MICROWIKI – It was back on May 4, 2015, that Anthony Clark announced his intention to produce a radio news programme for the MicroWiki Community, to become known as RadioMicro. Since that time, through six episodes and an awards show special, his efforts have earned him significant praise – including appointments to various state honours – from numerous MicroWiki micronations and micronationalists.
Each episode, ranging anywhere from approximately ten to twenty-five minutes in length, typically features Clark speaking about current events within the MicroWiki Community and a special feature, such as an interview with a prominent community member. Some episodes have also included original programming, under the title of “At Sea”, a radio drama inspired by Sealand according to Clark.
The hard work invested by Clark behind the scenes is also evident with each episode. For example, the sound editing and musical scoring for RadioMicro has been praised and, in this author’s opinion, is among the best of all the locally-produced radio news programmes to have graced the community since the turn of the millennia. The scripting is also succinctly edited and maintains the listener’s attention without feeling drawn-out.
This past week, Clark took a break from his busy production schedule to sit down with the Coprieta Standard for a short interview:
CS: For those who are unfamiliar with who you are, would you tell us a bit about yourself and your micronational involvement?
AC: My name is Anthony Clark and I am the founder of Mcarthia. I’ve been in the community for around 6 months now, and through projects, such as RadioMicro, I flatter myself to say I’ve done alright. I believe I am age-wise one of the younger members of the community. I started Mcarthia through a long-standing interest in politics and modern studies.
I’ve had many projects in the micronational world: the USM, RadioMicro, the new Bildaut Panel, SkillsShare and the RadioMicro Awards. Out of those, RadioMicro and its awards have been far the most successful.
Doing all these things however led to my leaving the community in June, due to other commitments outwith micronationalism. I returned last month, with the new RadioMicro Awards.
CS: What inspired you to create RadioMicro?
AC: I was inspired to create RadioMicro by Rhys Gregory’s MicronationTV. I felt it was a good area to get involved with, and with my skills in sound editing and composing, I would be able to create something of quite high quality. I decided to make my news agency an audio-only one for several reasons; in particular privacy, the ability to edit footage much more easily, and the ease to make programs reasonably high-quality.
CS: The production of an episode of RadioMicro undoubtedly involves quite a lot of effort. Can you walk us through the typical process you undertake to produce one?
AC: The first step for any episode is to make rough plans. I’ll browse through the forums and the Skype logs looking for good stories and I’ll often ask people on the RadioMicro thread what they’d like to see.
After that, I’ll try and get hold of my scriptwriters for other programs that I don’t write myself. After telling them what I want, I’ll then write the main script. This is the most time consuming part of the operation.
After getting all the scripts together and any other material, such as music, I’ll then start to record. The file I end up with at the end can be over 40 minutes long as I redo lines over and over again. Then, everything is loaded into Audacity and I edit my recording, as well as adding the music and any other effects. It’s exported as a sound file that I attach to a little video and upload it to YouTube.
Publicising is also quite a time consuming step. The new video must go onto the website, the forum, the main MicroWiki page, the RadioMicro MicroWiki page, any relevant Skype room, and be linked into other playlists and videos on YouTube. After that, follows a stage of keeping track of views and comments, before the whole process starts over again.
CS: What impact do you feel you’ve had with RadioMicro on the community and micronational journalism?
AC: From what I’ve heard, RadioMicro has had quite a significant impact on the community, micronational journalism, and Mcarthia. While it’s not necessary to have a news source in micronationalism, it’s enjoyable to listen to, especially as I’m able to get some things on the show (in particular, interviews) that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere. It’s also a nice format – programs like the Micronational Tour of the World present information in a readily accessible format.
I’m not the most qualified to say what kind of impact RadioMicro’s had on micronational journalism, though I hope it’s perhaps promoted good quality work. There’s nothing currently like RadioMicro available, but many other new news agencies were set up after RadioMicro, which I feel may have been due to RadioMicro making it seem like an attractive area.
It’s had a particular impact for Mcarthia and myself – Mcarthia and myself now have moderately high standings in the community, which I’m sure would never have come about so quickly with RadioMicro.
CS: You say it’s not necessary to have a news source in micronationalism. Why do you believe that?
AC: The community is actually very close knit. Everything happens on the forums, with a little bit of secret stuff done on Skype. If you’re on the forum, you know a lot, and it’s not necessary to have me telling them what they already know with some nice music in the background.
News agencies have a much more important role to play in providing information that’s not so commonly known or isn’t part of a main event. This is where RadioMicro programs like the Micronational Tour of the World and How to Start a Country come in. They’re factual programs, not news.
CS: What new initiatives can we expect to see from RadioMicro in the future?
AC: I’ve got lots more planned for RadioMicro! I’m looking at setting up a text based news website, and a new channel, RadioMicro Extra in particular. Give me a year, and we’ll have a new round of RadioMicro Awards as well. I do also have one very special project tucked up my sleeve. I don’t want to give it away, as it may never happen, but if it does… well, it’ll be fun.