KSKQ is your community radio station in the Rogue Valley, and beyond.
When broadcast radio was finally switched on around 1910, it was considered a miracle of technology because radio was able to communicate directly to humans not only living in urban environments, but could reach people in rural settings where contact with other humans was infrequent. Previous means of communication were by wired telegraph, or by postal service carrying mail and news periodicals to isolated homesteads, ranches and farms. Broadcast radio offered the potential to provide a source to communicate current and immediate information to a wide listener audience.
But for the most part, broadcast radio became a medium to entertain and delight the world. Out of the entertainment industry, huge corporations evolved that wielded tremendous power with the ability to reach out and influence a large population of people. Corporations used the medium to influence trends and consumer patterns, in addition, the political opinions of a fast growing industrial nation.
Because of the power to influence opinions on the airwaves, Congress became interested in offering a ‘public’ venue for radio that was intended to educate and inform the public in response to the consumer powerhouse that was created by commercial radio. In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Public Radio Act that created the government entity labeled the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The CPB controls and allots your tax dollars through congress to help support National Public Radio (NPR). Immediately after signing the bill, 90 stations throughout the nation came alive as National Public Radio was born to offer programming that featured a schedule of educational and public interest on the airwaves, without commercial advertising being the main source of income. I like to muse that the signing of the Public Radio Act was when ‘Kermit the Frog’, Miss Piggy’ and ‘Big Bird’ were born...
By implementing the Public Radio Act, the legislation also permitted schools, small communities, tribal lands, and frankly, any non-profit educational entity to create and start a radio station to meet the needs of the local community. This gave everyday citizens an opportunity to reach out to their local neighbors to communicate to the listener whatever was pertinent to the programmer and to the listener. This type of radio station is and has been referred to as ‘Community Radio’.
Why is community radio important
Community radio is programmed and operated by local friends and neighbors and not programmed by mega- corporations based in metropolises such as New York and Los Angeles. In the case of KSKQ, for instance, the license to broadcast is owned by the Multicultural Association of Southern Oregon, a social justice organization dedicated to offering a venue for the community to reach out over the radio airwaves. The MCASO is a local non-profit entity with the intent to bring the concept of inclusion and multiculturalism to the Rogue Valley. In addition, to offer a programming schedule that is unique within it’s broadcast range. Thanks to the Public Radio Act of 1967, local citizens now have the opportunity to exercise their right to access the airwaves and to embrace their right to free speech.
The downside of being Community Radio is the lack of funds available through a corporate entity and advertising, or from the Government agency such as CPB, which in large part, supports NPR. Community Radio depends upon YOU, the listener, for it’s support. In essence, community radio depends on support from those who feel the value of subscribing to a station that features music and opinions that may not be in the mainstream. Those supporters who feel the need to uphold a fundamental right of free speech and access established by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Lack of funding is one of the most important reasons for supporting KSKQ Community Radio in this up-coming Fall Pledge drive. KSKQ needs community support to keep the best in alternative music, news and information on the radio dial. If you value the right to community outreach through this priceless asset in the Rogue Valley, I urge you to give generously during the Fall Pledge drive.
Our Fall Pledge Drive will commence around the second week of October. Or, you can pledge now on our website.