WGOT: Community radio in the COVID age

By Fred Sowder, WGOT Financial Coordinator

It’s certainly been a long year at your community radio station. Despite having a studio at the Civic Media Center, we’ve only been able to use it sparingly, limiting it to only a few broadcasters on a regular basis. 

Playing smart by sanitizing mic screens between each shift and practicing other safety measures have kept us almost 100 percent virus free. That said, our fundraising efforts have been thrown into uncertainty with this new world of remote operation and lack of live events. 

Much like the yearlong postponement of Fest 19 (our biggest annual source of income), our lucky 13th birthday bash at The Atlantic that would normally happen this month also had to be put on hold. 

Because of that, we could certainly use the help of listeners becoming sustaining members through our Patreon campaign (patreon.com/wgot) as well as underwriting support through the sponsorship of our programming by local small, independent businesses. Thanks for your consideration in either or both of these areas. We’re all unpaid volunteers, so rest assured that your support goes directly towards the bottom line on things like utilities and tower rent.

Perhaps more importantly, however, is our need for technical assistance. Are you familiar with Linux? Are you moderately proficient in server maintenance or administration? By donating a mere couple hours of your time each week at most, you can be a tremendous asset. 

We’re always looking for new show hosts, but our greatest needs remain those who can work away from the microphone. If you can help us in any of these areas, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@wgot.org. 

Between fulltime jobs, kids, and other responsibilities, so many of us don’t have the time we’d like to make WGOT better, so any and all help is appreciated.

Another frustrating thing about the pandemic is our lack of personal interactions that are vital to foster volunteerism at WGOT. We’re looking at ways we can resolve this issue, but we hope to have a virtual open house soon via Zoom. Please like us on Facebook (@wgotlp) to keep up with any news on that front. 

Finally, the good news: did you know many of our local programs are produced at our hosts’ homes in much the same way that podcasts are created? If you’re a local podcaster, consider contacting us to find out how you can expand your reach by having your program on an entirely different media platform. 

Especially with recent developments in our nation’s capital elsewhere, it looks like 2021 is going to keep us talking about solving our problems for months to come.

Overall, it’s been a tough year, but with everyone’s help, WGOT will adapt, improvise, and otherwise overcome whatever these challenging times may come our way. Thanks for your continued help as always.

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