To Ben Corbett,
With regard to listener Ben Corbett’s Nov. 16 Op-Ed for The Triangle titled “WKDU needs to showcase more balanced opinions,” WKDU would like the opportunity to let readers and the Drexel community know how we have responded to comments discussed in the article and where we stand on key issues the author addressed.
In the Op-Ed, Corbett refers to the Nov. 11 episode of Mercy & Justice Radio, which was defined as a new music program on WKDU this term. This episode of Mercy & Justice Radio featured a pre-recorded interview between the host and an author showcasing a non-scientific argument against the public documentation and health recommendations made by the CDC, inappropriate comments regarding bio-pharmaceutical manufacturers and, overall, a one-sided and overtly political rhetoric. The views expressed in this program do not express those of WKDU.
Soon after hearing the show live, WKDU executive staff determined the content of the show to be in violation of multiple programming policies, so we suspended the program. The host then asked to pull their show from our schedule, and WKDU will not be considering them for a slot in the future.
WKDU executive staff were just as surprised to tune into the interview, which had not been shared with any other WKDU member ahead of its broadcast. As Philadelphia’s only non-commercial, free-format, student-run radio station, we purposely give our DJs freedom to craft their proposed shows as they choose, under the agreement that aired content aligns with our mission, programming policies, FCC rules and parameters of their show category.
For instance, talk shows/public affairs programs are screened and curated by our PSA Director, while standard music shows are approved for a weekly slot by our program director. The host breached their proposal for a music program in broadcasting a talk show of this nature, therefore misusing our platform, which we believe is a valuable source of educational, artful programming for our community.
We, too, see the importance of bringing in community members with lived experiences, scientists, doctors and experts to talk about issues at hand. We believe any regular WKDU listener knows that our station represents those values, in our regular public affairs and music programming.
We invite Ben Corbett to continue the conversation with us over the airwaves sometime — to hold a discussion on the importance of getting the full story and sharing credible information, and to talk about WKDU’s place in doing so for our community.
As always, we encourage listeners to reach out directly at www.wkdu.org/contact with any comments or concerns and to tune in regularly at 91.7 FM or wkdu.org/listennow.
General Manager, WKDU Philadelphia 91.7 FM