We live at a time when we have advanced tools to communicate and reach out to each other. We live in a society with machines and computers that can enhance our lives beyond anything I’ve witnessed over the last 50 years. We can recall great moments in history, learn from previous cultural and political failures and shed light on world-wide problems in health, education, finance, energy resources, housing, and transportation. Instead of seeing quantum leaps in a functional, educated, cooperative humanity, we live in isolation.
Unlike times past where neighbors knew each other on a first name basis, we hide behind 4 walls, TV and smart phones with occasional expression in truncated or incomplete sentences on Twitter or Facebook.
We choose carefully to read and listen only to those sources which support or affirm our limited understanding. We decry the unequal distribution of resources, seeking some new governance program to eliminate our inequities rather than searching our empty soul values and iniquities.
Then we seek to solve these perplexing life challenges, not through heterogeneous education but through homogeneous text in the classroom and mantra through common testing procedure.
We rally support against specific religions and centuries of collective cultural thought, leveling accusation about their strict obedience, while we use our governing bodies and social media to limit their membership, right to free speech and beliefs. All the while we sing ‘Hail to the Chief’.
We became accustomed to looking forward to the future with great aspirations, innovation & invention. Somewhere along the way we have lost our way. We lost track of this bright future. Perhaps I might suggest how this happens and it’s not due to technology, it’s how we manage the tools at our disposal.
I want to share with you another example of how we polarize our opinion around sources that speak only to our way of thinking. Furthermore, when we have such magnificent tools at our disposal, we seem to take the road of least resistance and consolidate, concentrate and create these silos of sameness, all the while telling ourselves, “we need to think outside of the box”. Well we created the box and we’re living in it and telling others they’re not welcome unless they follow our ‘club rules’.
WRAS (“Album 88”) is a college radio station in Atlanta operating on a licensed frequency of 88.5MHz FM. It has been in operation since January 18, 1971. It is owned by Georgia State University and its daily on-air staff are all GSU students. The staffing exceptions are of those who broadcast the University’s athletic events for the station (the Georgia State radio network). Beginning on June 2, 2014, Georgia Public Broadcasting will be taking over the WRAS-FM/88.5 FM signal from 5 a.m.. to 7 p.m. daily with public radio talk offerings.
So what’s the big deal about Georgia Public Broadcasting taking over a university radio station?
Teya Ryan, the GPB CEO & President states the Atlanta public has been clamoring for more FM talk programs such as the national syndicated programs, “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered”. She goes on to say, “The potential for career endeavors and learning are far great(er) for the students than there are today.” This convoluted logic becomes even more incredulous when you read they plan on enhancing the student broadcast opportunities in the 98 hour broadcast week, permitting only a 30 minute music radio program run by students.
So let me understand this explanation in my own words; the GPB plan is to take over the most powerful legally licensed public broadcast station in Atlanta, known through out the community as the 100,000 watt student voice of Georgia State University. A radio station which gives students the opportunity to learn broadcasting by working in it voluntarily every day and substituting national radio talk show programs for the only significant & independent source for new music and underground classics. A station that gave rise to female vocalists, routinely broadcasting blues, jazz, punk, electronica, space rock, lounge, bluebeat, country, hip-hop, ska, Nippon, heavy-metal, instrumental, soul, disco, chillwave and community affairs shows. All of this to be replaced by the bane of AM radio and more over FM, “Talk-Radio”?
Where’s the student opportunity, creativity, imagination, freedom of expression, and thinking outside of the box? Instead we become another cog in the market segment of a Public Corporate Entity. Another potential fund raising market segment in the continuing onslaught of “political talk & opinion, disguised as news”. This is just more of the same.
The opportunity for freedom to express, recreation, and imagine ideas outside of the constant polarizing public persuasion campaigns are squelched. It’s the same tactic the big retail chain stores implemented decades ago. Compete for market share through acquisition of competitors. Treat the public airwaves as another opportunity to put across your message and leave out anything that doesn’t support the mantra.
We’ve seen the results of that plan as implemented through curriculum, now we see it’s the next step in the extracurricular. GPB will pay GSU $150,000 for an initial two-year deal.
Here are the ironic and politically correct words chosen for the press release by Dr. Mark P. Becker, President of Georgia State.
“This new partnership is a proverbial win-win and opens the door for future collaboration.” “Our students will have new and exciting opportunities in the changing media landscape, and this partnership allows both GPB and Georgia State to better serve the metro Atlanta region as well as the state.”
Express your opinion and help save WRAS the Georgia student run radio serving all of Atlanta and streaming on the Internet. Click here – #SAVEWRAS