“Are You Out There?” – Getting Plugged Into Gainesville Radio

by joe courter

“Are you out there?” is the title line from a delightful Dar Williams song that is an homage to radio listening and to the comfort and stimulation it can bring. I am one of those radio junkies and have been all my life. Unfortunately, I think the common culture and experience of the DJ-listener relationship is going away, with the rise of downloaded music, podcasts, Pandora, satellite radio and all the other new options available to break the silence and stimulate our ears and minds.

But Internet radio has very localized, human options as well. We in Gainesville have two distinct Internet stations to choose from – one purely online at www.growradio.org, and the other limited over the air to low power FM that is now also streaming on line at www.wgot.org, as well as broadcasting at 94.7 from an antenna in NW Gainesville and best heard in your car.

Grow Radio is very happy to be Internet only, while WGOT aspires to go from a part-time low power station to a full-time station, and will start working toward that goal this Spring. Both have their diverse schedules available online, and both play a wide variety of music and non-music programming.

Most of us spend an increasing amount of time in front of our computers. Most computers, if you have a decent Internet connection, can use a player while allowing all other options to be going on (research, surfing, email, etc.). I try to do this, but as an NPR junkie, I don’t as much as I should. But it is there, and it is local, informal and non-commercial. You have the option to choose your own programming; try and take the reins more often.

That said, the Civic Media Center will show “Broadcast Blues” for its Monday documentary on Oct. 15 at 7p.m. This spunky little documentary talks about the FCC, the Fairness Doctrine’s elimination, and the rise of corporate radio and its impact on local news and information. Often a spirited discussion will happen after the film, so come be part of it.


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