Have you heard about AEGEE’s radio station? AEGEE.fm? Not yet? Then you should tune in and listen to interviews and news reports about the AEGEE world! Hemmo de Vries is making this show in his flat near Eindhoven every Friday at 8 pm. And if you miss it, you can listen to the podcast later. It’s no surprise that an AEGEE-Eindhoven member had this great idea, because also AEGEE.tv – which unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore – was created by AEGEE-Eindhoven members. Hemmo told the Golden Times what you can expect in his radio show – and how you can contribute!

Hemmo de Vries
Hemmo de Vries knows a lot about making radio

GT: Hemmo, what is AEGEE.fm?
Hemmo de Vries: AEGEE.fm is a radio programme that shares stories about AEGEE members with AEGEE members. The show is accessible for all AEGEEans, which means that most of the topics that are addressed should be understandable for even new and inexperienced members.

GT: How did you get the idea?
Hemmo: A while ago, in November, I had a close friend who’s also in Radio visiting my studio and we made a – rather drunk – radio show together. At one point we decided to play a game of “Name a European City that starts with A”, and then went through all of the alphabet. Some AEGEE members tuned in and joined the game trough Facebook and a quickly built chatbox. This inspired me to make radio for AEGEE members more often, and ultimately dedicate my whole private hobby radio station to it. Originally it was called HEMMO FM as a joke…

GT: AEGEE.fm is definitely a better name. Is it technically difficult to make it? What kind of equipment do you need?
Hemmo: Nothing is technically difficult if you have enough knowledge about how it works. I have some professional equipment like a broadcast mixer in my studio, and furthermore I have a computer with four screens attached to it to be able to control everything. The first one shows the current playlist and scheduler, the second one is for generic use like Spotify, a web browser, some audio editing software and other generic tasks. The third, smaller screen shows a real time waveform of the broadcast, a clock, and some track information. The fourth screen simply shows incoming Whatsapp messages.

Hemmo’s studio

GT: Where is your studio?
Hemmo: It is based in my hometown in Eindhoven, close to where I live.

GT: How many shows have you made so far?
Hemmo: So far I did seven regular shows plus a few about the Agora.

GT: How does a typical show look like?
Hemmo: The format of the show is still a work in progress, but I like how it’s going so far. The typical show lasts for one hour, has between five and ten songs and the rest is filled with interviews and news about AEGEE and events. There are usually three interviews and a short overview what dominated the news across Europe.

GT: Which were your favourite interview topics do far?
Hemmo: I really liked the interview with Svenja van der Tol, the next Secretary General of the Comité Directeur, because she laughs a lot and we had a lot of fun and nonsense going on.

aegeefm script
On one of his four studio screens Hemmo sees the script of the show

GT: You make interviews by Skype and then you edit them. How much time does that require?
Hemmo: Preparing for an interview usually takes me about 15 to 30 minutes. I use that time to come up with questions. The interview itself takes in general between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on who I am talking to and how much he or she has to say. For example: The interview I had with Svenja van der Tol about her CD candidature took almost an hour, but most of that was chitchat. I tried to cut it back to five to seven minutes. The editing takes usually between 15 and 45 minutes per interview. It’s sometimes hard to do because you don’t want to change the story someone is telling, or worse, make it appear they are telling something else then they mean…

GT: Was it hard to find interview partners?
Hemmo: Except for the last show I have always been able to prepare three interviews.

The AEGEE.fm schedule

GT: How many people listen live on Friday night?
Hemmo: It really differs between weeks, but in general between 5 and 15.

GT: How many listen later?
Hemmo: Between 40 and 60. This kind of confirms that the Friday night spot isn’t the best possible. I am trying to change it to another day, but I am still researching what would be the best time slot.

GT: That’s indeed not such a big audience yet… Did you expect more? Or does it just need more time?
Hemmo: It’s more than I expected before I started the project, but I think it can be even higher by picking a better timeslot for the show.

GT: How do you envision the future? What could or should AEGEE do for making radio? Agora shows?
Hemmo: That is something I would really like to do. For the AgorAsturias I wanted to make a live show with a reporter on location. Unfortunately the Internet connection at the Agora was really bad and Eric from AEGEE-Aachen wasn’t able to send the audio he recorded in time. For Agora Kyiv my aim is higher. I want to be at the Agora with a small radio studio – which is less complicated as it sounds – and have daily shows with speakers of the Agora, project groups and members. If all that has been built, it also allows for me to offer the CD or Agora Chair the option to take care of higher quality live streams of the Agora – and proper recordings of those.

Hemmo live during one of his shows

GT: Do you have many helpers for your shows?
Hemmo: Currently Jirka Lhotka from AEGEE-Praha is the person who reads the news pretty much every week and I am really thankful for this. I do want some more people to join the project, to have and record interviews, read the news and ultimately either have a weekly show hosted by teams of two presenters, which could circulate every week. Nowadays a lot is possible in forms of digital communication and a live radio show hosted by two people at different locations is perfectly possible without being a wizard.

GT: What about you? Where are you from, how old are you, what do you study?
Hemmo: I am originally from a small town only known for having a factory of Heinz Ketchup. I started studying Journalism in Tilburg a few years ago and I made some friends who lived in Eindhoven. I visited the city quite often as it is close to my hometown, and because I was in the Bunker – a building where a lot of student associations are located – quite often. So one day a beautiful girl convinced me to join AEGEE.

GT: Nice! What have you done in AEGEE so far?
Hemmo: After joining, I participated in many local events, some exchanges, a Summer University in Zaragoza and a Winter University in Kayseri. Because I love AEGEE this much, I decided I wanted to join the board and was elected as board member last October.

Aegee.fm website
Check out the AEGEE.fm website!

GT: What’s your background in making radio?
Hemmo: I have been working for different radio stations ever since 2005. This included some Internet radio stations, but also local and regional radio projects around where I lived. I started doing the technical part of a radio programme from 2007 till 2013. This show was a magazine with local news and interviews with people from the neighborhood. The concept behind the weekly show of AEGEE.fm is loosely based on this programme.

GT: Anything else you would like to add?
Hemmo: Well, I would like to say that anyone who has an event or project they would like to discuss is welcome to contact me. Also, any participation in making the radio station and show would be greatly appreciated. A lot of things are welcome! For example, music knowlege, interest in world news and interviews for the show. I am open for anyone with other journalistic inspirations. Finally, don’t forget to visit the brand new website for the station, which is http://aegee.fm/!

Check out the AEGEE.fm website: http://aegee.fm/

AEGEE.fm on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aegee.fm