Campus & community radio stations to host alt election night coverage

NCRA

Roughly a dozen member stations of the National Campus & Community Radio Association (NCRA) will host alternative election coverage tonight.

Originating from CKCU-FM at Carleton University in Ottawa, the live broadcast will start at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT).

It will feature CKCU political host Brendan McLoughlin (The Filibuster) and NCRA Learning & Development Officer Luke Smith, who doubles as host of CanQueer: Canada’s LGBT Community Talk Show. They’ll be joined by a diverse election panel, offering their own perspective on the night’s results.

Each hour will feature three guests and three discussions on key ridings, in addition to breaks where syndicated stations will cut into programming with local updates.

Barry Rooke, NCRA Executive Director, says the goal of the broadcast is to offer perspective you wouldn’t hear on commercial stations.

“A lot of our stations tend to offer an alternative to what’s in the mainstream, so some will be an election-free respite, but we recognize that there are also campus and community stations looking for an alternative,” explained Rooke.

Among the stations picking up tonight’s coverage are:

CKVB-FM (Corner Brook, NL)
CKDU-FM (Halifax, NS)
CKVE-FM (Hubbards Cove, NS)
CKHA-FM (Halliburton, ON)
CHXL-FM 95.3 Creek FM (Balcarres, SK)
CICK-FM (Smithers, BC)
CJSF-FM 90.1 FM (Burnaby, BC)
CFRU-FM 93.3 (Guelph, ON)
CKAR-FM (Huntsville, ON)
CiTR-FM 101.9 FM (Vancouver, BC)

While the NCRA has generally stayed out of taking on political issues for the last few years, with the exception of the advocacy it does on behalf of member stations, the organization took the unusual step of doing its bit to spread the climate change message in the run-up to the federal vote.

Fifty member stations have been running PSAs, produced by Toronto urban, alternative station VIBE 105 (CHRY-FM), that contain Canadian-specific facts about the environment, provided by Environmental Defence.

Luke Smith, who spearheaded the “Facts are Free” initiative, says the NCRA was floored by the widespread support from stations, considering many are in rural and remote areas and located in Conservative-voting ridings.

“We saw this as a great way of raising awareness in the community in what is a relatively non-contentious issue,” said Smith. “These are pretty basic facts – one speaks about Canada’s recycling weight, another speaks to Canada’s average temp going up slightly higher than the rest of the world. What we were picturing is not that these stations would take a proactive stance, but we believe climate change is actually happening and that Canadians should be aware of how climate change affects Canadians.”


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