I started writing regularly about college radio back in 2008 when I launched my blog Spinning Indie. At the time, I was frustrated by the lack of attention given to college radio across all forms of media (including mainstream newspapers, blogs, and academic articles).
My goal was to shed more light on the world of college radio, including news, controversies, and the overall culture of student-run radio stations. Much of my writing for Radio Survivor has also focused on college radio, so I’m happy to be launching this new weekly column in order to draw your attention to college radio’s important role in the media landscape. I’ll be delving into the latest news about college radio (did you catch my update last weekend about the current occupant of the former Rice University FM channel?), will highlight intriguing stations (often from my field trip series), and will also share whimsical tidbits about the unique culture of college radio. As evidenced by my Radio Station Scavenger Hunt series, I love chronicling some of the odd items found at college radio stations (does your station have a skull?)
This week, a few college radio bloggers caught my attention. On The Music That Matters: A Look Into the World of College Radio blog, Rowan University senior Gianna Gugliuzza covers topics related to her college radio station Rowan Radio. Recent posts have included a photo tour of Rowan Radio (she’s a girl after my own heart!) in New Jersey and a piece about the important role that college radio can play in helping to alleviate social anxiety. Gugliuzza writes, “putting yourself out there with things like college radio can actually help you break out of your shell.” I couldn’t agree more and definitely feel like doing a weekly college radio show has helped me with public speaking in particular.
Another blogger, Life + Running author Calee, writes about her first college radio show last week at Iowa State University radio station KURE. She describes some of the challenges inherent to radio, saying, “I think the first broadcast went well, other than me leaving the mic on for the first few songs. I’m hoping it will go smoother next time, and that I can even start doing fancy things like spinning actual vinyl and playing music behind my banter.”
Even though it’s crunch-time right now on many college campuses, with midterms and end of semester deadlines looming, college radio stations are working harder than ever. Many stations are getting back into the groove after attending College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI)’s National Student Electronic Media Convention late last month in San Antonio. According to CBI, more than 400 students, faculty, and media professionals participated in panels, workshops, and other events at the conference. More than 700 entries were evaluated for CBI’s annual student production awards and a wide range of stations were represented among the winners. The next CBI convention will take place in Seattle from October 23-25, 2014. I’m excited to attend CBI’s first conference on the west coast!
On Tuesday, College Radio Day released its second compilation album (College Radio Day The Album, Volume 2), full of unreleased tracks from a variety of artists. A number of the cuts are taken from performances recorded at college radio stations from around the country. Los Angeles-based KXLU contributed a track by the Soft Pack. Proceeds from album sales will go towards a special fund being set up to help support college radio stations.
And, coming up this weekend, college radio participants from all over California will head to University of California, Irvine station KUCI for the fall University of California Radio Network (UCRN) conference. UCRN events are always a great opportunity for California-based student radio stations to meet up and share ideas. I’ve been to a number of their conferences and I always leave feeling inspired about the state of college radio. There’s nothing like spending a whole day chatting with other folks who are as passionate about independent radio as I am.
Finally, I’m starting my holiday wish list already after learning about a new book that goes deep into the history of student radio at Dartmouth College. Watch this space for my complete report and interview with the author of College Radio Days: 70 Years of Student Broadcasting at Dartmouth College. See you next Friday!
We cover the culture of college radio every Friday in our College Radio Survivor feature.
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