Best Way to Get Your Voice Heard on the Radio

Bummed about the current state of radio? Think you've got a better record bag of tricks, or something more interesting to say? A bill authorizing hundreds of new low-power FM stations is moving through the Senate, and if you're a nonprofit or school in one of the (fairly rural) regions where a license may be granted, you have reason to rejoice. Otherwise, it's hard as hell to get involved with radio, whether commercial, public, or community. But Bellevue Community College's KBCS-FM (91.3) has a program that has accelerated the prospect of going on-air for the average person. The regularly offered Basic Broadcasting class costs $140 and gets you up to speed on FCC regulations and practices, how to use the equipment, and how to announce music smoothly. Afterward, you can apply for a volunteer air shift at the 24-hour station, which can be heard sans static throughout most of Seattle. Listeners with eclectic tastes (and fans of Democracy Now!) have been turning to the station in increasing numbers, especially on weekends when Hawaiian, Brazilian, soul, hip-hop, and electronic sounds rule. "The entire experience has been amazing," says City Soul's Jason Justice of his and partners AC and Atlee's decision to go back to school in 2005. "It has created a newfound love and pride for the medium of radio [for us], and I listen to the station way more now than I ever did."—Rachel Shimp

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