“Good evening. You’re listening to News from the Boo here on your community radio station, KBOO Portland. I am your host Jenna Yokoyama, recording from my closet and on my cell phone. I am also one of your interim station co-managers. I hope you’re all staying safe and doing well, and if you’re not, I hope you feel better soon.
Today is day 12 of KBOO’s partial station shutdown. And the last time I came to you was on March 11th. It’s interesting to think about everything that’s happened since the last time I was on News from the Boo. In fact, on March 9th KBOO volunteers were still in-station. And they saw us implement some of our first steps of attempting to try to maintain KBOO health and safety. On March 9th, we had removed all of our communal mugs from the front. All of our dishes, all of our utensils. We removed many tiny objects that people were communally sharing in the effort to help flatten the curve. How times have changed. And I will have to say, ever since then, ‘cause flattening the curve has now turned into everyone sheltering in place.
On March 11th, I talked to you on News from the BOO about bringing your own mug now that we had removed the communal mugs and bringing your own plates. We talked about washing your hands and practicing good hygiene at the studio.
Internally, during staff meetings we were talking about how we would keep the station clean. We were talking about what happens if we do need to ask all the volunteers to leave. When will that happen? We thought possibly we’d have much, much longer than we did. Because on Friday, March 13, KBOO closed its doors to its volunteers. All in-station activity was suspended until April 12.
The day before -- or maybe it was the day of. I can’t remember. It feels like so long ago. -- Or right about Thursday, March 12th or was it Friday, March 13th, Kate Brown had ordered the closure of schools. Actually that was on Thursday March 12th, yes. She ordered the closure of the schools and I believe on Friday March 13th had ordered the cancellation of gatherings of over 250 people. And as KBOO is an institution that has well-over 100 programmers and dozens of people who come through during the day, all communally touching things, we found it necessary in order to flatten the curve and increase safety as much as we could with an abundance of precaution to shut our doors to in-station activities until we could further find processes us to keep our doors open possibly or reopen our doors in a safe manner.
Since Friday, March 13, our staff has worked so hard, and so have our volunteers, just have worked so hard to figure out how we join the flattening the curve efforts and efforts to stay home while also still running a radio station. It’s been... I wanna say… a little stressful at times, but it’s also had a lot of triumphs. I’ve seen our volunteers, many of them are learning how to record at home for the first time with minimal gear because we haven’t been able to loan out our gear. They've been learning on their own through youtube videos when KBOO is usually offering classes. We’ve seen our KBOO teachers actually coming together over this last week trying to figure out how they do online classes and really help people who are so dedicated to making their show but need assistance in doing so.
Both Celeste and I, along with our staff, over the last week and a half at this point, haev had to figure out how we go from in-station meetings in Studio 1 where the big conference table is to meeintg on Zoom every day, to figuring out “how do we do this?” How do we run a station and how do we do just your normal day-to-day operations of radio remotely? How do we keep the airwaves going, our volunteers going, and our staff going in a time that is unprecedented for us.
Our engineer helped us figure out software to help us run the station remotely when needed and we have found many new ways to try to engage with our volunteers through online trainings and all sorts of apps that help people, for example, record interviews from home. Showing people how you can just record your whole show on your phone, if needed. We’ve had to figure out internally how we have new cleaning processes, how we enforce social distancing within the station.
I’m so very proud of our staff, our volunteers, our board of directors, our listeners, our members for everything that they’ve done to keep these airwaves going. Although we’ve had to face a crisis, one that for our KBOO staff and volunteers literally happened over night, the closing of our station, something unprecedented, we were able to keep the airwaves going non-stop in a time when some other radio stations have had to go quiet.
I would like to thank all of our volunteers, all of our staff, board, members, supporters for all their work because I have been just so impressed over the last two weeks at all the programming that has come out that is still so very much in the spirit of KBOO. I’ve heard programming that not only is informative, is based on science, is based on -- well, let’s just put it out there -- is based on facts. It’s been great to hear programming that isn’t out to fearmonger, but to inform. Programming that is brought from voices in the community to talk about what people are going through.
Somebody asked us about our programming mission. What is it that we need to be doing during this time? The programming team has talked about this quite a bit. What is, what is our purpose? And it was decided that there’s an endless amount of ways that some people, most of us get our information. There’s lots of other news stations. Many people are endlessly on social media these days scrolling through an endless amount of stories some true, some not. And so, KBOO’s purpose in all of that is to 1) inform , but 2) share the human experience with one another, to talk about what people are going through.
And that’s what I’ve heard on KBOO recently. I’ve been moved by the playlists and music shows that have been put on by our DJs. Some make playlists that touch upon paranoia or loneliness, sadness. Some DJs have made playlists and shows that are about looking at the other side of life right now, that there is still moments of happiness and joy where you can find it. And then our public affairs programming bringing on experts, bringing on activists, taking your calls to see how you feel, what you think, what are you going through right now?
Although we’ve had to try to figure out new things at KBOO, and sometimes our programming has not been the exact schedule that we’ve wanted it to be as we’re scrambling to get things together, it’s my opinion that KBOO is still very much KBOO. Voices of the community coming from volunteers who do this out of passion.
One thing that has been said a lot recently is how critically important community radio is at a time like this, a time of crisis, a time of confusion. And it’s interesting getting feedback from our community, hearing from you, hearing from our listeners and our members. I appreciate those that have talked to us over the last couple weeks and have said I’m so glad that you guys are still on the air and that you’re bringing me the programming I love. For some people, that’s the public affairs because it keeps them informed. For some people, it's the music shows because it makes them feel connected, it gives them some listening joy.
I’ve heard from people who have said, “It’s such a scary time. To hear a programmer that I’ve been listening to for years feels so comforting.” And to me, that’s what community radio is about. It’s about bringing people together even when you’re far apart. It’s kinda what radio is for-- connecting at a distance.
And so, I’m not quite sure, you know, none of us really about what’s about to happen or how we’re all gonna get through this. But what I do know is that we’re gonna get through this together. And I have immense faith in the KBOO community to figure all of this out remotely through Zoom meetings. To our listeners, we thank you for tuning in. We know that lots of media outlets are vying for your attention so we truly appreciate your support. Just knowing that you’re there is what KBOO is all about.
So programmers, let’s keep lifting those voices. Our community, your communities, all of our communities need us right now more than ever. And to our other volunteers, we still got roles for you. We need stuff to happen. We need editors by the way. If any of you out there has some digital editing skills, we could use your help right now.
So everyone, let’s keep chugging along. Let’s keep bringing you all those important voices and all that music you’ll only find here on your community radio station.
So thanks for tuning in to News from the BOO and letting me just ramble. I didn’t really have any of that scripted out and I probably should’ve. So thanks for all of you who hung in there with me on my rant today. It’s been a long couple weeks but I appreciate your support. Thank you so much for tuning in. We’ll see you next week.
Ok, wait, wait, wait. Before we go, I thought I would just give a couple tips for those who are looking into setting up your own home studio and recording something on your phone. I’m gonna describe to you the setup that I’m using right now to record this episode of News from the BOO.
So right now, I am standing in my closet and I am talking into my clothes that are hanging up in order to help dampen the sound. And in order to kinda do like a pop filter so that my P’s and my S’s aren’t getting all muddled into my cell phone microphone, I’ve covered my microphone in my sock. Well, a clean sock. I’ve taken a clean sock from my closet. I’ve actually put my phone in my sock and it’s a little bit stretched over my microphone and it’s helping to dampen those P’s and those S’s. And then, yeah, and then I have my phone like about 3 to 4 inches away from my face. And that’s how you do a good-ish sounding recording on your cell phone. Or at least on my cell phone.
So there’s a couple tips. Good luck to all our programmers out there who are possibly doing this for the first time or the millionth time. And if you got any questions, of course, always check our website at kboo.fm and look on the right-hand side of that webpage because we have some information about how to record your show from home.
Ok. Now, that’s the end. Thank you so much for tuning in.”