As I continue my career in journalism, I find myself wanting more and more resources. Besides a wider variety of courses offered in the minor program or a larger, more developed major for journalism. Recently I discovered that Emporia used to have an AV club for the students interested in Radio. After looking into it I discovered the modern ESU Amateur Radio Club. A small group of students interested in the inner workings and culture around radio.
Our advisor at The Bulletin, Max McCoy, always has a police scanner on when he’s in the office. Between the idle radio chatter and Morse code that he swears he can understand, you occasionally hear interesting tidbits of information in real time.
Working at a newspaper it is easy to get wrapped up in the physical product, rather than the information itself. Radio offers such a unique medium that is lost in its complexity or obscurity.
In the Netflix series “Stranger Things”, the middle school protagonists investigate the strange happenings of their small town by utilizing the equipment of their amateur radio club and the help of their science teacher, Mr. Clarke.
The connections that can take place over radio are as tangible as the radio waves are intangible, and nothing is quite as satisfying as transcribing news “hot off the wire”, as Max says. Journalism has its roots in Morse code and radio so I think it is important that as students continue to pursue careers, in journalism or others, that they remember where they came from and how the past can always inform us in shaping our future.