Campus radio gives students the opportunity to strengthen their own communication skills and have a boost of confidence overall.
As of 2012, Canada has added 11 new FM radio stations, bringing the total up to 546 stations across the country. For AM stations, the number declined in 2012 from 134 to 129. In Manitoba, there are four campus radio stations at the University of Brandon, University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba and Red River College.
Jared McKetiak, station manager at CJUM-FM 101.5, the University of Manitoba radio station, says that the basic idea of radio has changed since its invention.
“It’s (the radio) got the ability to unite and share a message with a large group of people in a very short period of time. I feel like that we have an extremely important role to play in the day and age that we live in,” McKetiak says.
Victoria King, program director at CKUW 95.5 FM, the University of Winnipeg station, says radio isn’t dying at all. It’s still an important method of communication all over the world.
“As campus and community radio is concerned, it maintains a mandate to be an alternative spot on the dial for artists, genres, and topics not covered in depth in the mainstream. Campus and community radio helps connect our community with local grassroots initiatives and events in a personal and in-depth way,” King says.
McKetiak says people have been saying that the idea of traditional radio is dying for decades, but he doesn’t think that's true. McKetiak feels that people listen to the radio for the nostalgia factor.
“They (listeners) grew up listening to the radio in their homes and their cars, and it’s a format that has always been there for them. For other listeners, they appreciate radio because it’s the love of the format has been passed on to them - maybe by a friend or relative,” McKetiak says.
“I think the very concept of radio is romantic, the idea that the signal can be beamed out and can reach so many people in a very easy fashion - plus it’s free!”
King says university radio offers students and faculty members opportunities to share content with an academic focus.
“We exist as a resource on campus for students and community members to learn experientially. Students can come to CKUW and complete coursework - create a radio show, perform interviews or explore experimental audio,” King says.
King says speaking on radio is empowering, especially when you get to hear your voice and the voices of community, which can be reaffirming and boost confidence.
“Radio helps people practise their public speaking and presentation skills, make friends and connect with like-minded folks,” King says.
Some examples of shows on CKUW are: Morning Breath, a two-hour long pop/rock show held Mondays at 6 a.m.; Destination Moon, which is a roots-focused show on at 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday; WINGS, a spoken-word show that airs Sundays at 6:30 p.m.; and C.A.R.P., a show that has many different themes for the people who like variety.
Check out the full broadcast schedules at ckuw.ca/schedule or umfm.com/programming/programgrid/, or tune in at 95.9 FM and 101.5 FM.