At the first official meeting last week, close to 200 students gathered in Viking Theater to await their turn to claim one hour of air time per week for the remainder of the semester. Station manager Lachlan Willis 03 explained the large number of people interested in broadcasting with KSTO by saying, "In college radio, the DJs have the opportunity to express themselves to a community through their tastes and the music of others."
College radio is a unique art form. At KSTO and other college radio stations, freedom for personal expression is tantamount to set playlists and record sales. The personal music selection of the DJs is being broadcasted directly to the listening audience without interference from record companies, station owners, and ratings.
Assistant station manager Jacob Moreland 04 helped introduce this years DJs to KSTOs music selection policy. "Although we encourage DJs to play some new music thats being promoted by the record companies and reviewed by the directors, the majority of the music they play is completely their own choice," Moreland said, "KSTO also provides a medium for them to express their opinions, especially during the talk shows."
As opposed to mainstream radio, college radio is aimed at reaching a wide audience with some of the latest and most innovative music. College radio also develops a strong relationship with the listeners who are welcome and encouraged to call in with song requests.
Willis said, "Listeners have the opportunity to develop their own tastes as they experience the music of some lesser known, and up-and-coming artists instead of being forced to listen to only what mainstream station formats allow." In this way college radio encompasses the sense of community and new experiences valued by most colleges.
KSTO is reaching out to music fans through the entire spectrum. This year, as in the past, the station will be broadcasting music from genres including alternative, electronica, hip-hop, jazz, world, the top 200, and anything else individual DJs choose to play. As always, KSTO is broadcasting 24 hours, seven days a week, to the St. Olaf campus on 93.1 FM. Also, despite recent discouraging copyright legislation, the station will be streaming live radio on the internet that can be accessed through the KSTO web page. The webcast also includes live video from an internet camera that captures a visual of the DJs.
Despite a small budget KSTO is working to digitalize the station. Also new this year, the station will broadcast live from the Buntrock plaza every Friday afternoon. The fall KSTO open-house will be held soon during which KSTO will be handing out free CDs, vinyl records, t-shirts, and buttons.