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.
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.
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
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]
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?
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.
Posted in Music, News, Station
Tagged acoustic performances, american dust, bard & mustache, birthday, fall, photos, public space one, pumpkin, skye carrasco, utopia park