TO THE EDITOR
Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 33 - June 13, 1996
(Editor's note: With the publication of the letters below, we believe that the discussion of WVTF's programming policies has reached a logical conclusion for the present. Spectrum will consider additional input on WVTF at a later date, as warranted by its responsibility to inform the campus community of relevant issues.)
I was thoroughly confused with Mr. Hincker's response to my letter to the editor. He states: "Some people say that it is the station's duty to educate the public, by playing more classical music or airing educational programs. But we must remember that WVTF is a radio station, not a conservatory, music-appreciation class, or guardian of cultural mores." I thought that a public radio station, one operated by a comprehensive university, should be exactly that. Mr. Hincker implies that it could not be. Obviously, our perceptions are diametrically opposed. But I believe he is wrong. All you have to do to be convinced is search the web for the mission of public radio stations. Start with http://www.npr.org. You will also find there that most of the peer stations broadcast three to five hours of classical music after the evening news, as opposed to WVTF's of...NONE.
Mr. Hincker refuted some of my statements, but I am afraid that his memory may be short, and he may also be ill-informed. Space considerations prevent me from responding to all of his arguments. The fact remains that the quality of the WVTF programming has been continuously dropping, and unfortunately this coincides with the time that it has become part of Virginia Tech. I strongly believe that the changes brought to its broadcasting schedule do not reflect the character of the university nor the cultural level of the community. I feel embarrassed when visitors or newcomers discover that in our area there is no classical music anywhere on the radio dial in the evening. This gives a message about the people in this area and we all know that this is the wrong message.
In my first note, I proposed that one of our options might be to found a new radio station, truer to the mission of public radio. I now believe that we should claim back WVTF. The new management has high-jacked our station. This is the station we nourished with our contributions for the past 25 years. If we can not have it all, we should demand our fair share. Would you give up as lightly your local public library if it was being converted to free electronic entertainment? I am sure that it too could vastly increase its popularity if it would replace some of those boring books with exciting video games and a few oversized TV screens. If you agree with my point of view, drop me an e-mail note (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will share with you some more information and may draft your help in a more organized effort to reclaim our station.