FSU’s radio station, WDJM, has been fined $1,200 by the Federal Communications Commission because it did not fully comply with the Public File Rule.
According to the FCC, “The public file contains a variety of information about each station’s operations and service to its community of license.”
The Gatepost found that WDJM’s current advisor, Niall Stephens, an assistant professor in the communication arts department, was unaware of the fine. This lack of communication and the recent fine is an indicator that something is wrong at the radio station.
Former advisor to WDJM, Christopher Bowen, also an assistant professor in the communication arts department, said “I have never had any experiences working with music, news or production in radio in any way, shape or form.”
Bowen added that he thinks the club would benefit from having a more experienced advisor.
Having an advisor can be beneficial, but only if that person is knowledgeable about what he or she are advising. A knowledgeable advisor can remain to train and inform WDJM members as the senior members graduate. An advisor can be a perpetual source of information, while still allowing management decisions to remain in the hands of the students.
The fine is not entirely the fault of the WDJM radio members. Nor is it entirely the fault of the advisors. The fine resulted from the systemic mistake of not having effective advising for students who have little to no training in managing a radio station. In order to prevent these fines from occurring in the future, the selection of advisors needs to be taken more seriously. Without effective advising, of course these mistakes will happen.