RX Radio is a radio station run by and for children, operating from the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. It is the first radio station in the world to train child/youth reporters to broadcast from within a hospital.
It is run by us - the RX Radio team - for the children and youth in the hospital, their parents/caregivers and hospital staff – and the public can listen to our broadcasts. Meet the Team
This radio community allows us - the children - and those who care for us to meet, share ideas, question others, tell stories, have fun and build a happy radio community network. Meet the RX Radio Reporters
The aim of the radio is to make us feel better and get better. We do this by bringing our families and friends together to talk, listen and act on things that are important to us. This we see as our right as children.
Children have the right to know as much as possible about what affects their lives - to understand their chronic illness and the healthcare provided to them including:
- Information about the hospital environment and what is expected,
- Discussion about their health condition: diagnostic procedures and treatment options; possible outcomes of these treatments; degree of likely pain and discomfort,
- Most important: to be able to ask questions and be reassured of the support and care they will receive from their parents, caregivers and health workers.
- They also need to be entertained and to have fun!
So far 76 child/ youth reporters – from the age of 4 to 18 – have participated in RX Radio training: 67% are patients admitted at Red Cross Hospital, and 33% are siblings or friends. A team of five RX Radio staff, volunteers and former reporters (ages 18 +) work behind the scenes to train, coordinate, and support the reporters. You will find the reporters behind the microphones participating in the productions: they design their own shows, choose the music, invite guests, write interview questions, and even plan fundraising events.
Becoming an RX Radio reporter:
Basic training: children complete a week of workshops to develop important life, communication and technical skills like listening and storytelling, using a field recorder and interview techniques for radio production. At the end of the week, they produce a +-five-minute audio-visual radio diary telling a story of their choice, and many choose to the stories of their illness and experience at the hospital.
Reporting: After training, children can choose to become an official RX Radio reporter. This core group of reporters participate in regular training workshops led by RX Radio staff and guest trainers, to learn and develop advanced production skills.
- The radio programmes are anchored by child/youth reporters in the hospital, to engage, entertain and encourage other patients.
- Programming includes live broadcasts, pre-recorded shows and a podcast series.
- Children and youth at the hospital can participate in the shows through song requests, dedications, live games and prize giveaways by calling the telephone, and / or interacting with our social media.
The productions consist of:
- Radio diaries
These explore children and youth experiences as patients, and their journey around specific chronic health conditions. The reporters include interviews with family, caregivers, health professionals and friends – exploring their experiences, sharing health information, and advice on support and care.
- Live & pre-recorded shows
Magazine-format shows consist of music, interviews, stories, news, weather, and traffic updates.
My Health Journey Podcast & RX Radio highlights of shows.
- RX Radio broadcasts 24/7, LIVE and Pre-recorded programmes (including shows, music, podcasts, and radio diaries)
- RX Radio transmits audio and images through the hospital’s internal television system to all wards and public spaces in the hospital, streams through the internet (Website & app), syndicates to other radio stations and distributes mp3’s to patients.
- Every second and last Saturday of the month: RX Radio broadcasts live shows from 9am to 3pm
- Click here for RX Radio programme schedule, information on the shows, and meet the RX Radio reporters
- Look out for the posters around the hospital, the RX Radio mascot and listen to RX Radio announce details of the daily programming through the Hospital exchange
- Listen on your phone / Pad: download the RX Radio app
- Stream on your phone and laptop: We also live stream the same content on our website and RX Radio app. We update details about the programming on social media daily and weekly – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram– join us.
THE FUTURE: MOVING FORWARD
- RX Radio has partnered with the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health to increase the reach of our broadcasts in other hospitals. This year (2019) we are starting a pilot program with Paarl Hospital. By 2021, we plan to reach another four hospitals with paediatric wards in the Western Cape.
- The vision is to reach every public hospital with a paediatric ward in South Africa.