This week’s edition of Radio World shines a light on college radio, featuring a commentary written by Radio Survivor’s own Jennifer Waits. She writes about vital cultural, community and learning role that college stations play:
“Although the college stations that I’ve encountered have a variety of guises, they all serve an important purpose for their students, schools and communities. For many students, college radio provides lasting memories and is a highlight of the college experience. For some, it’s a stepping-stone to a career in music or radio. And for others, it’s the beginning of a life-long love affair with noncommercial radio.”
RW editor Paul McLane reflects on his own college radio experience at the University of Delaware’s WXDR:
“WXDR offered me my first chance to talk into a microphone when someone actually was listening; to learn how to operate broadcast equipment; to report a news story in an environment where making an error would bring actual consequences; to interview government and business people; to manage my peers in a newsroom.”
McLane goes on to criticize those in the industry who would look down on college radio:
Maybe the mindset came about because radio long had more talent than it could handle knocking on its doors, trying to get in. However, we’re not the cool game in town anymore, or not the only one…. A closer relationship between college stations and the rest of our industry would offer benefits in both directions.
I’m glad to see such a prominent journal of the radio industry give college radio its due. And I agree with McLane that now is a time that many college stations could use support and guidance from its alumni working in the radio industry, as well as assistance from others in the radio industry. I also agree that this is in the best interest of the radio industry, which could use an influx of young, energetic innovators.