In a statement released today, college radio organization College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) expresses opposition to forthcoming changes at college radio station WRAS which will eliminate student-produced radio shows from daytime FM broadcasts. CBI writes,
Since its inception, College Broadcasters, Inc. (CBI) has sought to foster, support and expand student-run broadcasting operations on campuses across the country. That is why CBI College Broadcasters, Inc. stands with the students and alumni of WRAS-FM involved in the recent announcement of an agreement between Georgia State University and Georgia Public Broadcasting. This agreement allows Georgia Public Broadcasting, not students, to control the programming of WRAS 88.5 from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Students at the station are, understandably, opposed to this agreement, as well as the secrecy in which it was developed.
CBI’s commitment is to student broadcasting. While partnerships with professional broadcasters can provide some benefits to students, nothing can replicate the experiential education offered to students who control their own student media outlets. Therefore, we cannot support any deal or this agreement that takes student broadcasting out of student hands. We cannot support a deal or arrangement affecting student broadcasting that is made without student input or discussion.
Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center submitted a letter to GSU President Mark Becker, which may be found on the Student Press Law Center site here. The Georgia State Signal student newspaper’s editorial on the matter may be read here.
CBI urges our member stations to read both student and non-student media coverage of this matter and show their support for a student-run WRAS. For more information, visit savewras.com.
Protests against Georgia State’s deal with Georgia Public Broadcasting are ongoing. WRAS supporters held a benefit, met with Georgia State University President Becker last week, held a press conference, and are reminding people that it’sstill possible for WRAS to continue as a student-run FM station during daytime hours. Fray Devore also created a poster (the graphic for this article) outlining recent milestones in the fight.
WRAS is also battling it out in the college radio listening tournament Soundtap Madness. Having made it to round 5, WRAS is now in competition against WAYN Radio (Wayne State University). The winner will compete against either KTRU (Rice University) or KZSC (University of California, Santa Cruz) in the final round May 22-23.