As Ferguson protesters anxiously await for justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown, our radio stations that serve their community have become a platform for listeners to share their concerns and frustrations.
RADIO TELEVISION DIGITAL NEWS ASSOCIATION has the full report below:
WFUN and WHHL serve urban African-American audiences, usually with R&B and Hip Hop music formats and celebrity pop culture news. But after the shooting as protests began to emerge, the stations decided to set aside the music and open the phone lines to their listeners, giving them a chance to talk about the shooting, the protests and what was happening around them. The result has been appreciation for giving people a platform during a difficult situation. The stations have also brought in celebrities with ties to the St. Louis area, like rapper Nelly, to give their perspective and talk to neighborhood residents.
We spoke with Operations Manager Jowcol “Boogie D” Dolby about how his stations responded as word spread about the shooting. Click here for the interview. Dolby says the radio has become a place to call for calm, a platform for community leaders to give their perspective, and to allow people to get things off their chest. He said while other media are not always able to allow people to speak their minds at length, the stations have a unique role as an outlet in the community. He added that he anticipates things will calm down in Ferguson when more key questions have been answered, such as whether the officer believed to have shot Brown will be arrested or face charges. Until then, he said, people will remain uneasy and protests will likely continue.