It may have been an extremely challenging month for VOC staff, but the community’s support made it all worth it. So says VOC programming manager Mishka Daries, after receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback on the station’s Ramadan programming. VOC has been inundated with positive messages, with many saying the programming changes encapsulated the beauty and spirit of the sacred month.
In line with its 20 year anniversary, the station introduced a host of ground breaking and innovating Ramadan programmes, ranging from the unique 20 dialect Khatam, to the ever popular pre-breakfast show, Sobagh ul-Khair.
VOC also embarked on a record 136 outside broadcasts (OB) throughout the month, which included over 120 prayer broadcasts, 28 commercial OB’s, and four broadcasts of the Ahlan Wa Sahlan outreach initiative.
Daries, hailed the positive response from the community, much of which was directed at the stations 20 dialect Khatam al-Quran, with the station being flooded with requests for copies of the show.
“Most people expressed their appreciation with the amount of work that went into producing the shows, which they could hear on air. They were also appreciative of the fact that we sought talent from within the community itself,” she said.
Another show to have been well received by the community was the Ramadan Reflections show, which produced the most downloads on the station’s Iono podcast system. The show focused solely on the spiritual aspect of the holy month, with a number of local scholars taking to the stations airwaves to impart with spiritual advice.
Despite the positive success of the Ramadan programming, Daries said a fair bit of staff diversion had to take place behind the scenes, especially in terms of meeting the needs of the podcast system.
“We had to ask our intern to edit the khatams, which took quite a bit of work. A lot of programmes are only being uploaded to the podcast system now, because we couldn’t do that on a daily basis,” she admitted.
Daries declined to reveal plans for next year’s Ramadan schedule, vowing “not to let the cat out of the bag”. However, she noted the station would look to come back with an even bigger and better schedule for Ramadan 1435.
“It’s been our 20th anniversary which means we’ve gone really out of the way. So next year for our 21st anniversary, we’ve got to see how we can better it, which is really a big task, but we are prepared for it,” she said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)