Between 500 and 600 people tune in every month
2nd August 2010: The number of Polish listeners tuning into Polish Radio Humber are growing day by day. The new Polish language radio station was setup in Hull in January this year.
The region’s Polish community could get local news and entertainment in their own language via the internet. As Polish Radio Humber gains momentum, the listeners hope the radio station will help Polish residents to feel more settled in the region.
The station is thought to be the first in the UK that had been setup outside of London.
Presenter Dominika Wypych says the Polish people there did not listen to English radio stations or read English newspapers because they did not understand English. The presenter added this is why they are providing the listeners with all the information after translating it.
The man behind it all is Greg Futyma, director of the Polish Media Group and Polish Radio Humber. He setup the station in January 2010 after seeing a gap in the market.
Futyma says that they did some tests in October 2009 and the reaction of listeners was very positive. He adds the listeners say this is something they really like and enjoy and find it as an alternative to the local radio stations.
Futyma says,” The listeners really loved the fact that they could ring us, chat live with us during the show and give us feedback straight away, so we could obviously react to their responses and talk to them."
The station’s funding comes from advertising local Polish businesses. To keep costs at a minimum Polish Radio Humber broadcast only over the internet.
Futyma further asserted to get an FM license it costed a substantial amount of money every month and they had just started officially on the May 1. They also have few advertisers as of now.
Currently, the station is being run by volunteers and was on air for four hours a day. Not only was the station a provider of news and information, it also gave young Polish residents a platform to develop their presenting and journalism skills.
Among the volunteers was 16 year-old Daria Zaworska. By day she was a student at Wilberforce College but came the evening, she was a reporter and researcher working in Polish Radio Humber’s newsroom.
Expressing her sentiments she says, "I really enjoy working at the station. I think it’s a really good experience for me and it could help me with my career in the future."
There are roughly more than 20,000 Poles living in East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.
So far between 500 and 600 people tune in every month. Polish families exclaimed that it was just what they needed. "It’s very good and important for Polish people that we’ve got our own radio station," said a listener named Jacub Orlowski.