Thursday, April 23, 2009

College Radio and Indie Music at BEA and IASPM Conferences

The BEA Convention is happening right now in Las Vegas, bringing together broadcast educators from all over the world. It looks like a mix of "how-to" sessions, a range of panels, academic paper presentations, and confabs with staff from various stations.

In scanning through the program, I see that there are a number of of college-radio specific topics and awards being presented. Candace Walton (University of South Dakota) is slated to present a paper called, "Integrating Ethics Into the Campus Radio Station." Another panel focuses on starting up and running an Internet radio station. A session with student media advisors included David Nelson (University of Central Oklahoma) presenting on "HD radio: College radio's influence on the adoption of HD radio" and Marjorie Yambor (Western Kentucky University) giving the paper "Nurturing the Nexus: Aligning Administrators, Professors, Managers, Staff Members...and College Radio."

Other sessions focus on radio broadly, including the panel "Radio's Demise Has Been Greatly Exaggerated," in which various panelists will discuss the current state of radio. One of the panelists, Madeline Bills (San Francisco State) will present "The Role of Community Radio." Tomorrow Eric C. Covil (Northwest Missouri State) will present, "Using Guerilla Radio to Teach Ethics at a Student Radio Station." On Saturday, Barbara Calabrese (Columbia College) is presenting "Ethics and Diversity: Practical Applications in College Radio." There's also an entire panel on leadership and college radio on Saturday.

Coming up in a few weeks, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) Conference will take place in San Diego. I'm not seeing any college radio-specific papers on the agenda, but there are some papers dealing with indie music, music formats, punk, hip hop, and a myriad of other genres. Wendy Fonarow will present "Arguing about the Boundaries: The Contesting Definitions of Indie Music." Additionally, there will be a paper on vinyl, "'Never Mind What's Been Selling, It's What You're Buying': Capital Exchange in Buying, Collecting, and Selling Vinyl Records." There are a bunch of really interesting-sounding papers related to technology (You Tube), Internet music criticism, and how subcultures like punk are facilitated online. Sounds like fun!

I can't make it to either of these conferences, so if you are, I'd love to hear some feedback about how things went and how radio and indie culture were represented.

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