Grassroots Radio Conference 2017
Shelagh Connor Shapiro, WBTV-LP DJ
Host, “Write the Book” Radio Show
Earlier this month, the Media Factory made it possible for me to attend the Grassroots Radio Conference in Albany, New York. Now that WBTV-LP is broadcasting, it was particularly exciting to be immersed in the culture of community radio and learn from people at all different levels of station development. Some120-150 people attended, representing community and LP stations from around the country. I learned a great deal about the operations, organizations, and visions of many grassroots radio businesses, took a lot of notes, and brought back some ideas for WBTV-LP to consider as we become more established on the Burlington radio airwaves. These are the presentations and workshops I attended:
- 10 strategies to market your radio station, led by Marketing Professional Lisbeth Calandrino.
- Lessons from Canada–disrupting settler colonialism and oppression in the media, a Skype presentation led by Laith Marouf (in Canada) and Gretchen King (in attendance at the conference), from CKUT in Montreal.
- Fundraising: grant writing, pledge drives, underwriting, led by Clark Grant (KBMF-LP) / Butte America Foundation.
- Community radio roundtable (a survey of the community radio landscape and a conversation about developing a support network): Sharon Scott (WXOX); Vanessa Graber (WPPM); Mike Yates (WAYO); Lauree McArdle (WERA); Cathryn Platine (WLPP); LaGanzie Kale (KLEK)
- Writing and reading news script: “Groundwire,” led by Gretchen King and Candace Mooers (CKUT)
- Station management: the story of KBMF In Butte, Montana, led by Clark Grant (KBMF-LP)
- Receiving and distributing community radio content with Pacifica network and other national platforms, led by Ursula Ruedenberg and Rebekka Reuter (KHOI)
Since returning to Vermont, I’ve joined the Grassroots Radio Conference listserv, and plan to keep an eye on correspondence coming out of that group. I’ll be going over my notes at the December WBTV-LP RAC Meeting, which is open to the public. If anyone is interested to learn more, please come to that meeting on December 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Media Factor at 208 Flynn Ave.