On Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st, KCSB 91.9 FM will host the spring conference of the University of California Radio Network (UCRN), a biannual meeting of college-based non-commercial radio stations from the UC system and beyond. Established in 1963, the UCRN is made up of six UC student-run full-power FM stations plus one affiliated non-UC college station, as well as three online-only UC stations.

At UCRN conferences dozens of students, volunteers, and staff from UCRN campuses gather together to hear news about the world of college and community radio (such as new laws, or rulings by the Federal Communications Commission), to share information about various projects engaged in by individual stations, and to provide both training and opportunities for collaboration by participants.

KCSB-FM anticipates about 100 guests at this weekend’s proceedings, which includes a keynote presentation –”College and Community Radio and Communication Rights” – by Professor Dorothy Kidd, of the University of San Francisco’s Media Studies Department. An expert on community media, Kidd also has ties to the embattled KUSF, a freeform FM station at the University of San Francisco being sold by that private university.

Dorothy Kidd, USF/KUSF

Professor Dorothy Kidd, USF/KUSF.

Kidd’s talk will address challenges faced by US college and community radio stations due to global changes in technology, broadcast and music industries, and journalism. University stations nationally also face growing competition for their frequencies and increasing demand for both relevance and sustainability from academic and local communities. Kidd will use the framework of global campaigns for communication rights to examine how stations can best respond to their listening communities’ needs.

Workshops will be on the following topics: college/community radio as a “media necessity”; radio’s use in the Global South; music library organization in the digital age; socially-aware journalism; reexamination of “diversity” in the media; interview techniques; outreach through marketing and multimedia; and emergency broadcasting. Participants will discuss joint projects (e.g., efforts to create new UC FM stations), and will be joined by guests from Common Frequency, a non-profit media democracy organization, and Cal Poly’s KCPR-FM.

The complete conference schedule can be found here.

Café Zoma in Goleta is acknowledged for its conference sponsorship.