By Victoria Lawson | Echo
Folksy ballads, on-the-fly comedy pieces and energetic pop remixes are among the myriad of unique genres and ideas that find a home on WTUR, Taylor University's student-led online radio station.
Senior Jeanine Aupperle, WTUR's station manager, has been impressed by the growth of the station since her freshman year. This semester, there are anywhere from 15 to 20 radio shows hosted by Taylor students, many of which have multiple hosts. She has noticed the program has grown from being primarily run by communications students working for media involvement credits to students from all different grades and majors.
"I definitely think (WTUR) is important; I think it's a unique way to bring the community together," said Aupperle. "It adds a whole other way for people to get involved and hear what's going on on campus."
WTUR will soon be busy building relationships with record labels to be able to distribute music for free and do more prize giveaways. Aupperle also foresees several positions opening up for WTUR staff next year. Whether students choose to work on WTUR staff, tune in to listen, or host a show of their own, Aupperle encourages involvement.
Freshman Janel Reichert, one of the three hosts of the variety theme show "Pajams," believes there are several practical benefits to hosting a radio show.
"As a communications major, I'm pretty passionate about the radio program," Reichert said. "I think that it really helps students get the opportunity to get their voice heard. Having a radio show is really easy - you sign up and within a week you could be on the air. It's really do-it-yourself and you get to learn the ropes of what it's like to have a real radio show. I think you not only get to work on your speaking and communicating skills, but you also get a resume builder and a feel for what it's like in the professional industry."
Advertising for the show has also given Reichert some basic marketing skills she thinks will be beneficial as she pursues future leadership positions. She designed the "Pajams" posters herself and is proud of what the process has taught her.
Reichert's co-host, freshman Samantha Rios, also sees WTUR as a way to reach out to people back home. They
have been able to connect with their family and friends through their interactive segments, and they love the feedback they receive.
"My friends would always tune in and they'd be super active and text me to say, 'Wow, that was awesome!'" Rios said. "It's really nice to know that they're listening."
Reichert and Rios recently added freshman Parker Rosario to the show as a third host, and want to encourage more freshman to see WTUR's radio opportunity as a way to get involved, feel connected and make new friends.
Sophomores Emma Horne and Tiffany Rogers co-host the themed music channel "Extra! Extra!" and Horne agrees WTUR provides valuable opportunities.
"Having a radio show is really fun, but even in listening to them you get to hear about stuff you've never heard of," Horne said. "With us, we're hoping that people are finding new music that they would maybe enjoy listening to. (Radio shows) broaden what you're aware of."
In addition to WTUR creating an environment that allows for the sharing of ideas, Horne appreciates the personal creative process that goes into preparing a show.
Horne thinks the technical aspect has been interesting to learn and has seen growth in both her own skill set and her bond with Rogers.
"I would encourage everyone to get a radio show," Horne said. "They help you get to know new people and build relationships with people outside your dorm or major."
"Pajams" airs every Monday at 10 p.m., and "Extra! Extra!" airs every Wednesday at 7 p.m. If you are interested in starting your own show or would like more information, go to the WTUR website at http://wtur.taylormediacomm.com.