2XX has a fascinating history going back to 1973, when a group of ANU students decided to create a forum for progressive student voices. The signal could only be heard in select buildings within the ANU, as the students transmitted from a makeshift set-up in the building now housing the Drill Hall Gallery. In 1976, the Australian government made it possible for community associations to apply for radio licences and the ANU radio station became an AM broadcast: Radio 2XX.
From there the station’s audience expanded to serve wider community interests in the ACT, not just students. A golden age ensued in which 2XX provided for the ACT what the commercial stations and the ABC couldn’t; in an era when Triple was called Double J and was not yet nationally broadcast, 2XX handled touring artists and was a platform for local music.
An increasingly diverse media landscape, cuts in funding and fire damage combined with other factors to diminish 2XX’s prominence in Canberra. In 2000, however, the station changed to FM and moved to Bunda Street. In 2008 a major studio upgrade was undertaken as 2XX moved to it current premises in the new Griffin Centre.
Over the years the mix of programming on 2XX has changed dramatically and nowadays it offers a highly diverse mix of multicultural programs, daytime programs for special interest groups, local sports coverage, genre specific music and a range of programs syndicated through the CRN (Community Radio Network). The exact character of the station is morphing and open to discussion for the future.
At present it resembles some other community radio stations in capital cities around Australia, particularly the older ones which tend also to have an eclectic mix of content. This eclecticism is a mixed blessing and where other community stations can focus on one audience (a religious denomination, a particular music genre, or a special interest) 2XX must serve a shifting collection of audiences, provided they are not served by commercial and government broadcasters.
You may find it interesting to see what 2XX was doing back in June 2008 by having a read of our Communique June 2008 Newsletter from then. As you can see we are always buzzing with activity.