It has been 24 years since AudioNet, “The Student Voice of NCCU,” first broadcast its student-created program, which includes public affairs, general news, and music curation.
According to the AudioNet website, their vision is “to provide an alternative to other media outlets in the community through programming that is educational, cultural, diverse, and unique.”
The program accepts volunteers and work-study students from across campus. They can learn to become announcers, news anchors, production directors, and music directors. If successful, volunteers and students may be promoted to positions at NCCU’s jazz station, WNCU 90.7.
According to Truitt O’Neal, the creation of AudioNet was a collaborative project in 1999 that included Trevy McDonald, a faculty member in what was then the Department of English and Mass Communication, Donald Baker, the general manager of WNCU, and Eddie White.
“I spent the majority of my time developing what AudioNet would sound like, designing drops and curation for music,” O’Neal said. “I created a station that mimics K97.5.”
This included developing the broadcasting software, the audio quality, and the overall brand, which included creating the liners, or the lines a DJ uses between breaks and spots.
Shimei Ricks-Cook, a mass communication student and AudioNet volunteer, said the AudioNet experience has taught him the ins and outs of radio production, like how to run the soundboard.
He also said that AudioNet provides the student body with an environment for genuine self-expression and creative development.
“AudioNet is a place where I can be myself and engage with my fellow Eagles on my show,” he said.
Ricks-Cook plans to have a career in the radio industry. Since arriving at AudioNet, he picked up the terminology like “air check,” “sweeper,” and “pre-tracking.” Ricks-Cook has also created a radio show, “What’s Hot?”, that explores pop culture, global issues, and HBCU culture.
“I take joy in supporting students to find their voice,” said AudioNet General Manager Lolethia Underdue.
Her pivotal advice to those seeking a career at AudioNet is to approach their work with unwavering dedication. “Even though it is fun, be serious about it, be dedicated.”
AudioNet has a total of 10 shows this semester. Different genres include gospel, talk shows, and hip-hop. The program remains open to everyone on campus.
Ricks-Cook said that he wants see more people in the program and his show. “I would love to have more NCCU students guest co-host with me to amplify the different voices and opinions that other Eagles have to offer on my show,” he said.