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Beyond campus borders: Canadian campus radio and community representation on the FM dial

Autor: Brian Fauteux
Revista: Radio Journal:International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media, Volume 11, Number 2
Link: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/intellect/rj/2013/00000011/00000002/art00004

At a time when a number of prominent American college stations have moved online, the processes by which Canadian campus stations acquired FM licences exemplifies what can potentially be lost when stations move off the dial, as may occur if the Internet is assumed to be the most viable means of distributing alternative and community radio.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) first licensed campus radio in 1975. The licensing of community and campus stations by the CRTC represented not only the recognition of community media initiatives by the Canadian government but also the expansion of radio broadcasting on Canadian university and college campuses.

This article addresses on-campus radio broadcasting in the years leading up to the FM licensing of three campus radio stations in Canada. Before stations crafted mandates catered to their communities that ensured the broadcasting of culturally and musically diverse content, many stations existed as insular radio clubs or closed-circuit stations that circulated through various university buildings.

The transition from broadcasting within campus borders to FM broadcasting, as exemplified by CHMA, CKUW and CiTR, points to concerted efforts by groups and individuals who strove to expand the boundaries of campus radio. FM licences were acquired through administrative work and concerted campaigns by campus radio practitioners, who sought to reflect and represent local musical and cultural activity and increase its prominence in the wider community.