Learning about Brisbane while in the UK

Trying to understand Brisbanites when you live in London

I’ve been to Brisbane quite a few times. The last time we went, we stayed with friends for a week or so; previously I’ve mostly been in hotels. That’s not much use for learning about Brisbane, really, so I’ve been trying to get as much contact with the city from London. Here’s what I’ve done.

First — I’ve listened, a lot, to 612 ABC Brisbane. It’s the local radio station for the city, and it’s a good and interesting listen. The ABC don’t let you download their radio app outside Australia, but the station’s available on most services, including TuneIn. The breakfast show is on-air in the evening, London time.

There’s also 4ZZZ, the local community radio station. I must confess, I’ve not had much luck with “the zeds”, although I did donate during their recent funding drive. The programming’s variable. I should spend longer with it.

Second, I’ve read a lot of /r/brisbane on Reddit. This has been, singlehandedly, the most interesting way of getting closer to the city that I’m going to call home. It’s an interesting mix of opinion, news, and questions about the city, and (thankfully) not too much politics. Not ridiculously high volume, it’s an interesting read, going into everything from broadband speeds, tips for buying cars, to events going on in the city. It’s like eavesdropping in the local bar.

Third, of course, I’ve read news sources on the web, including ABC News, the Brisbane Times, the Courier Mail and The Guardian Australia. This is surprisingly unrewarding, but I should stick at it.

Fourthly, I’ve also been listening to podcasts and enjoying on-demand content. ABC’s Media Report is a good, thoughtful, podcast, much like WNYC’s On The Media, and I’ve learnt much by listening to it. It’s quite dry, but very much worthwhile. Much more entertaining is ABC television’s Media Watch, available in segments (worldwide) online: it’s a good, quite critical, view of the Australian media.

(As an update to the above: the ABC’s Media Report was cancelled by the ABC in late 2015.)

And, of course, I’m following many people from Brisbane on Twitter — many of whom are linking to other news sources, too.