Fitchburg State University Professor Katherine Rye Jewell has been appointed co-chair of the College and Community Radio Caucus of the Library of Congress Radio Preservation Task Force, a federally mandated project created to support the preservation of the nation’s audiovisual infrastructure.
Jewell, a member of the Economics, History and Political Science Department, has long explored college radio as a research subject and is currently working on a book on the topic.
“It’s very exciting,” Jewell said. “I have so much respect for the people who are doing this work. I’ve been exploring in the archives for so long, and it’s exciting to come out and discuss what I’ve found.”
Jewell, who was a college DJ herself, began exploring college radio as a research topic in 2014. “Within political history there has been a growing interest in taking media history seriously,” she said.
With the task force, she hopes to engage in work that will increase educational opportunities and public outreach.
“We’re in a moment where college radio still exists, in more forms than it did in the past, but it still has a very diverse implication,” Jewell said. From terrestrial broadcast signals to online streaming, the medium is evolving.
The task force’s mission is to catalog, preserve, and write grants toward the maintenance of the U.S. audio-visual infrastructure. It features representatives from over 100 universities and 45 public, federal, and academic partnerships, and is a component of the National Recording Preservation Plan of the Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Board.