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PHOTO: Senior Katharine Cournoyer edits a show for Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM in the studio in Knorr Student Center. (Madeline Barry/Collegian)

Stu­dents are now broad­casting news stories, political and sports com­men­taries, and inter­views on Hillsdale College’s radio station, Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM.

Although many college radio sta­tions air solely music pro­grams, the assorted content of Hillsdale College’s station — including news, talk, and spoken word radio — will provide stu­dents real-world expe­rience in mul­tiple aspects of broadcast media. The station’s general manager, Scot Bertram, said he is excited to help them hone the skills that will equip them for career success.

“We want to teach stu­dents how to think, how to speak extem­po­ra­ne­ously, how to create the argument, how to make the argument, how to defend the argument, how to deliver news reporting for broadcast,” he said.

Since its launch in July 2015, the college radio station played a per­petual assortment of patriotic music, but Bertram has worked to vary its content since his arrival in January. The station head­quarters are in Knorr Student Center, across from the Old Snack Bar. It now boasts a live studio and a recording studio.

Radio Free Hillsdale is airing content in three cat­e­gories: nationally syn­di­cated shows, audio of campus events, and student-pro­duced shows.

National shows include “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” “The Dennis Prager Show,” “Our American Stories” with Lee Habeeb, and others. Stu­dents also have worked with Bertram to retrieve and edit audio files of speakers, com­mencement addresses, and other campus events to air on occasion.

Student-pro­duced pieces will range from five-minute fea­tures to 90-minute shows and include news­casts, sports­casts, weather fore­casts, and inter­views with alumni and public figures. Comrex Access tech­nology will also allow stu­dents on Hillsdale’s campus to col­lab­orate with the Boyle Radio Studio at the Allan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Con­sti­tu­tional Studies and Cit­i­zenship in Wash­ington, D.C.

Right now, student broad­casts are recorded, but even­tually, after some practice, they will go on the air live.

Student shows are scheduled from 6 – 9 a.m. and 3 – 5 p.m. on weekdays. From noon to 3 p.m. on Sat­urdays and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays, student content will also air. The station will also broadcast student-pro­duced feature seg­ments, news­casts, and weather fore­casts between syn­di­cated show seg­ments.

Stu­dents of all years and areas of study are welcome to get involved with Radio Free Hillsdale, Bertram said. He said he antic­i­pates that working at the station will encourage stu­dents to develop invaluable critical thinking, com­mu­ni­cation, and tech­nical skills.

Several stu­dents said they are already eager to put their mouths to the mic.

Freshman Martin Petersen, who anchors a sports com­mentary show, worked with Bertram at the station this summer.

“It’s helped me decipher what I want to say, make it clear so not just I know what I’m saying but other people know what I’m saying,” he said.

Sophomore Cole McNeely said is a co-host of a weekly political com­mentary show.

“Even if you’re not really inter­ested in radio a whole bunch, try it out, if you’re intrigued by it,” McNeely said. “You’ll never know until you try.”

Sophomore Ryan Kelly Murphy, McNeely’s co-host, said she is excited that Radio Free Hillsdale pro­vides stu­dents a fresh outlet through which they can express them­selves and further their jour­nal­istic aspi­ra­tions. She said she believes it has the potential to become an influ­ential and nationally rec­og­nized authority, and its success will be grounded in the backing of the student body.

“In the beginning espe­cially, our station is really going to have to rely on student support, and we want the stu­dents to band behind us because it’s so new and so fresh,” Murphy said. “That’s what’s going to encourage us to keep doing what we’re doing and pro­ducing shows, and that also will be what really gets our station off the ground.”