Posted by: Deb Henry | 03/11/2010

KRCL radio and 7 year olds = A bright future

I am the Volunteer Coordinator for a community radio station in Salt Lake City, KRCL.  (“Listener Community Radio” backwards for you trivia lovers.)

I tripped over this wonderful station when I first moved to Utah by setting my radio tuner on “scan.”  Every time it stopped on 90.9 FM, I left it on.  KRCL hosted informative community programs like RadioActive and Democracy Now, sponsored concerts I actually wanted to go to, and was definitely not something I had expected to find in a state like Utah that has such a conservative reputation.

Fast-forward to the Summer of 2008.  It was 1 am on Friday morning and I had just come home from a night out with friends. I turned on KRCL and there was a great song on the radio…then another…then another…and then it was 4am. I wrote an obsessive fan letter to LeGrand (the DJ that night) thanking him for blowing my mind.  Shortly afterward the station contacted me and I recorded a version of this story to play during Radiothon.   Next, I was invited to represent KRCL at local concerts and finally embraced KRCL as a very important part of my love-hate relationship with Utah.

KRCL is currently in the middle of our Spring 2010 Radiothon.  Last night we got a phone call from a father and son. Bill’s son had pushed his dad to call and support Emily and I as we begged listeners to call and support the station. The phones were silent and we were desperate.  I know there were people were listening.  Imagine being ignored by thousands of people when you’re asking for help.

We were asking a lot of people to call in with a little bit of money so that the station could stay on the air. KRCL has a value, and we just needed to convey this to listeners so they would call in and contribute their portion of that value. It’s not enough to have volunteers, those volunteers need the support of the community.  KRCL costs $125 an hour just stay on the air but few called in to recognize what value they receive on a daily basis.

I wonder how often other generations overlook something like KRCL to the detriment of a 7-year old.

“The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change. Communication does not depend on syntax, or eloquence, or rhetoric, or articulation but on the emotional context in which the message is being heard. People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them. Even the choices words lose their power when they are used to overpower. Attitudes are the real figures of speech.” – Edwin H. Friedman

Maybe you can help? Is there something we should be doing differently?** Why don’t you contribute, or if you do, why do you contribute?

**Please do not focus on the change in format that took place almost two years ago. KRCL needed to change formats to attract more listeners in order to continue receiving grants.  KRCL would not exist today if it had stayed as it was, so the point is moot.  Embrace the fact that KRCL still exists and help us move forward. The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.


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