About Public Affairs

Announcements at WOBC

Through reporting current Events, making PSAs, and other Announcements, WOBC hopes to make our resources accessible to the greater Oberlin community and to bring new ideas and new faces into the radio station.

Current Events, drawn from our calendar, are available to DJs every day we have something to report.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that WOBC air at least two Public Service Announcements (PSAs) every hour, which they define as “any announcement (including network) for which no charge is made and which promotes programs, activities, or services of federal, state, or local governments…or the programs, activities or services of non-profit organizations…and other announcements regarded as serving community interests, excluding time signals, routine weather announcements and promotional announcements.”

Other Announcements are displayed and aired at the discression of the WOBC officers.

At WOBC, we work creatively to disseminate information that is current and relevant to the communities that comprise WOBC’s diverse listenership in Lorain County and beyond. As a freeform college and community radio station, we embrace a wide range of ideas regarding what falls under “serving community interests.”

We welcome submissions and participation from everyone – community and student organizations as well as individuals.

One thought on “About Public Affairs”

  1. Hello WOBC. I’m a WOBC alum (1958-1962, station mgr 61-62). In Fall 1961 after my predecessor succeeded in getting an FCC FM license, I purchased WOBC’s very first FM transmitter and antenna. My Chief Engineer and I personally installed them and got them working.

    I can’t claim to be an expert in public affairs, especially in view of how we did them back then. More on that in a moment. Meanwhile, I’ve learned a few things since then, especially in the course of my more recent activity co-founding, hosting, and producing for a weekly public affairs show on all-volunteer WZBC (Boston College’s 1000-watt station that reaches all of Boston and suburbs).

    The show is Truth and Justice Radio. Its primitive website is truthandjusticeradio.org, carrying links to WZBC’s live stream, WZBC’s hourly archives, the show’s detailed playlists, and permanent archives of our Palestine feature. A few years ago, we were honored to receive the annual Sacco & Vanzetti Social Justice award, as well as an Excellence award from the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee in Boston.

    In case you haven’t noticed, the FCC’s definition of public service is almost meaningless, especially as regards its implication that almost any 30-second PSA, no matter how inane, will take care of a station’s obligation to listeners. I’ve listened enough to begin understanding the real purposes of the producers of those inane PSAs: (1) to distract the public’s attention away from needs for serious measures, corporate regulation, and the like, and (2) subtle corporate promotion, like mentioning the Ad Council.

    I notice with approval that WOBC airs Democracy Now each weekday, as does WZBC. But here we also do our own public affairs shows, of course frequently using materials developed by others. Looking at WOBC’s 24-hour-a-day schedule, I’m not seeing any of that. Yet, you are at Oberlin! Am I missing something? My apologies if so, but if not, I invite your gang to consider the same idea. The corporate and even NPR/PBS media are doing exactly the opposite, covering up truths, parroting government and corporate propaganda, slanting or ignoring news items, etc. This cries out for a response from people who care, like you and me … right?

    Thank you for wading through this pompous lecture! Now, I want to invite WOBC to use any materials we’ve produced, or found and aired. You can find and sample them via our playlists, which are posted permanently, and also by going to one of our major sources, where we post things too: radio4all.net. I would especially like to urge you to consider running our flagship feature, This Week In Palestine, permanently archived for almost each week since January 2008. Before This Week In Palestine, it was essentially impossible for us lay people to be informed about Palestinian issues, and especially what Israel is doing to Palestine.

    Now, as promised, here’s the shameful picture of public affairs coverage at WOBC during 1958-1962: 15 minutes of outrageous U.S. Army recruiting every weekday, until I became manager in Fall 1961; so-called “news” consisting of 5 minutes of corporate-canned headlines straight from our UPI Teletype. I still remember reading, on-mike, about the assassination of African leader Patrice Lumumba, which we now know was a thoroughly planned and executed CIA job.

    Wishing you the best,
    Stan Robinson, ’62

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