Campus radio

This article on the demise of a university campus broadcast radio station in Waterloo, Ontario got me thinking about the state of campus radio in general and in Alberta in particular.

University or college stations have a certain freedom that commercial radio stations don’ t have and may never have. The station mentioned in the article is closing after students voted against continuing to pay a fee to subsidize the station. Critics say they lost relevance with their audience. Some of their critics have suggested that they should move to the web and iTunes. There was speculation that after the closure of the station a new entity will open up and deliver content via the web. That method may be more relevent in delivery but content still needs to be of value to the audience to make the station a success.

Here in Alberta there are only three campus radio stations according to Wikipedia

Alberta
CJSW-FM     0090.9 FM     Calgary     University of Calgary
CJSR-FM     0088.5 FM     Edmonton     University of Alberta
CKXU-FM     0088.3 FM     Lethbridge     University of Lethbridge

SAIT also has a station not listed in this entry. NAIT  – CHNR 92.3fm and Augustana College – CLCR 101.5fm also have closed circuit stations

With all of the colleges in Alberta, why don’t we have more campus radio station? The current technology of the web supports easy access to producers and listeners. Some diehard volunteers, legal advice re: copyright etc., some funding for Socan fees (maybe), some gear and away you go.

“Q: We’re a religious, educational, charitable or fraternal organization or institution. Do we need a SOCAN licence for the music we perform in public?
A: Under the Copyright Act, there are certain exemptions, but specific conditions must be met in order to qualify for the exemption. The exemptions are:
* Religious – Music as part of worship or service
*
Educational – Forms part of the curriculum
* Charitable –
o The organization is a charitable organization
o The performance at the event is done by the charitable organization itself (as opposed to independent contractor performers)
o The performance of music directly furthers a charitable object. – from SOCAN’s site

While visiting one of our local colleges last week I saw that the students association still publish their news via paper. To their credit they also publish the “paper” online. Maybe they would sponsor a campus radio station?

Dean

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