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The listeners owned the station, too, and if they wanted to come to the meetings and join the debate, they were welcome.
This attitude led to some interesting moments, such as when Holger Brockman's shift was hijacked by three Aboriginal activists.
2JJ was initially intended to be the first link in Whitlam's planned national youth network; but the expansion was greatly delayed by the election of the Fraser government and the subsequent budget cuts it imposed on the ABC.
In its early years 2JJ's on-air staff were mainly recruited from either commercial radio or other ABC stations.
After midnight the station would often use ABC networks – during their off air time slot – to increase its broadcasting range.
By the time 2JJ went to air, the Whitlam government was in its final months of office.
Later, in another first, the roster also featured presenters who did not come from a radio industry background, including singer-songwriters Bob Hudson (co-ordinators), Ros Cheney, David Ives, Sam Collins, Holger Brockman (aka Bill Drake), Caroline Pringle, Bob Hudson, Mike Parker, Iven Walker, Arnold Frolows, Di Auburn, Margot Edwards, George "Groover" Wayne, Graeme Berry, John Arden, Colin Vercoe, Alan Mc Girvan, Pam Swain, Graeme Bartlett, Mark Colvin, Keith Walker, Michael Byrne, and Jim Middleton.
2JJ's programming policies were considered a radical departure from the formats of commercial stations.
At that time Australian music didn’t have much production put into it because there wasn’t much money made out of it." 2JJ announcer Chris Winter explained that "there was enormous breadth of music around at the time" that was not played on radio, but could be heard in private gatherings or bought from specialist stores.
Austin states that the original aim of 2JJ was to highlight "our own culture" and the staff were expected to "provide an alternative to the mainstream, with a heavy emphasis on Australian content".