In an effort to increase the quality and precision of programming, WHRB--Harvard's student radio station--is overhauling its programming this semester.
"Our main focus is to make the programs as professional as possible and to encourage as much creativity as possible." said WHRB news director Joseph C. Krupnick '00.
Many of the changes will impact news programming.
Currently, WHRB airs a 10-minute news program each weekday at 8:30 a.m. and a half-hour weekly news program every Sunday from 12:30 to 1 p.m.
The Sunday show has adopted a more in-depth, feature-oriented, news-magazine approach. Formerly, the show was delivered as a straight news program, but the headlines were often outdated by the time the show was broadcast.
Krupnick said news programming has changed to include detailed coverage of specific national issues, such as National Coming Out Day and the Democratic National Convention.
WHRB will also include more interviews with visiting speakers at Harvard.
According to WHRB staff member Henry G. Wei '98, who is also a Crimson editor, WHRB is "trying to be very concise and to deliver just the salient points of each story."
In addition, the station has upgraded its comp process to "incorporate professional techniques in announcing and writing," said Joel B. Pollak '99, the other news director.
Since Harvard offers no journalism or communications major, Pollak said that WHRB tries "to be the best substitute we can. The training people are getting here is equivalent to that they would get at a professional radio station." He said the station is also re-training current members.
Purchase of new equipment and reorganization of the WHRB office has also contributed to the increase in quality.
New additions to programming include radio theater productions, coverage of local arts events, commentaries by students who are not WHRB members and daily traffic reports.
The theater productions, headed by Pollak, are still in the planning stages. He said he plans to "look both within and outside the station for actors." He said that the productions are contingent on the availability of new staff.
John M. Kasdan '60, a lecturer in law at Columbia University, is helping the station in planning and also in providing coverage of local arts events. The first such program aired last week.
The station is planning to approach Harvard students with expertise in certain fields, such as fine arts, to offer commentary.
"We want people to feel they can contribute to what we do," Pollak said.
WHRB began airing daily traffic reports this past week.
The station was originally the Crimson News Network, available only on the Harvard campus. Today the station's audience encompasses the entire greater Boston area.
"It's interesting to try to integrate the student perspective into a broader scale," Wei said.
The station relocated to its current space in the basement of Pennypacker Hall from the basement of Memorial Hall in the summer of 1995.
Wei said that the move "disrupted the station" and that the news department "specifically faced a problem trying to rebuild the programming it had once done."
Krupnick added that "much progress has been made in the last semester."
Pollak said the station is working toward a new set of goals.
"We want to upgrade to National Public Radio quality," he said.