Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, WMBR

With studios located deep in the bowels of MIT's Walker Memorial Buildingindependent college / community radio station WMBR exemplifies the "third model" of how a radio station can be structured*. Today WMBR celebrates its fifty-first anniversary. In the words of Eli Polonsky, one of the producer/hosts of "60's-70's Lost and Found",
‎51 years ago today, students at MIT completed an electronics project, threw the switch, and put WTBS 88.1 FM, the MIT college and community radio station, on the air with ten watts! Still student-run and maintained and programmed by an all-volunteer student and community staff, WMBR now serves greater Boston and northeastern Massachusetts on the air with 720 watts, and the world online at http://www.wmbr.org/, with unique original non-commercial programming not heard elsewhere. Happy 51'st to WMBR!~Eli Polonsky

From its own "about" page,
WMBR is a federally licensed FM radio station, operating at 88.1 MHz from the campus of MIT. Our signal can be heard in most of eastern Massachusetts at 88.1 FM, 365 days a year, 20-24 hours per day. WMBR is a noncommercial, all volunteer radio station. None of its members are paid for its efforts. The majority of WMBR's funding comes from listener donations with additional support from MIT.WMBR's unique and innovative programming ranges from hip-hop to classical, punk rock to jazz, blues to celtic fiddle tunes. We offer the opportunity for MIT students and community members to learn about music, radio engineering, audio production techniques, electrical engineering, acoustics, news reporting and how to manage a small business.The offices and studios of WMBR are located in the basement of the Walker Memorial Building at 142 Memorial Drive (next to the Tennis Courts at the intersection of Ames St. and Memorial Dr.).Our program guide is available online, and on the front door of our studios (MIT Room 50-030). It changes within the first few weeks of each MIT semester (Fall, Spring, Summer).

*Community and independent college are types of radio service that offer a third model of radio broadcasting beyond commercial and public service. Community and independent college stations serve geographic communities and communities of interest. They broadcast content that is popular to a local/specific audience but which may often be overlooked by commercial/mass-media and so-called "public" broadcasters.

Community and independent college radio stations are operated, owned, and driven by the communities they serve. Community radio is not-for profit and provides a mechanism for facilitating individuals, groups, and communities to tell their own diverse stories, to share experiences, and in a media rich world to become active creators and contributors of media.

In many parts of the world, community radio acts as a vehicle for the community and voluntary sector, civil society, agencies, NGOs & citizens to work in partnership to further community development as well as broadcasting aims.

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