Ryerson’s online radio station is ready to stop surfing the web and hit the AM dial

Photo: Sierra Bein

The Scope tries to catch some waves

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By Inshaal Badar

Ryerson’s web-based campus radio station, The Scope, is waiting to hear its fate after applying for an AM non-profit campus community radio license.

The hearing will be held on Sept. 25 and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will announce its decision soon after.

Students used to pay an annual levy of $10.35 to the operations of CKLN 88.1 FM, the former community radio station. CKLN had its license revoked in 2011 after violating CRTC regulations. A referendum held that same year decided that a new station could get the money if it receives a radio license.

The application for a license is a multi-step process. In July, The Scope was finally given a hearing date and an open call, where the Ryerson community was encouraged to voice its support for The Scope.

Jacky Tuinstra Harrison, the station manager, said that the station is currently running on limited cash and drawing on funds from the 2011 referendum, which was held to direct a levy to fund a new campus station. The Scope’s staff and volunteers are aware of this, she said.

In order to fund the rest of the activities, The Scope has also started selling sponsorships, ran a radio camp and received grants. Additionally, it has ongoing funding projects like book sales to raise money.

During the summer, in order to conserve resources, The Scope had to scale back staff hours since it was not as busy as during the school year. Due to limited funding, it was not able to take on special projects, but Harrison added that “a creative solution to this has been found in grants for a few projects, such as documentary production or training placements.”

Despite the recent difficulties, those involved with The Scope have no complaints. Vjosa Isai, a third-year journalism student who is a volunteer, said her experience at the station has been very rewarding. “The staff are incredibly supportive and have helped me navigate through learning about radio and being able to start a show.”

If The Scope gets the AM license, the levy that they will receive will provide a stable source of funds. But, if they don’t, the board, which consists of students, will meet and approve of a revised plan.

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