Sunday, January 17, 2010

Can You Hear Us Now? Didn't Think So.

As Assistant News Director for WRGW, The George Washington University’s campus radio station, I am proud to announce this week’s launch of our new website. While our priorities remain with our broadcasts, we can finally say, thanks to staff member Dan Keylin and his html know-how, that we have a website that matches these broadcasts in quality and appeal.

Simultaneously, I have been asked to guest-blog on GWBlogspot as part of this semester’s Internet and Politics class. I love blogging, having run my own blog for the past three and a half years, so this was the kind of assignment I could really enjoy.

In snooping around GWBlogspot, I’ve noticed a lot of similarities between this blog and the WRGW News blog. Both sites offer information about GW and DC happenings. Both sites promote GW as a university in which the student body is truly the school’s finest asset. Both sites offer interested students an opportunity to try their hand at blogging, which even 16 years after blogs came into being is still new to some people.

Unfortunately, another similarity between GWBlogspot and WRGW is that neither of our organizations have a radio signal.

Yes, since 1999, when then-President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg sold 540 am to National Public Radio, WRGW – When Radio Goes Wrong – has been operating without a radio signal. We can still be heard at and on campus cable channel 22, as well as in various places around campus such as the Marvin Center, but the fact remains that GW’s radio station doesn’t have a radio signal.

This must change. My department works hard to keep the GW community in-the-know about all the latest happenings. We were the first to report that White House Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel would be speaking at last year’s graduation. We were the first to tell you that documentarian Michael Moore would be visiting GW to promote his newest film, “Capitalism: A Love Story.” And we willingly stayed up all night last February to report live on the incoming results of the Student Association elections. Ours is a labor of love: we are journalists, we love what we do. But my staff works so hard to bring you the news: we have earned the benefit of being heard by a wider audience than simply whoever is walking through the Marvin Center.

Beyond the news department, WRGW maintains this integrity and pursuit of excellence. Our sports department has great commentary and covers every basketball game – men’s and women’s. Our music departments provide you with tunes from every genre under the sun, and last semester our Hip Hop department partook in Wale Week, a week of programming designed to promote Wale’s new album, “Attention Deficit.” Our programming department has brought bands such as “Oh the Story” and “Honor by August” to GW, and we co-sponsored the Ben Folds/Jason Mraz concert last year; we also host frequent student showcases which allow aspiring artists within the GW community to show off their talents. WRGW is proud to bring you the best in campus radio – named one of the Top 25 best college radio stations by MTV – and we deserve to be heard.

Next to what is going on in Haiti, my complaint may seem petty; when compared with what Martin Luther King, Jr., fought for – we celebrate his birthday tomorrow by giving back to our community – our problem may seem trivial. But I am too proud of WRGW and what we do to allow us to continue going unheard. GW deserves better than that.

Alex Laska
Assistant News Director

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With all the funding the school gets, the radio station should have a public signal. Keep fighting for it! Worthy cause.