Category Archives: Station

Community Radio Stations

Lake at Kotamale, Sri Lanka

Lake at Kotamale, Sri Lanka

I’d like to take a little time out of our regularly scheduled college radio blog programming to talk about one of my personal research interests: community radio stations in developing places.

Why does this interest me? I am double majoring in journalism and international studies here at school. And journalism + international studies = community radio.

In underdeveloped places with low literacy rates, these stations serve hugely important purposes. At a very basic level, community radio stations broadcast public service announcements about sanitation, agriculture, natural disasters, and more to those who live in rural areas and don’t get much word of mouth news, are illiterate, etc.

Additionally, these stations preserve and further existing cultural and linguistic practices through their radio programming, outside events, and workshops.

Community radio stations give voice and pride to communities that, in many cases, don’t have other means of physically preserving their culture as a record.

Want an example? Check out Kothmale FM in Mawathura, Sri Lanka.


Because Sometimes Things Just Get Weird:

College radio has its fair share of weirdness. Scratch that. I’m willing to officially put it out there, for those of you who may not know from firsthand experience, that college radio attracts tons of “weirdness.” It comes in the form of offbeat staffers, creative music reviewers, and voracious listeners. To be 100% honest, that weirdness is why I personally love, love, love working in college radio.

But, while opening CDs with our music director today, we discovered something a little too…avant-garde for my personal tastes.

But, our station also plays artists like Jandek, Daniel Johnston, and The Shaggs, so I suppose I can’t even really categorize anymore. Rock on, Robert Alberg.

Social Marketing & The Most Infamous PSA: “Save The Manatees”


"Our PSA might be a laughing matter to Iowans, but we still need saving!"

This week in one of my journalism courses we discussed social marketing, which is the use of marketing techniques to get people to change a behavior or an attitude.

In college radio, social marketing is typically found in public service announcements that are aired as part of campaigns by outside organizations.

At our station, the most infamous PSA we play is the Alec Baldwin “Save The Manatees” PSA.  Why is it infamous? Take one listen and you’ll get an idea.

But enough about that. Let’s take a look at where the “Save The Manatees” PSA originates from, the aptly-named Save The Manatees Club. Continue reading

My Current Project: Public File

Public File

The Public File: Friend or Foe?

Right on the heels of the joyous news that the FCC is considering moving the all-knowing, all-powerful “public file” to an online format, I would like to formally introduce to you the project that has consumed my every waking hour for the past month*.

You guessed it: I’ve been working on the public file.

Public file (noun): a collection of documents required by a broadcasting authority to be maintained by all broadcast stations under its jurisdiction. Such a file is required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States. The public inspection file must be maintained at the station’s main studio and it must be accessible to anyone during business hours.

As archaic as it might seem, all broadcasting outlets (both radio and TV) have to keep a record of their value to the community as part of their license renewal and inspection. (If, for some strange reason, you’re looking to bum yourself out, take a look at some of the hefty fines imposed upon stations who don’t comply with FCC regulations.) Continue reading

Live Blog: They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants performing at The Englert Theatre in Iowa City on October 30, 2011

Tonight, I was lucky enough to be in the front row at the sold out They Might Be Giants concert. The show was the tenth installment of our college radio station’s “Low Frequency” concert series. The Brooklyn-based duo, made up of John Flansburgh and John Linnell, was the perfect fit for a show sponsored by a campus radio organization. Why? Because they got their start in the music business when their self-titled EP was a smash hit on American college radio stations…and have been successful ever since!

Check out my “Storify” assessment of the whole, wonderful night, and let me know what your favorite They Might Be Giants song is in the comments section.

[View the story “They Might Be Giants” on Storify]

International Communication & College Radio

World Map

Logical Next Step: College Radio Stations Communicating...Internationally

College radio stations exist all around the world.

While October’s College Radio Day was a wild success in the United States and the recent CMJ awards honored a lot of American college radio stations, I think college radio stations need to start collaborating and sharing their experiences on a more global level.

With so many stations developing their Internet presences these days, why aren’t American stations reaching out to organizations in places like Australia, Canada, & other countries? This seems like a logical next step. Though college radio stations are all governed by different broadcast regulations of their home countries, they are all playing a lot of the same music. And I’m sure we could learn a lot from each other in terms of station organization.

What are your thoughts on international communication in the college radio sphere? Did you ever catch a great college radio show when you were abroad?

October: A Month in Photos

In the vein of Then Heather Said‘s “Wordless Wednesday” posts, I’d like to share with you a look back at my past month in photos. (Speaking of Heather, I will be contributing a post or two to her blog soon. Be on the look out!)

Without further ado, I give you my month in photos:


9/29: Working the door at "my" "birthday" show at a downtown basement venue.

Continue reading