Last night our Community Advisory Board met at the studios and it’s always an enjoyable and enlightening evening. The CAB is different from the governing Board of Trustees, because, well, the CAB doesn’t govern. They “advocate and advise”.
Public radio stations are required by Congress to have advisory boards made up of community members (uh huh – Community Advisory Board!) to provide a strong connection to the community. They are, in a way, a watchdog for the station, providing feedback as to what they hear themselves, and what they hear in the community. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting requirements state that “The advisory board is intended to provide the public the opportunity to be heard on station programming, community service and impact on the community of major policy decisions. All stations are encouraged to establish whatever mechanisms will be most effective, under local circumstances, to accomplish this congressionally established goal.”
Ours is an open, outgoing group with really unique ideas about public radio,and in particular, our station and what it can bring to the community. They are passionate and I get energized when we meet. Ideas just flow very freely. They aren’t afraid to criticize and it’s easy for me to hear critical comments from them because they care so much about what we do.
Citizen Wayne, the citizen journalism project that’s really taking shape, was born out of a CAB discussion and last night’s meeting ended with some new, exciting ideas to help us connect better to the community and gain listeners and supporters. I love those kind of meetings and I’m so appreciative of the fact that these community members are so willing to brainstorm, problem solve, and put themselves out there for us. For all of us.
CAB also, at least to me, serves as a kind of quality control. This is the group that makes comments about things that we can improve — because they listen a lot. They know when we’ve had more than a couple outdated promos running, or when it seems like we’re clipping off parts of some program at exactly the same spot. They listen when their friends, family, and neighbors talk about favorite programs and they bring it to the table.
The CAB meets once a quarter and we’ve always got room for individuals who can represent the community in our discussions. If you’re interested in serving in this official, but casual capacity, let me know.
Thanks for listening,