live, hour-long youth music show airing weekdays. It features music videos, interviews, reviews and music related discussion.
In late 2008, SYN launched Get Cereal TV, a morning television alternative aimed at the youth of Melbourne. The show aired daily between 07:30 and 08:30 mornings on Channel 31. It was cancelled by SYN at the end of 2010 to allow the station to create alternative television programming.
In early 2013, SYN launched The Cut, a weekly show based on arts and culture around Melbourne. It is SYN's only pre-recorded television show currently on air.
Online, SYN publishes programme blogs and a weekly e-newsletter. The website also features "SYNcasts" of some of SYN's radio shows as well as various SYNcast-only programmes.
Contribution to the sector
SYN is one of the largest youth projects in Australia and the world, and has up to 1500 volunteers. It defines its aim as "to implement a national culture of young people broadcasting for themselves". In order to achieve this outcome, the station rotates on-air presenters frequently (approximately every three months) and all crew and executive positions annually. SYN does this to allow more than 1200 young people to gain direct media experience annually. Around 2500 students have also incorporated SYN's training and education programmes into their studies.
SYN has contributed greatly to community radio both in Australia and worldwide. For example, one spinoff project, the Bentokit Project, is a FLOSS and cross-platform radio broadcasting suite for community stations licensed under the GPL.
On 25 November 2011, a book was released entitled Life of SYN written by Ellie Rennie. In it, Rennie follows key SYN staff and volunteers "as they build Australia's most unusual media empire against enormous odds. Over the course of the book, social networking becomes the most popular use of the internet and traditional media institutions are forced to acknowledge the rise of amateur content. In response, SYN rethinks its approach to the online environment, kills its print publication, deals with the introduction of digital broadcasting and teaches schoolteachers about a new kind of literacy. In just two years dozens of careers are launched, the SYN radio audience doubles and they get told off for swearing."
SYN has had several different slogans. The most recent slogan is "Click, Switch, Watch" and was intended to reflect SYN's three media platforms – online, radio and television. Past slogans include "Creators not Consumers", "We May Be Young But We Know Our Shit" and "Where the Kids Push the Buttons". The circle logo was developed in the mid 1990s by Caroline Worsley. The launch creative, featuring an evolution narrative, was originally designed by Olivia Fowler studying a diploma of graphic design at Holmesglen TAFE, her iconic baby in the ear, representing the birth of a radio station was developed into series of posters by Jeremy Wortsman.
Former SYN staff members include Georgia Webster, Jo Curtin, Ryan Egan, Craig Twitt and Bryce Ives, who have each had a strong involvement in the Australian community broadcasting sector. Other alumni include: award winning ABC Journalist Joanna McCarthy; Simon Goodrich, Managing Director of Portable Content; Andrew Apostola co-founder and publisher of Portable; Jesse Nonneman, PBS 106.7FM broadcaster; teachers Paul Van Eeden, Victorian Teacher of the year 2007 and producer of ClassTV on C31 Melbourne and Colin Thompson.
Rorie Ryan, Thornbury High's junior student of the year in 1992, was crucial to SYN's success, having created 3TD in 1994 by applying for the first ever Australian aspirant high school radio station licence on 89.1 while he was in year 10. Ryan's technical expertise saw him go on to work for 3SRA, 3MSR, 3TD, SYN and NU Country Radio, an unsuccessful bidder for a full-time licence. He then went on to work for SBS Radio, and currently works for Fox FM. 3TD began broadcasting in 1996, attracting the interest of Nigel Slater of Latrobe University's SUB FM, and he invited 3TD to join 3MSR, knowing that teens were under represented in the community radio sector and would be crucial in obtaining a licence.
- "SYN Philosophy". Student Youth Network. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
- MacLean, Sheena (23 September 2004). "Cyber Generation Calls Tune". The Australian. Retrieved 2007-10-16.[dead link]
- "Current Flagships". http://syn.org.au/currentflagships.
- Yee, Andrew (4 March 2002). "ABA awards new community radio licence to RMIT youth radio station: RMIT University's youth community radio station, Student Youth Network FM (SYN FM), has been awarded a new community radio licence by the Australian Broadcasting Authority.". RMIT University. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
- Cusack, Agnes (26 December 2002). "AM - Students win radio station". AM (Australian radio series). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- "Just kidspeak on SYN-FM". The Age. 27 December 2002. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- Norman, James (11 January 2003). "A station for the young, by the young". The Age. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- "Young Australians launch new national digital radio service". SYN Media. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- "SYN launch new national digital radio service". Radio Today. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- Newstead, Al (3 April 2014). "Young Australians Launch New Digital Radio Station". Tone Deaf. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- "1700". SYN Media. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
- "1700". C31 Melbourne & Geelong. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
- "The Wrap". The Wrap, SYN. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
- "Life of Syn (Monash University Publishing)". Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- "Amazon.com: Life of SYN: A Story of the Digital Generation (9781921867064): Ellie Rennie: Books". Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Rennie, Ellie (2011). Life of SYN: A Story of the Digital Generation. Monash University Press. p. 140. ISBN 1-921867-06-X.