KSUA 91.5 Notes: SXStyle

Annie Bartholomew/Sun Star Columnist
March 26, 2013

It’s been two big weeks for KSUA. Late last Sunday night we returned from Austin, Texas exhausted with gigabytes of raw content on flash cards, reporter’s notebooks and in film canisters. This past week we’ve been busy trying sort out everything we collected into digestible pieces to be shared on air and online.

This year we were recognized as mtvU’s national winner for “Best College Radio Station” because of our multimedia efforts and support of KSUA’s listening audience.

Though our staff is ecstatic to win the recognition of MTV, the honor really belongs to our volunteers, community members and the students who fund student media at our university.

All staff members all had different objectives for what we wanted to achieve at SXSW, but all had a common goal of bringing new new music, social trends and media tactics to our university.

Part of that responsibility was attending panel workshops that addressed topics all over the world of music and radio. At a panel that discussed best social media and marketing practices, our group was found completely in the dark when the mobile-app “Vine” came up.  KSUA staff discretely exchanged looks, not wanting to appear as if we didn’t understand the conversation, but we genuinely didn’t. This is the cross-cultural exchange that can only happen at a festival like SXSW an international meeting of the minds which brings together professionals of all backgrounds focused on serving their audience.

One phenomenon we noticed in Austin was that more and more our generation is embracing the do it yourself culture. The old rules of going to college and getting a job right after graduation may no longer apply, and while some settle, others rise to the top by creating their own pathways. Bands like Austin based “Mother Falcon” whose members are the same age as many UAF students, exemplified this best. Most members were classically trained musicians with fewer opportunities to showcase their talents. Without symphony jobs, they made their own indie symphony, recorded their own album, and played all over Austin during the conference. Because of their efforts and attitude, the ensemble was recognized in two features by National Public Radio. KSUA has put together a video of their passionate final performance on the streets of Austin, and hopes to bring their enthusiasm and this lesson of social change in the music and media industries back to Fairbanks.

A persistent questions that KSUA faces regularly is “what are we doing right, and what can we improve on as a media group?” Conferences like SXSW work not only to help us recognize improvable areas but allow us to exchange ideas with other media organizations.

One of these needed adaptions became apparent this week when our website crashed from heavy traffic due to the publicity we received from our award. We realized our website theme was outdated and the large number of curious listeners were unable to access the site. We are working on a new theme that will better display photographs, television releases, and weekly staff blogs. We are also excited to announce a new mini-doc spotlighting Austin’s street performance culture within the coming weeks. The feature is a collection of live musical performances and interviews from artists all over the county. They span many genres but all share the same hope of impressing audiences at SXSW.

We hope you will tune in or visit our website to see some of the exciting features our radio and TV station is producing. Check us out at ksuaradio.com, ksuatv.com and or our Facebook page.

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