KBIA-FM Recently Ranked as One of the Most Listened-to Public Radio Stations in the U.S.
By Gwen Girsdansky
Columbia, Mo. (Sept. 30, 2013) — The hour-to-hour coverage at KBIA-FM might include a 21-year-old Missouri School of Journalism student at Columbia’s city hall producing interviews and a story about how the police department is reacting to drive-by shootings.
A first-time reporter learns how to dig into databases to compare how electric utility rates in Columbia with rates in other same-size towns.
A third-year journalism student sits in front of a microphone in the radio studio, only moments away from his first live newscast to 40,000-plus listeners in mid-Missouri.
General newsroom skills, computer-assisted reporting, anchoring, documentary projects, investigative work and more: These are examples of the professional experience Missouri Journalism students gain while producing multimedia content and hosting live newscasts for KBIA. It is one of the country’s most listened-to public radio stations, recently ranked No. 4 among Corporation for Public Broadcasting-funded operations. The top ranking is based on a cume rating by Arbitron that measured audience size during spring 2013.
Each week almost 16 percent of mid-Missourians tune into KBIA, an NPR-member station. KBIA was ranked first west of the Mississippi and second among university licenses.
Eight professional producers work alongside and train up to 100 students each semester to cover a wide range of topics, from business, politics and religion to agriculture, education and sports. Associate Professor Janet Saidi serves as the news director.
“The amazing thing is that while teaching students, our KBIA wins national professional level awards and ratings,” said Kent Collins, faculty chair for radio-television journalism faculty.
Students working at KBIA have won national and regional awards for superior work. In April, the Society of Professional Journalists awarded several Region 7 Mark of Excellence Awards for KBIA stories, among them a first place in radio sports reporting and a first place in radio in-depth reporting for stories written by students. Both stories were eligible for the national SPJ competition.
Updated: August 15, 2019