WMUC: College Radio Fights the Good Fight
In this digital age, it is easy to take the simplistic view that terrestrial radio is an antiquated vestige of our recent past. A small upside to the recent struggles of college radio is these stations are doing some soul-searching and articulating, what, those involved in and enjoy college radio, have taken for granted – that college and community radio is still relevant and absolutely worth defending despite, (and maybe because of) the myriad digital alternatives flooding the media landscape.
Like several others, fellow college radio station WMUC are finding themselves in a position of having to assert their worth to their student body and community in this era of tightening educational budgets. In contrast to WRVU‘s case, in WMUC‘s situation, budgetary concerns seem to be the primary issue.
[You might recall: In the VSC proposed WRVU license sale announcement, the VSC has indicated that their decision is not motivated by financial issues of running WRVU and that is a good thing too, since WRVU operating costs take up a small percentage of the very hefty $900k annual VSC operating budget. Can any organization with that much bloat, help but not salivate at the opportunity to poach WRVU, VSC’s founding and largest member, for a quick buck? Time will tell.]
This recent article in the Washington City Paper about the still developing story about WMUC does shed some interesting insight on the return to value of regionalism that college radio uniquely provides and why it is worth preserving.
Excerpt from "Why College Radio is Worth Saving" by Lindsey Zoladz
in Washington City Paper:
In the years since, though, and in light of WMUC’s recent troubles,
I’ve come to believe that there’s a need for college radio now more
Ironically, college radio’s best strategy for remaining vital in the
digital age might be to look backward, and to focus once again
on its terrestrial stations. Not all student-run stations can
compete in a landscape flooded with an infinite pool of podcasts
and blogs, but maybe this will make them once again embrace
that unfortunate casualty of the Internet age: regionalism. College
stations’ limited reach has always forced them to spotlight what’s
going on in their own communities. Beyond just music programming,
this is also true of college talk and sports programming, also an
important part of WMUC’s lineup.
See Washington City Paper article by Lindsey Zoladz for Complete article..
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