IUPUI revives student radio station, debuts online
Jenna Woehlke, an IUPUI freshman journalism major, sat in class last fall when her professor began talking about JagRadio, the university’s much maligned effort at college radio. “I had heard of it before,” Woehlke says. “I was interested in getting it started back up, because I wanted to do something new.”
The history of JagRadio is tumultuous. Student government presidential candidate Scott Plew planted the seeds in 2003, but the station wouldn’t finally start broadcasting until 2005 — albeit, temporarily. Ben Racher and Jennifer Delaney led a staff comprised of fellow students with no faculty to oversee them. The university grew concerned as to who would replace them when they graduated, and the school of journalism volunteered to sponsor JagRadio. However, many students lost interest during the transition and the station fizzled out. For two years, JagRadio existed in name only.
Last November, Woehlke and fellow student Lindy Dobbins approached the journalism department about getting the station going again. A deal was reached: If Woehlke could generate interest in a class, the department would give JagRadio a second chance.
A small group of six students was enough to get the green light for the project and, last December, Mike Menke, one of the original JagRadio staff, received a call asking if he would teach a radio programming class. He agreed. Woehlke’s efforts were successful, and when the spring 2007 semester began, JagRadio was back.
Menke set up the class to introduce students to Web-based radio programming and to teach them how to create content. Assignments include producing a Grammy preview show and conducting an in-studio interview. JagRadio is currently streaming music while the students learn the craft of radio production, but this summer the station will begin airing its own shows.
“A lot of online stations don’t have actual radio programs like we will have,” Woehlke says. Along with a diverse range of music, listeners can expect sport shows, educational content and various other types of programming.
“Anyone in Indianapolis who has an idea for a show can submit a demo for review,” Menke says. “If you have a student producer, you don’t have to be affiliated with IUPUI to do a show. I think it’s important the community at large get involved and not just students.”