WESM Diversity Statement
WESM Diversity Statement (2016)
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting establishes requirements for all Grantees as part of its 2016 Radio Community Service Grant General Provisions and Eligibility Criteria. The following is an outline of the ways in which this station, and its institution (UMES), are complying with these new requirements.
As a part of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a historically black institution, WESM 91.3 FM has traditionally embraced diversity. This has been a goal and element of our institution (and therefore Station it supports) since our founding, and one we continue to promote as part of our audience service component and public media work.
WESM 91.3 FM airs special programming on a periodic basis that addresses issues of concern for diverse audiences, including women and minorities. This includes (but is not limited to) programming that explores the history and culture of African-Americans, Latin-Americans, and other minority groups. Other topics include socioeconomic challenges in society, religion, ethnic heritage, historical documentaries regarding civil rights, and other issues of importance to diverse communities.
Special programming is includes long-form and some shorter-form programming aired during morning or afternoon newsmagazines (e.g. Morning Edition and All Things Considered). The station also promotes many of these programs on the station website, as well as providing links to the content providers.
The extent of our diversity is also reflected in our workforce. We currently employ full and part-time staff of African-American, Latino and Caucasian backgrounds, including two women. Additionally, our staff incorporates persons of diverse religious, linguistic, generational and cultural backgrounds. Our license institution, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, reflects a similarly diverse workforce.
Station management remains committed to promoting diversity, through continuing broadcasts of special programming (mentioned above) that targets diverse audiences and interests. Our belief is that programming that features diversity of thought and experience can be helpful to our listeners, even when the issues at stake are not obviously major concerns for our geographic region (e.g. border security), or when a minority group does not have major representation in our area. Rather, we believe it’s all the more important to provide opportunities for those voices and points of view to be heard –- as they help to expose our listeners to new and different perspectives.
Finally, as opportunities become available, the Station will continue to provide opportunities for management and staff to interact with diverse students who have an interest in learning more about broadcasting. Over the past several years, the station has maintained its commitment to diversity goals via opportunities for students (i.e. internships, student workers).
The station continues these efforts through interactions with students in the form of one-on-one resume critiquing sessions and career counseling. WESM 91.3 FM believes it is especially important to help the students of a historically black institution to prepare for a broadcast industry that is not often reflective of American diversity as a whole.