Fionnuala Corbett is an IMRO award-winning broadcast journalist, currently Head of News and Current Affairs at iRadio and co-presenter of iRadio in the Afternoon along with Dave Duke. She is also a part time lecturer in the University of Galway as part of the School of Journalism.
When did you discover your interest in radio?
Radio was always on in my house growing up, more than the TV was, so I was always aware of it. I had to do work placement in fifth year as part of my LCVP subject and I decided to do it in what was then called i102-104FM, now iRadio. After the short placement they rang me again that summer for another placement with them. I was honestly doing a bit of everything, sitting in on shows, making tea, and taking it all in.
How did you pursue this interest after your placements?
As part of the journalism and new media degree I did in the University of Limerick, I had to do another placement and went back to i102-104, which had in the meantime been renamed iRadio, where I was working mainly in the newsroom but also in some other areas.
A while later there was a weekend newsroom job going which I took and did during my final year of my degree. After I graduated, I was lucky enough that a slot opened up for a full time news role, which I accepted. It’s a process of starting at the very start of where you can in the radio industry and bit by bit working your way up.
How do you find working as both part of the news team, while also being part of the afternoon show?
What I love about the news part of my job is that I am constantly staying engaged with what’s going on since I am keeping an eye on the headlines, but also some of the stories I am keeping in mind and using again as content while on iRadio in the afternoon, so they really fit in well together. It means I really get to keep up with what’s going on while doing them both together quite naturally. I also really enjoy the show aspect of it, especially because of the back and forth with Dave since we have a really good working relationship.
How do you feel being awarded three IMRO Awards already in your career?
It is absolutely brilliant to be recognized by people in the industry by winning IMRO awards since it’s my peers that are judging the awards. I’ve won two silver awards for News Broadcaster and 1 gold award along with Dave Duke for iRadio in the Afternoon in last year’s award ceremony. It’s very hard to describe the excitement, I was afraid to go on the site when they announced the nominations and was hoping someone would send me a text to let me know whether I was nominated or not.
How are you finding being a lecturer in the University of Galway alongside all of this?
I started in 2019 and have really fond memories of starting it off. I’m mainly using my own day to day experiences while teaching. I love the connections that I’m building with up-and-coming broadcasters and seeing developing potential talents. It’s also great to see some of them come to iRadio for work placement. It works for me because I’m doing the job every single day otherwise and that helps me then with what I’m teaching.
Do you have any advice for people interested in radio broadcasting?
The first step is getting in the door at the radio station, seeing any opportunity, and figuring out what you can learn to fit those requirements. It is about getting in the door. It’s important to be enthusiastic, have a bit of cop on and you have a good attitude to be around. You should also find the right person to contact. Find the person in the area you’re interested in to show you’ve put the effort into researching who you’re talking to.