In an announcement made Tuesday morning, Georgia State University officials shocked the campus community and the surrounding Atlanta area with a so-called partnership between the student-run radio station, WRAS Atlanta 88.5 FM, and Georgia Public Broadcasting. The agreement was done behind doors between university officials and GPB without consulting student leaders or the Committee for Student Communications.
Backlash on social media was swift and vast. The hashtag #SaveWRAS began trending within two hours of the breaking news, and #BoycottGPB began trending later Tuesday evening. A Change.org petition was launched Tuesday night and within 36 hours has attracted more than 5,000 signatures. Fans on Facebook began changing their profile pictures and profile cover pictures to “SAVE WRAS” graphics. Statements from WRAS, The Signal and student media alumni have been issued in defense of WRAS student management.
In addition to the Internet, local independent media in the Atlanta area and various college media and radio special interest groups were quick to react. The Atlanta Business Chronicle, Creative Loafing Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Signal, Atlanta Intown and Access Atlanta have all published stories regarding the takeover. WSB-TV and 11 Alive both aired segments covering the decision on Wednesday evening. Blogs such as Decaturish.com, All Access and Radio Ink all covered the announcement. College Media Matters and the Student Press Law Center have both commented, and Biz 1190 aired a short segment on Wednesday with plans to do a more thorough interview later this week. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution plans to do a follow-up interview with outgoing general manager of WRAS, Ana Zimitravich, as well, and Creative Loafing plans to publish an op-ed from Georgia State senior Jewel Wicker later today.
Please continue to check back here at SaveWRAS.com for continuous updates and more coverage, and please continue to use the appropriate hashtags to encourage fans to sign the petition and make the appropriate phone calls!