I’m recently just back from Erasmus in Bulgaria and as part of my classes I got to meet new people and discover a whole series of outlooks and approaches to media. The following is a reminiscence of an encounter I had with student Jetmira Allushi, host of “Wednesday Night Tutorial” at Radio AURA in the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG).
After fiddling with countless dials, widgets and performing a quick sound check one minute prior Jetmira enthusiastically announces: “Hello listeners and welcome to this week’s edition of Wednesday Night Tutorial”. “I’ve been hosting Wednesday Night Tutorial for three years now”, she explains. “It all started off with our faculty advisor Professor Leonard, I would co-host with him, play ska music (which was his favourite genre) and we had an array guests. I only started hosting the show in its second year”. The show has stuck to its roots over the course of that time. “The format nowadays is more or less the same, just less ska” she jokes. “Anyone associated with AUBG can be a guest on the show whether they’re a professor who just wants to chill, a student with something interesting to share or even the president of the university itself.” The drive to host the show is simple: “Hosting a radio show is something that I did and continue to do simply because I like doing it”.
What sets her show apart from other guest shows is the manner of speaking and natural approach that Jetmira has with every guest. “I don’t ask the obvious questions that people expect me to ask, it can make the guest feel like they’re being interrogated”. She stresses that asking guests about the little things that are going on in their daily lives makes for fresh radio, opens guests up, “humanizes them”. She even lets her guests make song suggestions, but always at her discretion mind you! It’s clear that the little rectangular radio studio, housed on the second floor of AUBG’s main building, is a place who’s walls have heard many stories and broadcast a lot of happiness to many listeners. Jetmira looks toward the future of radio and concludes that it will defiantly persevere: “Radio is something that’s hard to get away from. Yeah sure you can have your Spotify playlist or YouTube videos but radio continues to have a huge audience reach. From listening to the radio when you’re in the car on a road trip to online radio. It’ll always be around and always evolving.”
I guess what I garnered from my experiences with media abroad is that if there’s a particular branch of media that you yourself are particularly interested in, then pursue it wholeheartedly! Just one of the many things I took back from the small Bulgarian town of Blagoevgrad.