Friday, August 22, 2008

WCOM Community Radio Documentary

It's always really fun to catch glimpses of radio stations from different locales in order to compare and contrast them to other stations. This vicarious enjoyment has gotten so much easier with the power of the Internet, YouTube, and other video outlets. I haven't done extensive searching yet, but I've seen a few radio station documentaries lately and have really been enjoying these virtual tours.

WCOM, a lower-power FM community radio station in Carrboro, North Carolina has a 15-minute documentary "WCOM 103.5: A Radio Community" posted on It's a nice overview of the station, with interviews with a variety of DJs talking about why they are passionate about community radio, shots of the studio so that you can get a sense of their equipment and set-up, and a bit of an overview of their history and what low power FM is. In one scene a DJ chats about the station while he's doing his show, putting away vinyl and cueing up music. There's a also a great quote about community radio being the "bottom of the radio food chain," and how that gives them a lot of freedom.

According to the description on

"...From September to November 2004, we played a specially selected mix of music 24-7. The real excitement started in November, when WCOM's first DJs hit the airwaves. Today our program schedule includes close to 50 locally produced music and talk shows and new programs are still being added...WCOM is a different kind of radio. When you tune in to WCOM you will hear our community—our people, environment, events, music, and attitude...WCOM's volunteers love the medium of radio and care about the people who live here...In many ways it is closer to old-time radio than its modern cousins. We are proud of WCOM and think the radio produced in this small corner of the world will be some of the best to be heard anywhere."

Are there other non-commercial radio documentaries that you've enjoyed?

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