Jersey’s Channel 103 kept radio and online audiences up to date with news of an explosion in a block of flats on the island, which resulted in multiple fatalities.
The Tindle Radio station provided rolling news as the emergency services responded to the fast changing incident in St Helier, generating high levels of online engagement and appearances on other leading media titles across the UK as islanders responded to the tragic news of Jersey’s biggest peacetime loss of life.
Jersey Police have confirmed nine people dead following the explosion and believe there are no more residents that remain unaccounted for.
Just before 4am on Saturday 10th December an explosion took place at a block of flats in Haut du Mont. A block of flats was demolished and a fire broke out.
Tindle Radio CI Managing Director James Keen says: “The Channel 103 news team swung into action on Saturday morning after News Editor Giulia Heath was alerted by phone after 5.30am. The news team was contacted, and reporter dispatched to the scene by 6.30am.
“The on-air presenter made listeners aware of the unfolding incident. Channel 103’s 8am bulletin had a report from the scene of the explosion and included the first eyewitness interviews, hours ahead of BBC Jersey.
“The station extended its local weekend news output up until 6pm beyond the usual lunchtime finishes, with bulletin durations increased.
“The station’s programming was adjusted to reflect the evolving story, with press conferences from the emergency services and States of Jersey broadcast live on Saturday and Sunday. We then marked the one-minute silence across Jersey at 11am on Monday 12th December.”
The Channel 103 website also provided breaking news which saw engagement rapidly increase. James explains: “Channel 103 was the first media outlet to report the developing incident with a breaking online story at 6.38am on Saturday.
“The station’s website and app were constantly updated with pictures from the news team and listener contributions.
“A contact at a café at nearby Victoria Pier shared CCTV footage of the explosion with Channel 103, which was then picked up by national media including Channel 4 News and the Daily Mail. In just 24 hours the main news section of the website saw a twenty-fold increase in page views.”
Channel 103 presenters and journalists contributed in-vision interviews for Channel 4 News, Times Radio, LBC and Talk TV, plus audio interviews for Global’s Newsroom, Virgin Radio, Dubai 92 and ARN network, along with photographs and video to the Daily Mail website.
Figures released in August showed Channel 103 had six in ten of the island’s adult population tuning in every week, strengthening its position as the British Isles’ most listened-to radio station by percentage reach, according to the RAJAR figures.
Channel 103 had grown its weekly quarter on quarter by 2,300 listeners to 52,000. The station’s share of listening increased to 31.2%, the highest share of any radio station, BBC or commercial, in the British Isles.