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ALTERNATIVE VIEWPOINT: Charmaine Burton, Executive Producer and Presenter for New Style Radio's 'Different Anglez' programme

DURING THE four years since its debut on a Birmingham’s first black-owned licensed radio station, New Style Radio, the Different Anglez programme has worked to establish itself as a valued fixture in the current affairs arena.

Mixing live studio broadcasts with pre-recorded features, the show has encouraged black involvement in politics. Broadcast on 98.7FM across greater Birmingham and on the station’s website, Different Anglez has featured local, regional and national stakeholders from the NHS and West Midlands Police as well as holders of public office. The Birmingham leaders from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties and former Prime Minister David Cameron are among the politicians that have been featured.

The weekly programme is now set to break new ground with #PoliticsFreestyle, a series of monthly features that will debut today (29 September) and continue until next spring, with a live audience and special guest interviewees. #PoliticsFreestyle will see executive producer and presenter, Charmaine Burton will hand over control of the show.

“Each month a different organisation or collective of partners will take control of the programme and become the editors,” said Burton.

“They will decide the topics, choose the panel and co-host the show with me. The first to take up the challenge is West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson on 29 September.“

DEBATE

The leader of the organisation, which holds West Midlands Police to account, will discuss stop and search, also gangs and violence as the performance of the regional force continues to spark controversy after a series of incidents involving black men that mirror others that have occurred across the county.

Jamieson was elected into the role after a 2014 by-election and was re-elected last May. He pledged to increase the current programme of recruitment of police and to protect neighbourhood policing.

Speaking to The Voice earlier this month, he said:

“I am delighted to be taking part in New Style Radio’s upcoming debate. It is so important that communities are able to ask questions and have their opinions heard. This isn’t a lecture or a seminar. For me, this as much about listening as it is offering my views. I want to have open and honest conversations about all sorts of crime.

“I am really looking forward to what #PoliticsFreestyle will accomplish as a part of what we do here on Different Anglez,” added Burton, who is a Society and Government graduate.

“This series is aimed at giving the listeners a real voice and encourage them to engage in the process. We will maintain the integrity of the show in this new format. This is why there will be a twist.”

At the midway point of each show, the #PoliticsFreestyle audience will be asked if the topics chosen for discussion are being addressed by the interviewees. If not, the guests will be required to give a 20 minute sub-interview to set the record straight and field questions on their level of engagement with their communities.

New Style Radio was launched 15 years ago with the help of cricket legend Sir Viv Richards. The station began life as radio training course in the 1990s that proceeded to hold a series of restricted, 28-day licenses to broadcast before clinching a one-year license in August 2002.

The Different Anglez show can be heard on Fridays between 10am-12pm on New Style Radio, which broadcasts on 98.7 FM across greater Birmingham and www.newstyleradio.co.uk

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