By Lea Mercado
Web Content Assistant Manager
Before joining college radio, if you would have asked me what it was, I would tell you that a few students would probably rent a booth to play D.J. I hadn’t understood yet that college radio predominately comprises future industry professionals who strive to produce quality content for their audience.
Over the years, radio listeners have slowly declined as the resurgence of podcasts and online digital audio has taken the lead with consumers. Despite this decline, radio stations work tirelessly to provide quality entertainment, education and community outreach. Especially college radio stations.
As College Radio Day kicks off on October 1, now is the time to discuss college radio’s social and community impact on student listeners and the surrounding local community through the lens of KTSW.
While most radio stations all hold a sense of communal value due to the geographical nature of radio platforms, college radio stations are inherently invested in the surrounding community, from issues varying from campus life to city-wide politics and local events.
The foundation of college radio has always been to serve as a platform dedicated to allowing students to have a voice. KTSW has prided itself in sharing student stories, such as resident assistants struggling with COVID-19, and providing resources for San Marcos residents affected by the February snowstorm.
College radio is incredibly unique because it is ever-evolving as each new class of students comes in to run the station and further their impact on the air. As new voices take to the radio, so do new departments and initiatives to tailor the listener’s experience further and spread news and education, as well as consistently promoting new music.
As new local musicians rise to the scene, KTSW’s writers and D.J.s have always been close behind promoting them and aiding their growth to the San Marcos area and beyond. While music is essential to most college radio stations, KTSW also works closely with small businesses and organizations to share their stories and raise awareness of their services through initiatives like KTSW Loves.
While student media is typically perceived as a learning experiment, in reality, students seize student media as an opportunity to create a platform in which they can reflect what young adults and students want in a radio station.
Through podcasts, articles, reviews, radio segments, and more to come, the students and staff behind college radio aren’t just hoping to entertain listeners; the goal is to create something with pride and intention to promote a positive social impact for our audience and neighbors.
Featured Image by KTSW Multimedia Staff