Coastal Carolina University is no stranger to journalism. From The Chanticleer and the Atheneum Press to WCCU campus radio, there is a wide range of options for students looking to engage with media and press. This semester, the campus radio station is changing the game with its new show starring students.
“This year in particular we have a good amount of slots open where we’re trying to expand the opportunity for students that don’t know about the radio station to get involved,” JP Kinney, the station manager said.
All students on campus are invited to participate in their own one-hour internet-radio broadcast and gain firsthand experience in the radio industry. Adding to this opportunity is new technology that the station plans to implement.
“This semester we’re implementing a lot of new technology into the mix. That’s going to allow our shows to do a lot of new cool things such as radio phone calls. So, you can have guests call into the radio station and be live on the air... and also remote shows. We’re going to be doing a lot of shows around campus, physically on campus out and about, whether it’s on Prince Lawn or the HTC Center,” Kinney said.
The campus radio station is in Brittain Hall, room 301. They provide all the equipment and training so no prior experience is required. As a 24-hour radio service, there is always entertainment for students to tune into. A variety of shows are hosted, ranging from morning talk shows to cooking.
“The better question is what show don’t we run. We’ve had conspiracy shows, political shows, we even had a cooking show,” TJ O’Sullivan, the business manager and program director said.
Students looking to become hosts have a wide range of options that aren’t limited by any rules on content. The only major rule being to not swear on the radio.
Shows are limited to one-hour blocks and are assigned according to the radio station’s schedule. Both live and pre-recorded shows are broadcasted, but every pilot episode is expected to be live. While that may sound intimidating, the club insists it’s the best way for students to learn how to perform under pressure.
“We really take the education aspect of this very seriously and we understand that not everyone is comfortable being live on the microphone,” Kinney said.
For those that do brave the air and push through their pilot, they are invited to pre-record future episodes.
“We do voice tracked shows as well. You come into the station wherever your schedule allows you to do so, and you’ll record your hour long show and export that show to a time slot on the radio. So, you don’t always have to be live, but we highly encourage that shows be live because you learn a lot more in that moment,” Kinney said.
The stars of the show are the students who are committed to organizing and hosting their own shows, such as freshman Dyneira Brown, whose first semester at Coastal Carolina took a turn when she joined the station.
“I joined them on OK day. . . and I was just like ‘this seems like a really good idea to get my voice out’ you know? I always wanted to be on the radio,” Brown said.
This would lead her to create her own morning talk show which has now become one of the station’s most popular shows; CCU Unplugged.
“I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do with my show. But I had the idea that I wanted to talk to college students – people my age – and talk more like campus events, pop culture, and advice,” she said.
Brown has been running live shows every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 AM to 10 AM, along with her co-host Sarah, ever since.
“For me, I don’t do pre-recorded. Me and Sarah usually have a layout of what we want to talk about, where the songs are going to go. We kind of just plan out the times we are going to talk. Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 – 10, we’re just live,” she said.
On the topic of her live pilot, Brown explains: “I was so nervous when I first did my own show. I don’t know why I was nervous. Like there’s no camera in front of you, but you know there are people on there, listening. I don’t know, your first time you’re nervous beforehand. I got adjusted to it, and it’s become second nature to me now.”
To prospective hosts that may find the idea of going live a bit troubling, Brown advises: “Just pretend that you’re talking to yourself or in your room. Pretend you’re just talking to your friends or yourself or your family members. I wouldn’t be too nervous about it, because it’s just like talking. Use your voice and be yourself.”
The station provides a unique opportunity for students to engage with media and reach audiences they otherwise would not. Students of every major have an opportunity to join an ever-evolving team of talented people and let their voices be heard.
“For students that want to do broadcasting. . . I feel that if you have passion for it, if you feel that you want to get your voice out there, you want to be known, or want to communicate with other people out of your circle, you should totally go for it. You’re not alone in it. I wouldn’t think that I am alone. They can help me with stuff, and you’re not by yourself doing all this. Definitely tune into all of the people that are part of the radio station, we put a lot of hard work into the radio station. If you’re interested, definitely go for it, we’re always available, any time,” Brown said.
Interested students can visit wccuradio.com for more information.