Today we sat down with Sandra Losty, the Operations Manager at Phoenix FM, who started working for the station in 2020 during the height of the Lockdown in Ireland.
Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Sandra Losty and I love pink Flamingos and am currently making a pink flamingo dress(I kid you not).
Why did you apply for the role of Operations Manager at Phoenix FM?
I love the whole idea of making an impact with the community through the medium of broadcast. We are lucky in Dublin 15 to have a community radio station that is such a rich resource to the community. I have worked in many grassroots projects over the years and this one literally sang to me when I saw the capacity it had to make a difference to Dublin 15.
I am a believer in this very simple philosophy, “when we help people to find their voice, they find not only words to speak but words that others hear that make a difference for them”. In a world that is so noisy and full of content that may be hard to trust, community radio is the salve on that for communities. When we stay local we impact the global. I love what Anthropologist Margaret Mead said about grassroots movements, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” The role of operations manager speaks to that philosophy which is core to my community development heart.
What do you enjoy most about working for Phoenix FM so far?
The people, the impact and the possibilities that it beholds to make a difference for people. The variety that we have on the airwaves really aligns with my own core values that people have the right to make content for and with their own communities.
Can you recall a pinnacle moment for you at the station?
There have been ‘quiet’ moments that have struck me the most. I know the “Q” word is not good for radio but here is what I mean. Quietly, people have been supported to continue engaging with the station. In the background are a group of dedicated staff who pull out all the stops to
ensure the airwaves remain open and voices are heard. That kind of dedication is worth its weight in gold and it will move mountains to ensure people have the access to participate in community radio.
What does community radio mean to you?
Variety of content, Colourful topics discussed and lots of interesting conversations about what is happening locally. It means opportunities provided for locals to air their voices through interviews or music or indeed to tell a few jokes and it means meeting the needs of the
community in a way that is quite unique to community radio. It means connecting to all parts of the community. It means providing a platform to tell stories that may not be heard elsewhere. It means something for everyone because cannot be ever be accused of being vanilla!
Do you have a favourite show on the station?
That is like asking me who is my favourite child. What I love about the shows is the variety. I love that I can tune in and hear an interview with a person who has significant physical disabilities and how a group is supporting that person to play football. I love that I can then hear classical music or 80’s rock ballads or a show in a language I do not speak. It’s not so much a favourite show that I have but that I favour the variety that community radio affords my ears the opportunity to hear.
What are some of the biggest challenges we face in our community at the moment?
Getting back to full capacity of service provision for our most vulnerable residents. COVID has knocked the world out of sync with the ability to do that. I love the ABCD focus on community development, “start with what is strong not what is wrong”. People have risen to challenges in a way we could not possibly have imagined so while we have challenges we also have people who will see what needs to be done and do it.
What kind of interests do you have outside of your role in the station?
I do some volunteer work that helps me help people build their self-confidence while making changes in their lives. I am a Toastmaster and love a good session of impromptu speaking. Keeps me on my toes. I also love storytelling. It gets messages across in a way that impacts deeply.
Do you have anything you would like to say to our readers?
We have a rich vibrant community and we would love to hear about it. Let us tell others what you are doing so that someone two streets away may hear about it and join you because they would love to be a part of it too. Reach out, talk to us and help us to get the word out about what you are doing in Dublin 15.