By Ian Aitken
On October 11th, WTJU 91.1 FM joined some 350 other college radio stations across the country taking part in the second annual College Radio Day. Created in 2010 by Rob Quicke and Peter Kreten, the day serves as a time to celebrate the many contributions college radio has made toward music.
During the week, WTJU aired student and community testimonials about the importance of college radio. As a registered member of College Radio Day, WTJU also aired a special documentary discussing the past, present, and future of college radio.
In an age of emerging technology, where in a single cell phone we can access thousands of songs, college radio continues to expose audiences to new and exciting music. Alumni often reminisce about the 1980’s, calling it a golden age of college radio when bands like Pavement and Yo La Tengo (both of whom had close connections to WTJU) were bursting onto the scene in college towns across America.
As we move through this period of economic instability, many university administrators have decided to drop college radio altogether. However, all is not lost, a benefit of living in an increasingly digital world is that radio stations can transition from an FM dial into an online streaming format. Some colleges and universities have switched from traditional radio into strictly online streaming radio broadcasts. Internet radio at times lacks the bells and whistles of traditional stations but students are still able to explore behind the scenes production and on air talents, all be it through a different medium. It is hard to pinpoint how many listeners tune in through internet radio, but given its popularity, I’d say internet radio is here to stay.
Music has always been a unifying catalyst. Where do students find new music? Where do musicians usually hear their music on the radio? College radio is where those two interests come together.
Stay tuned for College Radio Day 2012: next October 2nd.