For senior Kathleen Russo, having a radio show was something people only did in the movies. It wasn’t until she reached out to Scot Bertram, the general manager of Radio Free Hillsdale (WRFH), that she realized she could do it, too.
“I emailed him about what it would take, and he just responded asking what I wanted the show to be about and when I could come in and start recording,” Russo said.
Russo, along with senior Roberta Briggs, co-hosts the WRFH show, ProLifeLine, educating listeners about the pro-life movement through discussions surrounding the science behind pro-life arguments and cultivating conversations surrounding life issues.
Both Hillsdale College For Life board members, Russo, the club’s president, and Briggs, the club’s public relations manager, use the radio show as an outreach of the club’s programming.
Briggs said that the show is built around learning more about the pro-life argument and the science behind the movement.
“We dissect everything that the pro-life community says rather than just blindly following it,” she said.
The show began in the spring of 2017 with a five minute segment, and today, ProLifeLine airs on Wednesdays with a 20 minute segment at 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Prepping for the show begins with research about current abortion issues and debates. Russo said she googles abortion, and just lets ideas go from there. Similarly, Briggs said she finds articles discussing topics that would fit well for their show and goes back to the sources on those articles for real data.
“We want to have our own commentary,” Briggs said.
The flexibility of ProLifeLine has allowed Russo and Briggs to host several guests on their show, including Nathan and Elizabeth Schlueter, who discussed Humanae Vitae, birth control, and Natural Family Planning. Other guests, such as members of the Hillsdale College Democrats, have held discussions about pro-life arguments for birth control.
“I like having people that don’t necessarily believe the same things that we do,” Briggs said.
Disassembling the pro-life argument and educating the audience is at the heart of ProLifeLine, Briggs said.
“We had to learn along the way,” she said.
Russo added that they seek to put the information into “bite-sized pieces” to keep people informed.
“We try to stay away from the emotional side of the arguments, and go back to the rational and scientific ones,” Briggs said.
In the most recent ProLifeLine recording, Briggs and Russo walk listeners through development at each week of pregnancy.
“It’s an in-depth look of how the fetus is developing,” Briggs said.
ProLifeLine is looking for people interested in continuing the show after Briggs and Russo graduate in the spring.