Community-driven KWSI Offers News, Info, Music
Always looking to make the world a better place, Robyn Parker founded KWSI-LP 100.3 FM Community Radio two years ago to provide information about current events with a goal of inspiring “community engagement, action, and volunteerism.”
LP refers to low-powered. Thus, KWSI relies on live streaming for listeners outside the Grand Junction area. LPFM stations were created to “give the little guy a voice,” Parker says. “LPFMs came about because 90 percent of the media is controlled by six corporations. Low-powered FM stations were created to fill the little bit of available space left on the airwaves.”
With Parker volunteering as station manager and engineer, and Lathem Gibson also donating his time, the station operates under the umbrella of the nonprofit organization Grand Valley Peace and Justice in partnership with Community Resources for Action, Volunteerism, and Education (CRAVE). Another dozen community members volunteer to produce various KWSI programs.
For example, Colorado Mesa University professor Sarah Swedberg produces a biweekly show covering current events from a historical perspective. Grand Junction city councilor Chris Kennedy hosts Impressions with Chris Kennedy, a jazz show (Saturdays, 6-9pm).
Gibson records the weekly Tuesday Blues Jam that takes place at Charlie Dwellington’s, a downtown bar, then later airs the recordings (Saturdays, 9pm-midnight). Classical, rock, and other musical genres are broadcast evenings, afternoons, and on weekends.
As an affiliate of Pacifica Network, KWSI airs Democracy Now!, an independent, global news program hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. The program is aired three times a day on KWSI. Anything broadcast on KWSI that’s not locally produced comes from Pacifica Network.
During election season, the station broadcasts programs like Crisis in Action, produced locally in partnership with the nonpartisan League of Women Voters (LWV). “It’s a voter education show,” Parker says. “The station airs the LWV ballot and candidate forum, with interviews with experts on the ballot issues, discussing pros and cons. It’s aimed at presenting a balanced perspective on issues.”
Before the midterm election, local sixth-grade girls interviewed candidates for Colorado House of Representatives Tanya Travis and Janice Rich. “Youth voices are a priority for us,” Parker says. “We incorporate youth every chance we get.”
For more information, or to submit a public service announcement or item for the community calendar, visit kwsi.org.