This term I started doing an interview show where I interview different campus community members every week. It’s definitely more work than a regular music show; it requires planning ahead to communicate with your interviewee and anyone who’s doing the interview with you, coming up with questions, and recording and editing the interview (unless you’re doing it live). But it’s also the most rewarding show that I’ve ever done; I’ve talked about all kinds of interesting things with all kinds of interesting people, from how to run a college (thanks to Stevie P) to how Carleton acquired and developed its Arboretum (thanks to Claire Kelloway).
I love that KRLX is a hands-off organization that allows DJs to play whatever floats their boat (within FCC regulation, of course!), but I want to encourage people to use their time on air to do more non-musical creative shows. Sometimes it’s great to veg out and listen to the new Drake album as loud as your ears will let you for an hour, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box (literally the tiny box of a radio studio that is KRLX). Stumped for ideas? Here’s something to get you started:
- Interview shows. As I mentioned, even though this is a lot of work it’s extremely rewarding to have a product at the end of the process (definitely record your interviews!), and to interact with people that you wouldn’t have talked to otherwise. It can be a little scary at first, but you’ll get better at it. Conversing is a skill, and the great thing about interviews is that most of what you need to do is just be a good listener. Pay attention to what your interviewee is excited to talk about, and build on that. Ask follow up questions and have them clarify terms or references that you don’t understand; this way, they’ll feel like you’re invested in what they’re talking about, and you’ll get more out it. It’s great to show up to an interview with a focus and some preliminary questions, but don’t be afraid to go off book. Everyone has something interesting to say, so if the idea of interviewing a stranger sounds terrifying, feel free to interview a prof that you know really well or your grandma or even a friend if they have a really cool project they’re working on; just make sure that your interview is accessible to your listeners (i.e. don’t make inside jokes with your friend for an hour).
- Archived interviews. If interviews sound fun but talking to people doesn’t, go check out some archives. The Carleton archives are a great place to start – there are dozens of interviews with alums and profs from decades ago that are super fun to listen to. I once played an interview conducted in 1975 with a class of 1897 alum!
- Also these. But make sure you aren’t infringing on copyright laws and give credit where credit is due.
- Talk about something you’re excited about. Maybe you want to get a few CAMS majors together to talk about the coolest movies they’ve seen recently. Maybe you’re working on some really awesome bio research that you and your fellow lab member want to gush about for half a hour (shout out to my roommate). Maybe you just got back from an amazing term abroad and you and your newfound friends want to tell everyone about it.
- Game shows. Let your friends know when your show is and do a game show where they can call in to answer questions.
- News/sports/really thorough weather reports. Idk if you want to talk about the weather for 30 minutes, more power to you.
- Language speaking shows. Get practice for your German final by having a half hour conversation in German. Have your German classmates tune in so they get practice listening to half an hour of German.
- Read a play with your friends. Honestly I just thought of this and it sounds like so much fun and I want to do it right now. Waiting for Godot, anyone?
- Cooking shows????? Use your imagination.
Have fun, be creative, and follow FCC guidelines!