Europe on Air – A New Opportunity for GIPA Student Radio

19 MAY 2015
Written by Eka Maghaldadze

GIPA student radio joined the collaborative project "Europe on Air" to prepare, analyze and experiment with different radio formats together with 25 other students from universities in Turkey, Bulgaria, Spain and Belgium in March 2015. This year's host was Anadolu University in the city of Eskisehir - a story of which students told through different senses.


How does smell sound? What about  taste or touch? These questions were frequently asked by students who were making their audio projects in Eskisehir, recalls Anna Davitashvili, a Georgia participant.

For her,  sharing experiences with people who are making the same product in different countries was very important to understand what are the current trends in the different areas of Europe.

“In such conditions you can realize and evaluate at which stage you are, what exactly you are doing in comparison with others, and what are the main points of your approach which are not common with others. I’m glad it appeared that we are doing our 'audio job' well,” says Davitashvili.

Participation in this project is the result of GIPA becoming a member of The European Journalism Training Association (EJTA).That happened after the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management (CSJMM) had won unanimous approval at EJTA’s annual meeting held May 22-23, 2014, in Jyvaskyla, Finland. The two-year EJTA process included finishing all paperwork  and checking on facilities, curricula, educators and students.

EJTA brings together more than 50 journalism schools and training programs in order to share innovations and organize exchange programs. Europe on Air is the first international program. GIPA Radio members had the opportunity to participate through the contacts made within EJTA.

For this joint collaborative journalism project, the GIPA radio team  prepared two pilot radio reports on sounds of Tbilisi:    

The team has also recorded an introductory video that was distributed through social networks.

Other universities also presented audio projects about sounds of their cities.

After arriving in Eskisehir at Anadolu University, students started to prepare new audio projects, but this time in different groups made up of representatives from different companies. The assignment was similar: to make audio projects about the city. But at the same time it was different and challenging. Each group had to provide in their audio projects sounds of randomly selected two human senses. 

Final projects – “Senses of Eskisehir” are uploaded on the website -

Plamena Krumova is a Bulgarian team member who studies at Sofia University. Participating in this project for her was one more proof  that it’s too important for journalists to stay in touch with each other and exchange experience, because she found out a lot about how radio works in different countries.

“The biggest challenge was also to create something in such a short time and in a town I didn’t know. I had to work really fast and to take risks,” says Krumova.

Working in a team with people whom you met for the first time and who have extremely different backgrounds and experience,  and different styles of story-telling, was a challenge for Tae-Yoon Michielsens, a Belgium team member.

“It was very interesting to see another person's view on making radio. Plus you learn to cope with cultural and educational differences. To me, "Europe On Air" was a once in a lifetime experience. I worked with very nice people from other countries, which was very useful to enhance my working abilities. Each of us learned a lot about teamwork and Turkey itself,” says Michielsens.

 He also mentioned about difficulties: “We did not know the city and we had to rely on improvisation and dealing with limited equipment. The biggest problem was time management --we spent our first two days doing nothing and the last two days were a big rush.”

For Marina Alonso Mantolan, Spanish team member, "Europe on Air" was a great personal experience  as she met people with the same inquisitiveness and passion for radio.

“It is incredible how different we are, and when something seems wrong for me, for another student it seems right. It was complicated at the beginning because we didn’t get across what we wanted,  finally, we tried to do our best to use everything we have learned and I think we did a good job, despite different understandings and types of broadcasting radio,” she says.

According to Erkan Kaan Guler, a Turkish team member:  “As hosts, we made a city tour for newcomers, but it was not still enough to feel the city. But we were trying our best to make our guests happy and satisfied with every detail.”