Submitted by Danielle Campbell
To work with WSLR is an engaging process of finding your own voice. I figured that out during my first semester at New College of Florida when I interned with the radio station. Working with WSLR’s Critical Times News team alongside NCF students Omar Guerrero, Becca Hadwen and alum Jacob Wentz was a promising journey of audio disruptions, nerves and editorial soundbites. A journey of trials and tribulations that I am proud of today, particularly as I continue to learn about the process of telling and creating stories.
WSLR is a low power community radio station founded in 2005 by New College students and community members. New College students have a representative on the Board of Directors and the Programming Committee and are always welcome to host radio shows. To be a programmer with WSLR is a great opportunity for New College students to take their widespread interests and share them with the Sarasota public.
Joey Daniels, who you may know as your fellow bike TA, had this to say about his journey working as a programmer host for “New Radio.”
“I got into New Radio during my second year through alum, Alex (Canoli) Caruso, who would bring me on the air as a guest on his Thursday nighttime-slot. The next year I had the Saturday nighttime slot, which was a lot of fun. Being on the air that late gave me a good opportunity to make things as weird as I wanted and some of the selections were a little out there (Abraham Lincoln speeches over trap beats, out there). This past year I have had the 7-9pm time slot on alternating Saturdays and I’ve been the New College representative to the programming committee, which has been a great experience to learn more about what WSLR offers for programming and how decisions are made deciding what goes on the air. Overall, it has been a great experience having the opportunity to get involved with a community radio station with a great mission and similar social, political and artistic interests as my own. Any regular listeners of the show know there are some consistencies; there will be some punk/hardcore tunes complimented with some chill indie or electronic, at least one French song and probably a tune sung by Julian Casalbancas.”
At WSLR, it’s not about fitting into a particular format. As a grassroots radio station, WSLR welcomes a diversity of programming and allows people to find their voice and explore their passions.
If you don’t want to be a programmer, but you want to get involved with WSLR’s community station you can also be a board member. New College of Florida student Jenna Courtade explains why she has enjoyed serving on the board:
“Being on the board has taught me a lot about what it takes to run a non-for-profit organization, which I think is an invaluable skill. I do not think I would have been able to have this experience so easily anywhere else. I love what WSLR+Fogartyville represents for the community as well, so this position has helped me meet new people in the community who care about things that I also care about. WSLR’s commitment to serving the community does not stop at programming, hosting events and sharing news. I have found that just as they have given me an opportunity to learn about important processes for business, they have also given so many students, both high school and college aged, learning opportunities. I am sad to be leaving once I graduate.”
There are also multiple opportunities for internships – both paid and unpaid – with WSLR+Fogartyville. Internship opportunities are updated every semester in Handshake. If you will be in Sarasota this summer, you may want to try your hand at being a part of the News Team or staffing the office.
Speaking from my own experience working with WSLR has helped me to find my own voice. As a transfer student and an implant to the city of Sarasota, I felt like I was trying to find my footing in this community of pristine beaches. Transitioning to college during a pandemic was not an easy process. It was hard to make connections at New College due to the necessities of social distancing. I was left with these constant thought bubbles of trying to figure out who I really was and what I wanted. Putting my shy but bearable voice on the radio was just the step I needed to take to lead me in a direction to find my truth and satisfy my curiosity.
I am finding myself with WSLR.
For more information about how to become involved at WSLR+Fogartyville, you can call 941-894-6469 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.