Saturday, July 20, 2013

Kickstart ELCA Radio: Let's have a race!

The ELCA used to have Lutheran Vespers. Then it became Grace Matters. Then the funding was pulled. After we licked our wounds and looked around, we realized a) there's no longer an "ELCA" radio presence, and b) it has become really inexpensive, easy, and accessible to do high quality radio. Our ability to do high quality Lutheran radio has now scaled to match our available funds.

So why hasn't anyone started doing it? Or if they have, why aren't "ELCA" radio programs widely known among us?

I say, let's have a race. Let's see how many of us can launch ELCA-related radio programs in the next year. Figure out how to produce them as well as you can, because quality matters. Try to build a big audience. Get buzz. Get traction. Challenge and inspire. Then let's create a map, and put dots on the map with links to everyone broadcasting around North America.

Here's a recipe for success (but certainly not the only way to get it done):

1) Use a local university radio station as the place to record--or any radio station that will let you, actually: I even understand that Higgins Road has such a studio, so if you live in Chicagoland, see if you can get in to use their space!

Offer $75-100 per session to have them open up and push play.

2) Get a student at the university to intern as the editor and edit the final product.

3) Post. This part is the easiest, there are all kinds of ways to podcast, broadcast. One resource that pushes your podcast out to the main venues (iTunes, etc.) is

The biggest issue with producing high quality recording is the background noise. Getting into a radio studio addresses that issue. There are ways to interview people using Voice Memo on iPhone (they can hold it up to their mouth and record while simultaneously talking to you live over a landline), then have them send that file to you for editing.

Almost everyone already owns equipment that records at a high enough level of quality. Your iPhone. Your camera. Your laptop and some headphones. So, there are grassroots ways to get started ASAP.

4) You probably need a person to lead all this. Maybe you plan to do it yourself. Either way, above the $75-100 per studio use, you might need a budget to compensate them, depending on whether they are willing to do it for free or for a fee.

To crowd-source the funding of a radio program, try

To listen around the country and world to radio broadcasts, and see what is already out there, check out:

Share more great radio programs, links to broadcasting and recording resources, recommendations on equipment, and other ideas, in the comments below.

Ready. Set. Go.

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