Students can be Heard Through Communication & Media Studies Opportunity  

Amy Frakes and Austin JacobsWhether it’s popular culture or conservative politics, KSTM 88.9 FM radio — known on campus as The Storm — gives Simpson College students the power to run their own radio station.

KSTM is Simpson’s student-operated radio station that broadcasts live over the 88.9 FM channel in and around Indianola and online here.

“KSTM is a non-commercial low power station. It started as part of the Student Affairs Office years ago and was moved to the Communication & Media Studies Department to bring it into the academic experience of students studying journalism,” says faculty advisor Mark Siebert. “In 2013, KSTM moved into a new studio in the Gaumer Building.”

All students get some training in FCC rules to ensure the station is in compliance. Station manager Abbie Benge is in charge of monitoring the material and keeping the station up and running.

“I have already gained a lot of knowledge since becoming station manager,” says Benge. “I learned all about the FCC guidelines, I learned how the station runs and how to control it and fix it if something goes wrong.”

Benge says she’s used her experience with KSTM to further her career goals.

“I was an intern with Cumulus Media this summer, so I came in knowing a lot about how to promote a radio station and what types of things to incorporate into shows to make them more appealing to listeners,” she says. “I’ve also developed a method of how to teach the process to other students.”

Junior Austin Jacobs hosts a conservative political show on The Storm, and he says his experience is something from which he can benefit in the future.

“Two of my friends had a show last year and had a good time so Amy [Frakes] and I figured, why not try it out!” he says. “So far it’s been a great learning experience. I do plan on putting it on my resume. It shows my wide range of skills, and I see that as a plus.”

Not only can having a radio show impact a student’s campus life, it can also help develop those key skills needed in any future field of work.

“Most students who participate do not continue on to careers in radio,” says Siebert, the KSTM adviser. “Most will work full-time jobs in another field and perhaps have a radio show on the side covering high school sports or something similar. The skills developed are applicable to a number of different fields.”

The Storm is an outlet for a range of views and outlooks on lifestyle, politics, sports, popular culture and an endless number of possible show topics.

On the dial for this semester includes a liberal political show, a conservative political show, “geek news” for those interested in comic-book culture, local and national sports reviewing, Latino lifestyle coverage and other great shows provided by Simpson students and fostered by the Communication & Media Studies department.

It’s easy to get involved on campus and make your voice heard when a free radio opportunity is located within the college. Don’t be afraid to make noise at Simpson and foster future career skills through avenues like KSTM 88.9FM — The Storm.