Success for Purple Radio at Student Radio Awards


Durham University’s student radio station, Purple Radio, has won the Best Station Branding award at the Student Radio Awards (SRA).

Sponsored by BBC Sounds and Global, the SRAs are awarded annually to recognise dedication and talent within student radio. Usually held in O2 Arena in London, the Award ceremony was held online this year.

The station received nominations in three other categories, including Best Sports Programming, Best Podcast and the most prestigious award, Best Student Radio station. 

Gabriel Radus, station manager at Purple Radio, said “this is the first time in 27 years that we were nominated for best station, or certainly in recent memory”. Recognised as one of the top six university radio stations, Durham University’s Purple Radio was the only student radio station to be nominated for best station that did not offer journalism or media courses

Winning Best Station Branding, the SRA recognised Purple Radio’s achievement to increase its Instagram following by 260 per cent and treble podcast listens in 2019, as well as making podcasts accessible to its listeners on Spotify and Apple Music. 

Their application emphasised three core messages that underpins its branding: community, diversity and work/play balance – values it considers important to Durham students. Nominated for Best Podcast, ‘As read by a black student”, documented experiences of students of colour at Durham University. One of the station’s main aims is to produce content that covers “all areas of student life” but also has relevance to the wider Durham community “with whom we share with the city”.

In recent years, Purple Radio has made an increasing presence at the student radio awards. In 2019, the radio station took home a gold award for Best Journalistic Programming with its investigation into the rush Durham students undergo to secure their second or third year house. In that year, the Purple Radio Sports team came runner up in the Sports Programming category. 

Image via Student Radio Association – picture from November 2019

This year, Ben Sharp, Head of Sport at Purple Radio, was nominated for his podcast “D Team to DU” in the Best Sports Programming category. The podcast recorded his journey from a novice in American Football to competing at University level. 

Sharp said “the standard of all university radio is just getting better and better”. To remain competitive with other universities, Sharp is ambitious to develop Purple Radio’s Sports coverage to secure an SRA next year, with it’s long running weekly show, Sportsfeed, and commentary coverage of local sports teams and events.   

Looking forward to next year’s awards, Radus said that Purple Radio seeks to build on the “massive strides it made despite seemingly insurmountable barriers in front of it”. To break into the elite group of university radio stations, he believed he has “the team and content this year to definitely do that and more”. 

One of Radus’ goals for the coming year is to “work with as many societies and charity ventures as possible”. He expressed that any Durham students involved in the Durham community should get in touch. 

Image: Purple Radio

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