After about a decade on the airwaves with JOY94.9FM’s ‘Rainbow Report’, veteran journalist and former Star Observer columnist Doug Pollard has decided to hang up the headphones and microphone early next month to concentrate on new challenges.
The writer and broadcaster, who first joined JOY in 2002, will be on air for three more weeks with the final ‘Rainbow Report’ to air at 7pm on Thursday, October 3.
Having grown up in Manchester in the United Kingdom, Pollard was a co-founder of the UK’s pioneering LGBTI newspaper Gay News – first published in 1972 at a time when sexual activity between men had yet to be fully decriminalised – and would play an important role in the burgeoning liberation movement. Pollard would later launch a weekly gay newspaper, Gay Week, before moving to Australia. He then served as editor for Melbourne Star, the city’s fortnightly gay newspaper, as well as joining JOY where his voice was first heard on community service announcements as well as news bulletins.
Always with a keen eye for international affairs, Pollard soon began making three-minute bulletins focusing on the plight of LGBTI people overseas which became known as the ‘Rainbow Report’. Proving to be popular, the ‘Rainbow Report’ updates became a half-hours news and current affairs show – which for a while turned into a three hour show known as ‘Freshly Doug’ – before settling into its current one-hour format.
“As many of you know, I have been making efforts to refresh the formula, bring in new talent, and spread the load,” Pollard told the Star Observer this week. “However, I have come to the conclusion that this is simply not possible. The show is too much my personal product, and I no longer wish to carry a show alone.
“When the show began, there was relatively little quality news and current affairs content on the station. That is no longer the case. The station now has a breadth of talent and a range of shows that more than adequately cater for the news junkies among our listeners.”
Having taken on a media role and directorship with the newly-launched Australian arm of UK human rights organisation Kaleidoscope Trust, Pollard said the time was now right to reflect on his time with JOY and consider future opportunities.
“At this stage I want to take the next three months to reflect on where I go from here, and whether a new show on Joy, perhaps in collaboration with others, will be part of the future, or whether I want to concentrate my efforts elsewhere,” he said.
“New opportunities are opening up in my life. Some of you already know that I have accepted a directorship with the Kaleidoscope Trust, working to empower advocates in countries where being gay is illegal.”
It is expected Pollard will continue on with his independent LGBTI news and current affairs website TheStirrer.com.au.