No Pirate Radio: Houston schools form nation's first district-run Internet radiostation
Houston Independent School District is pioneering a new way to give students skills for the real world — while possibly making a little money for the district as well.
Students interested in broadcast media have long participated in classes and clubs that aired their work at school. But now HISD is partnering with RFC Media to air student work on a new Internet radio station.
Known as K12-RadioHouston-HISD, the station will go live in July and be accessible via HISD's Web site, through KHOU and via an iPhone. The station will be a venue for student-created work and promoting HISD events and programs to the public.
But the mainstay of daytime programming will be music, more particularly a mix of office- and school-friendly pop, R&B and rock. According to a sample list of artists published by the Houston Press, the station could be more diverse than the average FM offering, with performers like Tori Amos, Jamiroquai, Etta James, Bryan Ferry and Beyoncé.
The 24/7 Internet station, run in part by the district, will be the first of its kind in the nation.
RadioHouston will offer air time to sponsors similar to public radio. RFC Media is supposed to pick up all the expenses of the venture and then split the profits 50-50 with the school district.
“There will be budget concerns in the future, so anything we can do to help offset those concerns will be useful,” HISD's Lee Vela, the Chief District Relations Officer, told KUHF.
The chance to be a high school DJ? Priceless.