By Jana Persky
KZSU, Stanford’s student-run radio station, will debut a radio program this fall that is dedicated to addressing the activities of and issues facing the Hispanic and Latino communities in the Bay Area.
The show, tentatively named “La Ventana del Mundo” or “The Window to the World,” is scheduled to open in the fall with a weekly hour of content that includes news, interviews and music.
Kedar Naik M.S. ‘11 Ph.D. ‘16, who currently teaches a news and talk broadcasting class at KZSU, said that he originally intended to develop a program entirely in Spanish to fill what he perceived as a void in the station’s programming.
“There are clearly people who speak Spanish in the area,” Naik said. “I see this as something that the people need, and the station needs it, I think, to fulfill its responsibility to the community.”
Several students and two local women — Isabel Jubes and Elizabeth Trajtenberg, who currently produce their own Spanish-language podcast called “Flores y Flowers” –responded to Naik’s email outreach and took the training course this spring.
The team has since decided to produce a program that will likely include both English and Spanish. Regardless of which language each portion is in, the organizers emphasized that they want to appeal to an intelligent audience.
“I have a feeling that there is a certain population — most educated Latin people — that doesn’t have a place because [the radio] is all in English,” Trajtenberg said. “Or you have the most basic Latin radio shows, which don’t really speak to us.”
The team plans to have about 30 minutes of talking and 30 minutes of music in each show. The program will have a rotating set of hosts to allow different voices to get airtime.
Leonardo Leal ‘15, one involved student, said he responded to Naik’s email because, despite being very passionate about Latino culture and music, he has struggled to find radio shows that meet his interests.
“We want this to be a more didactic type of show which will include topics that are relevant to us as a Hispanic ethnicity within the U.S.,” Leal, who was born in Mexico, said. “We would touch on topics like health, immigration issues and politics as well as other relevant news.”
According to Jubes, other states (like Florida or New York) seem to have a richer Latino culture. She said that “La Ventana” is intended to be a window into what Bay Area Latinos are doing and how they impact society.
Latino artists, both local and abroad, will also be a prominent focus of the program. The music portion of the show will include a diverse lineup of Spanish music, instead of the mariachi that, according to the program’s organizers, dominates Hispanic radio.
“We also have rock in Spanish and pop in Spanish and electronic music so we want to include that in the show,” Leal said. “In fact, [we want] not only to include it but to emphasize it.”
According to KSZU staff, the station has attempted to run several shows focusing on Hispanic culture in the past, but few have lasted more than a year or two.
Naik said that in order to make “La Ventana” endure, the quality of its programming must be high.
“If we were kind of flippant about it and we just went ahead and … [threw] something on and no one listened, that would be a serious problem,” Naik said.
“This won’t be important [simply] because it’s a novelty,” he added. “It will be important and relevant because it’s a necessity.”
The group plans to continue working on the show during the summer to ready themselves for the fall because, according to Naik, producing an hour of pre-recorded content can take up to 15 hours of preparation. The station may also run an experimental show over the summer to gauge the audience’s response.
For now, however, the team is focused on learning the broadcasting technology and finding material for the fall.
“The U.S. Latino community, it unifies us in a way, but we are not the same,” Trajtenberg said. “We are from different places, doing different stuff, so everyone will be very welcome to come and talk about their experience and their background.”