The Origin of Spotlight


Mike Procter, recording the first Spotlight programs
Mike Procter

Have you ever wondered when and how Spotlight started? Colin Lowther and Liz Waid take us into the past, to look at Spotlight’s origin almost twenty years ago.

Transcript


Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Colin Lowther.

Voice 2 

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

Today’s program is a little different than a normal Spotlight program. That is because today’s Spotlight is on... Spotlight!

Voice 2 

We are making this program because of a special request. Every day during the week Spotlight releases a Word of the Day video on YouTube and Facebook. We define the word and invite people to use the word in a sentence. Recently, one of our words was “origin”. Niong Bya used “origin” in a sentence. He wrote:

Voice 3 

“I want to know about the origin of Spotlight Radio.”

Voice 1 

Thuong Bui agreed with him! So today, we tell how Spotlight Radio began. And we even play some of the very first Spotlight program. Keep listening!

Voice 2 

The idea for Spotlight began in 1996 - almost 20 years ago! It came from a man named Mike Procter. You may recognize his name and voice. Mike has worked on many Spotlight programs. Today Mike has retired from working. But he still gives some of his time to record Spotlight programs.

Voice 1 

In the mid 1990s Mike was working in Cyprus. There, he heard some radio programs from Voice of America. These programs use Special English. This method of broadcasting is easier for people to understand. The Voice of America broadcasts news stories. But Mike was a Christian. He believed that he could also use the method to share Christian ideas.

Voice 2 

Mike travelled to the United States to study Special English with the VOA. The VOA gave Mike permission to use his own form of Special English. Mike called his method “Specialized English”. He used a similar, but different word list. And his programs sounded very different than the Voice of America programs.

Voice 1 

In the beginning, Mike made the programs himself. He asked a few people he knew to read parts of the script with him. Voices in the first program came from the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and the United States. Radio stations broadcast Mike’s first program in October of 1999.

Voice 2 

This program was 15 minutes long - just like Spotlight. It used a special English method of broadcasting - just like Spotlight. But the first program sounds very different than a Spotlight program you would hear today! In the first programs, Mike combined three different subjects into one program. They were not related in any way. Today each Spotlight program concentrates on only one particular subject. This way, we can include more information and explore a subject more carefully.

Voice 1 

Mike’s first program was not called Spotlight. Instead, he called it “a program in Specialized English.” But in 2001, this Specialized English program got its name - Spotlight.

Voice 2 

In the program, “Spotlights,” we explained why we chose the name “Spotlight” for our Specialized English program. We explained that a spotlight is a strong and narrow line of light called a beam. Spotlights can help people find things. They can show how a subject is important. A spotlight often shows a performer on a theatre stage. A spotlight can also help to lead people or show people the way. In a news story, a presenter can also “spotlight” a particular subject. The presenter concentrates on one particular issue - like we do in our Spotlight programs.

Voice 1 

But there is another important way that people can think about the word spotlight. It is a deeper meaning. In the Bible, Jesus says he is the light of the world. He is like a light that leads people to safety. He is a light showing people the important things in life - like love, peace, and justice.

Voice 2 

When people read the Christian Bible, they can know more about Jesus and God. This knowledge can help Christians to shine God’s light in the world. We call our program Spotlight because we believe that God’s light can shine into every part of life. God’s light can shine in science and technology, art and culture, relationships, or anything else! Our programs try to show how God’s light shines in our world.

Voice 1 

You may be wondering if we will ever release our first program again. The answer is probably no. But, so that you can hear it, here is a short part of that very first program in Specialised English. We hope you enjoy this short journey into the past!

Welcome to our program in Specialised English. I’m Mike Procter. This program uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand - no matter where in the world they live.

In today’s program we will tell about slang words and how the word Christian first came into use. And we have some information about an interesting internet website for movie lovers. But first here is Anne Rajoo with some thoughts about the future of radio. Anne comes from the country of Malaysia.

Have you noticed how much radio has changed in recent years? International radio especially is different...

...From all of us in the Specialised English team, happy listening!

English speakers often use slang words and sayings. These are common but they are not 100% correct use of English. Here is Lee De Young:

One of the things that makes it hard to learn another language is the use of “slang”. “Slang” is the way we often speak in our....

...who believe in him, and try to live like him. It is the same in every language, no matter what word you use...

Voice 2 

As you can hear, Spotlight is a very different program today. We have grown and we continue to grow! Today, the Spotlight team works in parts of Asia, Europe and the United States. We all work together to voice and produce the program. In the beginning, we released only one new Specialized English program each week. But today, listeners can hear Spotlight five days each week. We also offer resources on the internet and clubs for listeners in some places. Niong Bya, we hope we have answered your question about the origins of Spotlight. Thank you for taking this short journey into the past with us!

Voice 1 

The writer of this program was Liz Waid. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘The Origin of Spotlight’.

Voice 2 

Tell us what you think about today’s program. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. And find us on Facebook - just search for Spotlight Radio. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

When did you start listening to Spotlight? What is your favorite program?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Emily Lam
said on October 19, 2014

Tks a lot for this program. I can improve my listening English that for it.

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Dela
said on October 20, 2014

I’m pleased by todays interesting Spotlight program, I knew nothing about the origin of Spotlight radio and I was surprised when I heard the broadcasting began almost 20 years ago. Mike Procter’s effort to establish, evolve and innovate this special Christian radio is admirable. I always enjoyed listening to Mike’s nice voice. I suppose the name Spotlight was chosen correctly because of giving listeners the magical light of knowledge, cognition and positive perception of God’s continual attendance in all parts of our life.
Thanks Spotlight team for excellent programs!

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Tony1
said on October 20, 2014

Thanks, thanks, thanks

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Hai Nguyen Minh
said on October 20, 2014

All I want to say is “Thank you very much indeed, Mike” . Thanks Spotlight . you gave us the God’s light It is very very useful for us. THankssssssssssssssss.

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Mss Flamboyant
said on October 21, 2014

Thank you so much. I love your programs which does not only improve my English skills but also open my knowledge. Thanks!

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Phuc Doan
said on October 23, 2014

I have started to listening SpotlightE for a year ago. It’s very interesting because i knew a lot of thing. Tks Mike Procter and The Spotlight team work.

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anh_thy
said on October 26, 2014

Thank you, Spotlight! Now, I understand the meaning of the program, it’s very meanful va memorable! I’m interesting in joining the journey into the past with you!
I also hope for the other topic like this ♥

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oleksandrk
said on November 04, 2014

Thank you for this nice program! Liz Waid, I love your voice!! ))

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Heidy
said on November 17, 2014

Thanks! a lot!! this program really help me a lot. I also participate in a club here in Bolivia, a club where we listen your programs and discuss the topic. God bless you

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Kaka
said on November 18, 2014

Thankful to God, Glory to God in the highest!  And now, this program makes me believe that Spotlight is a part of shining to Truth, Peace, and Justice which people looking for them without stopping.  Thanks Spotlight so much!

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ngocngoc
said on November 24, 2014

thanks for this program.it’s verry usefull for us to learning English. we can easier to understand. I hope have more interesting topics for every one. Thank you so much ^^

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davidteo
said on December 27, 2014

Thank you, Colin Lowther.Liz Waid,Mike and all the team’s members, for creating such as useful and free program.

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thanhdung07121985@gmail.com
said on January 29, 2015

I knew this program 2 years ago.And I still continue listening,reading it everyday.Through Spotlight,I have been widened my knowledge about the world I never knew before.I’d like to send my sincerely gratitude to all contributions of Spotlight team offering us a great English program !Thanks so much!

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doimoigiaoduc
said on February 07, 2015

I love Splotlight.

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soidavenho
said on February 24, 2015

i’m trying to learn English, and i hope i will speak english well, thank for spotlight, best wishes for you.
a friend from Vietnam

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thuonghit
said on January 12, 2016

Spotlight is a useful program. It make me love English more and more. It give me more information about the world.
Thank Spotlight so much!!!

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maciejca77
said on January 12, 2016

Thanks Spotlight

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Jan Pav
said on January 12, 2016

Many thanks for Spotlight. I`ve opened it 2 year ago for the first. I try to listen it every day. I also tried to enter Spotlight Club. I would like to speak over Skype with some new friends

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Jan Pav
said on January 12, 2016

Thanks for the Sportlight program. Today`s let us know its history. Many thanks to those who prepare that. I also like to enter the Spotlight club to could take discussion with others to help me improve my E.

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ROBERTO JOSE
said on January 13, 2016

It is lovely to know how Spotlight program arose. The first time I heard your podcasts it was in March 16th, 2015. Since that time I have enjoyed your outstandings audios. Thank you very much for your effort.

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paulo15cavo
said on January 14, 2016

GOOD IDEA THANK YOU SPOTLIGHT

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ManMN3003
said on January 21, 2017

I did email Spotlight and asked “What’s inspiration that leads your team create a Spotlight program?” and she sent me the link to listen to this video. This is really a helpful program. I’m so thankful to Spotlight and every video you have made for us.