students and WYSO
in public radio
For the first time in five years, Antioch students this semester took
Practicum in Public Radio, a class designed to familiarize
newcomers to the world of public radio broadcasting.
This month, the class culminated in the production of each students
final project, which was to be a five to 15 minute documentary designed
for a specific show on WYSO or other public radio stations.
The students programs ranged from an anti-war piece containing opinions
and excerpts of Antioch students juxtaposed with excerpts of President
George W. Bush, to a documentary on police brutality, to a piece on adolescence
and growing up in America.
Midway through the term, Julia Reichert, an Antioch graduate and professor
of motion pictures at Wright State University, said, I want to make
this class a success in order to improve and continue rebuilding the relationship
between the college and WYSO.
Reichert taught over half of the classes during the term.
During the 1980s and 90s, many Antioch students who later went on
to work with media, film and radio went through WYSO first to gain hands-on
The class was canceled five years ago, and was offered during fall term.
Some students, however, were disappointed in the results. When talking
about whether the class helped bridge the gap between WYSO and the college,
Donovan Lyons, a communications major, said, Honestly, I dont
think the class helped at all. Theres a big difference between what
students want to do with radio and the standards of NPR.
I thought it would be interesting to look at another type of media,
said Alex Needham, a communications major who specializes in film and
video. There wasnt much about production, though. A lot of
it was background on financial stuff.
Many of the students expected that the rifts between Keep WYSO Local supporters
and station management, both of which participated in the teaching process,
would become a source of unneeded tension. In the end, it never
came into play, said Needham.
Teachers in the class over the term included Reichert, former Antioch
President Bob Devine, Antioch professor Anne Bohlen, alumnus Jim Klein,
WYSO Music Director Vick Mickunas, WYSO General Manager Steve Spencer
and former WYSO News Director Aileen LeBlanc.
The class included six upper-class students and 12 teachers, each bringing
a wide range of backgrounds, opinions and views about the history and
future of public radio broadcasting, collectively forming what many in
the class referred to as the Team.
The team approach is basically for balancing the load, Reichert
said of the overlapping schedules of the professors and teachers. Not
everyone can show up at once.
As for the classs future, Lyons said he hopes it continues. But
in the future, theyll know what theyre getting into,
he said. Forty-five-year-old white men have always been the target
audience for NPR affiliates. Antioch students know this and have never
wanted to cater to that audience.
There have been some successes throughout the term as well. One students
project, Mizuho Madanos, is already being considered for use on
WYSO. Her documentary was on a drug bust in Southern Ohio that resulted
in the shooting of an allegedly unarmed man.
In order for the piece to air, it must be reviewed by a group of advisors
including Antioch President Joan Straumanis, Spencer and Antioch University
Vice Chancellor Glenn Watts.