You definitely have Spotify, SoundCloud, or iTunes on your phone but it’s incomparable to listening to the radio station of your college. Besides broadcasting the unknown indie bands that wake up famous the next day, these radios share the news of the college communities, highlight the latest events on campus, and keep all the students on the same wavelength. Together with EssayShark, we prepared a list of the best and most popular college radio stations. It is based on the surveys and feedback from the students from nearly 400 universities.
History of College Radio
The format of student broadcasting was born in the United States of America, where university radios have been actively operating since the 1920s. Even then, American universities, in particular, the University of Iowa, the University of South Dakota, the State College of Washington, had their own radio stations. There are different versions of where and in what year the first student radio appeared. Most likely, the first was WRUC, New York Union College Radio, which had been fully operational since 1920. It is noted that in the Union College, the radio club appeared in 1915. But at that time, its creation had a more scientific interest.
It is known, in particular, that the club conducted some research and experiments, one of the results of which was the development of a convenient room antenna, the creation of which attracted the attention of the local press. However, in November 1916, the station joined the Association of American Radio as a branch of the college. In October 1920, the radio crew even managed to make a live broadcast, which at that time seemed incredible and aroused new interest in the local press. They were the first in the history of American radio, who broadcast the concert live.
For decades, Union College Radio has been covering all the important events not only in university life but also in the country as a whole. Moreover, such media serve as a learning ground for students who are pursuing a career in journalism or who want to try their hand at journalism while pursuing a different profession. In the US, these projects often work on the principle of traditional media, informing the university, campus, or even the surrounding area about the latest events. In addition, a characteristic feature of such media is the specificity of the audience, which turns out to be uneven. Students, faculty, applicants, and their parents listen to such media, and sometimes, if the broadcasting radius and content go beyond the limits of a separate student community, so do the residents of the nearest cities. In other words, there is no usual division by interest factor, age, social status for such media.
In America, students' public organizations actively cooperate with university radio, and aspiring music bands ask them to broadcast their songs. Today, some world-famous brands, such as R.E.M. and Nirvana, have gained first popularity due to student stations. Nowadays, the majority of university stations in America have abandoned the traditional methods and formats of radio broadcasting — they are experimenting. American student stations have become synonymous with creativity, exploration, and creative freedom.
Five Best College Radio Stations
- WERS (88.9 FM) at Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts — It has been voted as the best college radio in the USA since Princeton had started to review colleges. It airs over 20 various musical genres and types of news. Besides, it offers the greatest number of live performances.
- WSBU (88.3 FM) at St. Bonaventure University, New York — This college radio station is run by 16 student-board members and over two hundred volunteers. All these people work to bring their audience not only the best songs of hip-hop, classical and alternative rock but also the latest news in the life of the university, sports, and upcoming events.
- Bulls Radio (89.7 HD3 Tampa) at the University of South Florida, Tampa — This student radio station offers three live streams broadcasting round the clock. They air more than a dozen of music genres, various sports shows and highlight the main events.
- Blaze Radio (KASC 1330 AM) at Arizona State University, Phoenix — Blaze Radio covers news, sports, and the latest happenings, and broadcasts both local and international music.
- WRHU-FM (88.7 FM) at Hofstra, Hempstead — This award-winning station does not only broadcast a diversity of various music shows and genres but also offers great studying opportunities for those pursuing their careers in the media field.