Friday, April 29, 2016

Tiny, isolated radio station punches above weight

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A radio station in a remote desert town in West Texas has been scoring big with listeners, Kristen Hare reports for The Poynter Institute. The station, KRTS, Marfa Public Radio won an award in every category in this year's regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for small markets in Texas and Oklahoma. Awards representative Derrick Hinds told Hare, "It’s like their building, and then the nothingness for just miles. They’re out there and they’re just doing incredible radio." While Marfa only has 1,819 residents, partnerships with Texas Standard, AudioTexas and Fronteras make the station available in six of the country's top 20 markets.

Tom Michael, who founded the station in 2005 and is its general manager, said it focuses on three areas: "borderlands," including ranching and immigration; energy (the station serves a community in the Permian Basin), and "arts and culture, a staple of public radio," Hare writes.

Staff members are expected to know how to do everything, Hare writes. "Staff needs to tweet on their way to report a story, collect audio, get images, put together a tease for the morning show and prepare a post for the site. If they have past audio or interviews they can use with current reports, they will. Additionally, each quarter, the station produces between 50 to 70 original spots and features." (Read more)

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