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LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Looking for some blues, jazz, zydeco or world music? You'll find it all on KNHS 93.1 FM, the latest radio station to hit Lafayette airwaves.
This station has a twist though. All hosting, programming and technical duties are handled by Northside High School students, who work out of radio booths on campus.
"This has really helped me express myself and put myself out there," said Northside student Tyler Jolivette. "It's making me speechless. This is the type of thing I live for, as far as entertainment is concerned."
Earlier this year, Northside's broadcasting and journalism academy launched KNHS as an online-only station. That's still available on nhsradio.org, but the station's reach expanded Aug. 27 with its first over-the-air broadcasts. The 100-watt, low-powered FM station can be heard throughout Lafayette Parish.
Running a radio station is fun, but it's also a lot of work. Northside senior Reginald Boudreaux said it takes hours to research music genres, listen to songs, tweak transitions and program the songs for each three-hour block. The station runs from 6 a.m. to midnight each day, featuring different genres throughout the day.
"One of the things that's become important to us is listening to the songs all the way through, to make sure there is no vulgarity," Boudreaux said. "We want to make sure we're getting the right message out about what we want our station to be."
Station Manager Camille Harrington said she's learned plenty about time management, being organized and having a strong work ethic. Those are qualities she now looks for in younger Northside students who have shown interest in the station.
"It teaches you a lot about patience and how to work with others," Harrington said. "You learn how to work together and how to make your product the best it can be."
Boudreaux said he's also learned about the influence that music can have. For example, Jay Redmond, director of the broadcasting/journalism academy, encouraged Boudreaux to pursue a blues show, even though Boudreaux didn't have a huge interest in that type of music.
"I ended up liking it a lot," Boudreaux said. "You never know how much you might like a type of music until you try it. Every genre of music can connect to you in some way."
Redmond said there are plans to expand the station's programming to include shows on sports, entertainment and video games — some of which could be on the air between November and January.
In the future, Redmond said, he'd like to expand the academy to include news shows and training for students who want to work in the film industry, especially with so many movies and television shows produced in Louisiana.
"We hope we can eventually have an industry-based certification, so a kid could graduate from Northside and go right to work on a movie set," Redmond said. "We want to become a full-fledged journalism and broadcasting academy that includes something for everyone."
Information from: The Advertiser, http://www.theadvertiser.com
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