DESCRIPTION OF KAMU
KAMU is both a TV station and an FM radio station, in one. KAMU functions within the "Educational Broadcast Services" department of Texas A&M University in College Station and, while it exists primarily to provide public broadcasting to the Brazos Valley area, it is also involved in the academic mission of Texas A&M, from formal instruction in the broadcast arts to on-the-job training for student announcers, operators, and production assistants at the stations.
KAMU operates two television studios and two radio studios with state-of-the-art broadcast and production equipment, including video editing and digital audio technology. In addition to the broadcasts, the station operates contract production units and produces distance-learning telecourses. Both stations are staffed by a combination of full-time employees, student workers, and volunteers to provide the necessary leadership, manpower, and programming.
Administrative offices and studio facilities are all located in the "Joe Hiram Moore Communications Center", a 17,000 square-foot one-story brick building constructed in 1972 and located on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas.
HISTORY OF KAMU
- The Educational Broadcast Services department of Texas A&M was originally established in 1964 under the name of "Educational Television Program" and had the initial purpose of providing "electronic visual support of the live instructor through the operation of a multi-channel closed-circuit instructional television network with RF connections to classrooms and lecture halls across the campus". Later on, the name was changed to "Educational Broadcast Services" and the KAMU-TV and KAMU-FM stations were added to the department.
- KAMU-TV began broadcasting on UHF Channel 15 on February 15, 1970 as a public television station licensed to the university, providing broadcast service to the Texas A&M University community, the cities of Bryan and College Station, and the surrounding Brazos Valley area. In 2009, KAMU stopped it's analog broadcast on Ch. 15 and began it's HD broadcast on Channels 12.1, 12.2, and 12.3. The TV station provides both local and PBS programming 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. It offers a variety of programming choices through the use of multiple channels and transmission types (check your local listings for HD offerings in your area).
- KAMU-FM took to the air on March 30, 1977. The radio station operates 24x7 at 90.9 megahertz, and is an affiliate of National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI), and American Public Media (APM), and others. The programming on the original FM channel includes classical music, jazz, international music, and much more, including award-winning news programs from NPR and other producers and distributors. In 2008, KAMU began broadcasting a second signal on the same frequency for "HD" hi-definition digital radios. This new HD channel has a talk-radio format.
It is the mission of KAMU to provide a universal educational opportunity to its citizenry using cutting edge technologies and over the air free broadcasts to deliver quality and trusted programming which underpins the educational and cultural experience of citizens in concert with the mission of Texas A&M University.
As a part of Texas A&M University, KAMU aspires with its Radio and Television facilities to be the broadcast education leader in the Brazos Valley. The station seeks to provide a premier children’s service and to broadcast programs that engage adults with educational opportunities that encourage them to take active roles to help shape local, state, and national developments. KAMU seeks to foster in the minds of our diverse citizens the desire to learn, to stay inquisitive, and to be engaged in the ideas, ideals, vision, and accomplishments of their lives and their community locally, regionally, and nationally. KAMU seeks to help individuals reach their goals through education.
KAMU values its status as a Texas Public Broadcasting facility and the partnership it has developed with its license holder, Texas A&M University, as it pursues its mission with integrity and respect. KAMU-TV/FM embraces the following core values:
- Dedication to quality and a commitment to continual improvement in everything that we do
- A workplace that values diversity of experience, supports creativity by encouraging entrepreneurial spirit, and seeks to be professional, diverse, dynamic, and enjoyable
- A commitment to programming and services that is objective, valuable, credible, accurate, entertaining, intelligent, balanced. and relevant
- Dedication to building and redefining audience relationships that foster understanding, trust, loyalty, and good will
- A relationship with our constituents that is open and candid
- A commitment to strengthen public broadcasting nationally
- A belief in relationships that exhibit fairness, respect, honesty, trust, and integrity
- Curiosity, passion and creativity, positive human traits to be fostered in order to better mankind
- A commitment to embrace diversity and strive to bring understanding, compassion and commitment to the community, as we provide our public service
- A belief in ethical broadcasting
- A belief that community involvement is the key to a better life, and that education fosters community involvement.
THE CASE FOR KAMU PUBLIC BROADCASTING
KAMU is far more than television and radio. We think our business is really about ideas, learning, arts, culture, and citizenship. Radio and television is simply the means by which we deliver these resources to our community.
At KAMU TV/FM, we work each day to put television and radio to good use for the benefit of everyone in our region.
As a public service, we profit by improving the community on which we depend for support. We succeed to the extent that our children learn, our viewers and listeners become engaged in matters that concern them, and those within our communities join together in a common cause.
For children, we are a story teller and a teacher. We model appropriate behaviors. For families, we are the stations they trust – a valued friend that shares their values. For adults, we are a source for news and public affairs, culture, and for many, we provide the childlike wonder of a lifetime of learning, regardless of age.
We provide local teachers with the tools to help educate the young. Newcomers learn English through our outreach services. Those who cannot read come to us to learn a skill that others take for granted.
We are an integral part of this community. The professionals and volunteers who work to make KAMU possible are people who live alongside you. Your neighborhoods, schools, churches, parks, and community institutions are also the places where we live, study, worship, and play.
KAMU is not just public radio or television, but quite literally the public’s television and radio station. It is a precious community resource that is dedicated to serving everyone through our quality programs, our educational services, our outreach projects, and our involvement in the community.
- KAMU Television as a Friend to Children
Of all the services we provide to our community, nothing surpasses KAMU’s commitment to its youngest citizens through the outstanding children’s programs our television station provides. Since its inception, KAMU has recognized the extraordinary influence television has on young minds and the responsibility we assume whenever they spend time with us.
We direct significant resources to children—not just toward producing programs for them, but toward research that helps us understand how they learn. We implement learning tools that we present off-air to train parents and early childhood educators.
We are now well into our third generation of helping to develop the intellectual, emotional, and social potential of our youngest viewers. Our children’s programs are the most honored and respected on television—sweeping the Emmy Awards children’s category year after year.
Of even greater significance, KAMU is the channel most trusted by parents and families.
Our special mission to children goes far beyond television. KAMU brings children and families the special initiative, Ready To Learn, designed to improve the school readiness of young children . This innovative project centers on a full day of non-violent, commercial-free, educational children's television programs.
But Ready To Learn also provides extensive outreach services—workshops for parents, childcare providers, and other early childhood professionals, as well as the distribution of children's books and magazine(s).
Your investment in KAMU is an investment in the children of our community – and our future.
Stimulating the development of young minds and inspiring the idealism of children are some of the things that KAMU does best. No one else does it better.
- KAMU as a Trusted Place for Families
Parents trust KAMU. A study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania confirmed what most people suspect: When asked, 70% of parents said that the best programming for children and young people can be found on PBS. The American Academy of Pediatrics cites this evidence in recommending that parents take charge of their child’s viewing and directing families to public television programs.
Parents trust public television because it treats their children as precious resources, not just young consumers. Parents know that KAMU children’s programs are non-violent, non-commercial, and educational. They know that these programs teach reading and math skills, convey concepts, and teach values.
Parents are also aware that no one else in the community serves the development needs of pre-school youngsters as consistently and as well.
KAMU works through community outreach programs like Ready to Learn and implements interactive web content to extend the learning experience. On our website KAMU.TAMU.edu for example, youngsters can learn to read by following stories and have the text read to them as it is displayed on screen.
Now, through its digital television service, KAMU-TV is delivering award winning PBS children’s programs to local families—a full-time, non-commercial educational service for children and families.
From an early age (0-2) programs teach children movement and expression. Older children develop technical skills in Math and Language.
As their children grow, parents know that KAMU is a companion that will grow with them – bringing them the best of history, the best of science and the natural world, and helping them learn about the world and their environment through specials and other educational broadcasts.
KAMU-FM provides quality family programming for parents and older kids on the go. There are a host of programs that adults and teens share. They become “childhood memories” and shape daily routines later in life.
KAMU works every day to serve families, and that has made it the most trusted source of quality programming shared by children and adults.
- KAMU as a Formal Educator
KAMU is our region’s largest classroom. From pre-school through college and beyond, KAMU plays a role in formal education. Without question, KAMU is a key part of the solution to providing all ages with educational opportunities.
Students at Texas A&M and Blinn College depend on KAMU-TV to provide them with a number of college courses. The technology behind KAMU provides a wealth of services to the distance learning initiative at Texas A&M University. KAMU’s staff teaches college courses in video production utilizing KAMU’s facilities, and KAMU-FM provides a forum for student meteorologists and journalists.
Nationally, our children’s programs are honored and much loved. Through our Ready to Learn program, developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education, we help parents and teachers prepare our youngsters to succeed in school.
We are a trusted classroom resource, helping teachers supplement their lessons by providing access to the best of our primetime schedule and our programs.
Through our membership in PBS, we provide TeacherSource, an online website for preK-12 educators that helps them incorporate digital media in the classroom. This valuable teaching tool offers free lesson plans, teachers' guides and online activities that meet state curriculum standards. We also offer free lesson plans, activities and curricula for home schooling.
PBS TeacherLine, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides high-quality professional development for K-12 teachers with the goal of improving teacher quality and increasing student achievement. It offers more than 68 online facilitated courses in reading, mathematics, science, curriculum and instruction, and technology integration.
From childhood to the classroom, from college credit to improving the teacher’s ability to teach, KAMU educates and enlightens thousands throughout our community.
- KAMU as a Lifelong Learning Educator
KAMU provides programming for the curious mind. It respects your intelligence, helping you to learn and grow throughout your life. It’s always there to inspire you, pique your interest, enliven your daily life and take you to fascinating destinations near and far.
On television, we help you explore the planets and the stars, the natural world, and your history. All of these programs strive to satisfy your curiosity by providing background, history, and timelines based on these programs on our website, KAMU.TAMU.EDU.
On radio, we receive detailed and in-depth background information about world events through the quality news programs from NPR, PRI, and APM. Programs pique your interest and curiosity and teach us a daily lesson about classical music, as well as the history behind music.
We keep you informed, helping you go behind the headlines each evening on TV and radio. We explore in-depth. As commercial broadcast news backs away from covering local government and policy issues, KAMU has made local citizenship a top priority, following developments in local and regional government that affect your life in the Brazos Valley by becoming the premiere venue for candidates to tell their stories to the voters.
KAMU provides lifelong learning opportunities, but we realize lifelong learning isn’t limited to traditional courses in science, history, and government. KAMU teaches people so many things, like how to sew, make a quilt, barbeque, make a soufflé, add a room onto the house, repair plumbing, rebuild a carburetor, paint a watercolor, and, of course, collect antiques.
KAMU takes you around the globe and introduces you to people from other cultures. It explores different faiths and moral issues. It helps you learn how to make wise investment decisions and even assists you in running your business --- or starting one.
KAMU knows that learning doesn’t end with your last degree. As long as our community asks who, what, why, when, where, or how, we will help to find the answers. We are the community’s most accessible, credible broadcasting resource for lifelong learning.
- KAMU as an Information Source
Information is the lifeblood of democracy. Thomas Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be both ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Indeed, the uninformed citizen cannot make intelligent decisions about government, thereby undermining the entire premise of the American experiment.
Amid a cacophony of warring voices, with ideology often taking the place of facts, and with secrecy becoming contagious, KAMU stands out as a beacon of hope – a bastion of information, providing clarity and context in a confusing world. The news programming from both PBS and NPR are crucial to an informed citizenry, and are invaluable to our listeners and viewers.
KAMU presents a business information and news without commercial interruption, and is covered in a calm and dispassionate manner, with companion websites, allowing citizens to explore issues in depth following the broadcast.
Through news and information programs of unparalleled quality, KAMU challenges your assumptions, provides you with what you need to function as an informed citizen, and encourages you to use your mind.
- KAMU as a Local Broadcaster
KAMU is local. It is locally owned and operated. Decisions about programming and services are made by people who live within this community.
That’s the way it used to be throughout much of the broadcast industry, and we think it’s the way it should be. But over the past 25 years, the number of television stations, for example, that one company could own has grown from five to 20 to a number limited only by the percent of audience served. Today, two companies reach more than 35% of the American population. In 1996, Congress declared no limit to the number of radio stations a single company could own. The largest now owns over 1200 stations. There are some limitations regarding the number of stations in a single market.
The same is true of cable and satellite. Single companies that own many cable channels also own television stations and produce their own programs. Today, a handful of companies control most of what we watch.
That’s not inherently bad, but it is also not local. Station policies and program decisions are typically made somewhere else, and the ability of any one individual to make his or her voice heard on viewing issues is almost non-existent.
KAMU remains local. We are owned by Texas A&M University. We set our own policies, make our own program decisions, and answer questions when our listeners and viewers call or write. We listen to our listeners and viewers and respond to their needs as efficiently as possible. Most of our financial support comes from the local community, so we rise or fall based on how responsive we are to your local needs.
Our license to broadcast—along with that of other stations – requires us to operate “in the public interest, convenience, and necessity.” We value that obligation, and we work hard every day to adhere to it.
We often say that KAMU belongs to you. We believe that it does and we strive to make certain our programming and community projects reflect our commitment to you.
- KAMU as a Reflection of Diversity
KAMU reflects the communities we serve— all of them. We offer a diversity of voices unmatched anywhere else on the air.
Because we do not exist to market to audiences but to serve them, one measure of our success is how inclusive we are. We do this not simply by exchanging experiences within cultures, but by sharing them with the entire community.
This is reflected in our programming, which over the past few years has regularly addressed the concerns, heritage and history of:
- Diverse racial and ethnic groups, including Native Americans, Asians, African-Americans, Latinos, Polish-Americans, Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, German, Czech, and others.
- Major religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism
- Specific American regions, including Appalachia, the South, Hawaii, Alaska, and others.
One of the communities in our area which contributes to the quality of life we all enjoy is the international community at Texas A&M University. A variety of programs have been produced and aired from this group including a currently running program featuring Indian Classical Music. The program is supervised by faculty advisors to the International Student Association.
It is also reflected in our outreach efforts. Many of our publications are bilingual. OurReady to Learn program is offered in English and Spanish. Many of these initiatives target specific ethnic groups within our communities. We offer training in English as a second language.
KAMU takes the term “public broadcasting” quite literally. We belong to the entire community, and our programming and outreach activities mirror the diverse range of voices available to us.
- KAMU as a Service Provider for Outreach
KAMU Public is more than the sum of its programs. It is a wide range of direct, people-to-people services designed to convey ideas and learning to the many adults and children we serve. This is what we call outreach, and it is central to KAMU’S commitment to put public broadcasting to good use for the benefit of us all.
Outreach extends the power of our programming by putting materials, tools, and classes that support these programs into the hands of citizens. Our outreach efforts bring people together to make change in our community, in the quality of their lives and the lives of others.
Through community outreach, KAMU partners with other local organizations to extend the value of our programs by way of various media services, educational materials and collaborative activities. These efforts are designed to engage individuals and foster community participation in issues of importance.
Through educational outreach, KAMU supports formal and informal education, providing educational experiences for young people in classrooms, libraries, and community-based organizations while supporting the professional development of the adults who work with them. Courses from both Texas A&M University and from Blinn College are broadcast on KAMU-TV. Discussion sections in Anthropology from Texas A&M are broadcast in a talk radio format on KAMU-FM.
On television, through our Ready To Learn program, we work with PBS to ensure that all America's children are prepared to enter school. Ready To Learn provides on-air, online and print resources and local support to help parents and early childhood educators prepare children for success in school.
Outreach sets KAMU-TV apart from other stations:
- Outreach exists because our programs have meaning that extends far beyond television.
- Outreach is possible because we are not bound by the need to use our airtime to produce profits.
- Outreach is significant to us because we are part of this community and desire to work with others to make it a better place.
- KAMU as a Community Partner
Just as others work through us to achieve their goals of building a better educated and more civil community, KAMU works through others to achieve its mission.
We are not a school, but we provide education. We are not a social service agency, but we improve lives.
We are not a museum, symphony orchestra, or theater, but we provide arts, culture, and strong connections to the past.
To do this, we work in partnership with other organizations—many of them in our own community—who use our broadcast and outreach expertise to extend their work.
We partner with schools to improve the quality of education in our community. We prepare youngsters to enter the classroom, provide libraries of visual resources, and give teachers opportunities for independent study. We help our schools improve the way they do their jobs.
We partner with social service agencies to provide outreach. We produce programs on issues of community importance, bring viewers together to identify solutions, and publicize their conclusions. We help these agencies raise community awareness and identify solutions to pressing problems.
We partner with cultural institutions to bring the arts and culture, science and history to our audiences.
We bring the best of opera and symphony performances, drama and dance to our audiences. We open the doors of museums and display their collections in programs that bring history alive.
We promote the activities of local organizations to strengthen the cultural life of our community.
KAMU is one of the premiere educational, social, and cultural institutions of our region, and we open a gateway to every other organization with which we work.
- KAMU as a Neutral Convener
KAMU is an integral part of this community. We are locally owned and operated. Our staff and volunteers live and work in the community they serve. The problems our community faces are our problems, too, and we share in its successes.
In support of our community, KAMU plays a role both on-air and off-air to bring people together to help the community address concerns. Much of this we do through community outreach efforts that extend beyond our programming, emerge from independent initiatives or come from the ideas of others.
Members of our staff work outside of their jobs to stay involved with local arts, civic, philanthropic, and service organizations to provide leadership and foster a better quality of life within the community.
We take no editorial position on these issues. We use our role as a locally owned and managed media presence in our community to serve as a neutral convener.
KAMU uses these good works to help our community address its problems, and we all profit from it.
- KAMU as a Catalyst for Change
KAMU is an integral part of this community. We are locally owned and operated. Our staff and volunteers live and work in the community they serve. The problems facing this community are our problems, too. Together, we share in our community’s successes.
In support of our community, KAMU plays a role both on-air and off-air to bring people together to help the community address important concerns. Much of this we do through community outreach efforts that extend beyond our programming, emerge from independent initiatives or come from the ideas of others. Members of our staff work outside of their jobs to stay involved with local arts, civic, philanthropic, and service organizations to provide leadership and foster a better quality of life within the community.
Although we take no political position, we believe life is constantly changing and that how we manage that change affects our lives and those around us. Education plays a major role in how and why we change. We believe in better schools, stronger families, and a more educated citizenry. We believe our citizens have a right to clean air and water, to good jobs, to training that will help them find meaningful employment, and to take part in civic life. We work both on and off the air to help make these things happen.
It is our responsibility as a locally owned and managed media resource to help make a profound impact. We are a catalyst for change in our community.
- KAMU is an Advocate for the Arts and for Celebrating Arts and Culture
KAMU constantly celebrates the arts and culture. Through our programs, we bring the best music, theatre, film and dance to the furthest reaches of our region. And we provide the finest classical performances.
From Willie Nelson to Ella Fitzgerald, from Martin Scorsese’ s The Blues to the great doo-wop groups of the Fifties, we bring contemporary masters into your living room.
From the new version of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma to Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, we put you in a front row seat. We bring you dance performances from Paul Taylor to Bob Fosse, with Nureyev’s Don Quixote thrown in for good measure.
Our own local shows provide a local and intimate look at the arts. Our cultural programming serves as an introduction to the arts for young viewers. For many adults, the free tickets we provide are the only chance they’ll ever have to attend world-class events.
KAMU believes that the arts should remain a part of our daily lives. By producing and airing the greatest performances available, we give equal cultural opportunity to all.
- KAMU as a Preserver of History
KAMU remains dedicated to preserving and sharing history. From the history of Greek civilization to Lewis and Clark … from America’s Civil War to our own local series, Veterans of the Valley and Heritage Highlights, we make history immediate, engaging, and understandable.
Through companion coursework provided free to teachers, we help bring history alive. Today, students do more than just memorize names, facts, and dates. Thanks to KAMU, what they study becomes real, and in turn becomes more meaningful.
Public broadcasting’s commitment to preserving history has spawned a new genre and produced many imitators, but no one brings our community more programming with a historical perspective – or does it more accurately than we do.
- We began telling the story of who we are and how we got here. Over the years, we have delivered to you stories of the ancient world, biographies of great statesmen, industrialists, and rogues.
- We have profiled every modern American president and detailed his contributions to making America what it is today.
- We have recorded American history.
- We tell stories of our world and our nation, great wars and great political battles. And we pay special attention to the history that surrounds us in our own community.
- We tell these stories to our children. We tell them to preserve the contributions of those who have gone before us. And we tell them to remind ourselves that everything we do today, as a community, state, and nation, will become part of history tomorrow.
- KAMU as a Multi-Media Source
KAMU uses a variety of media to serve our community, making us an important part of the lives of our citizens whether at home, at work, or on the go.
Through KAMU-TV, we are a story teller, a teacher, a theater, a library, and a traveling companion. Our television service is the most trusted place on the dial for families with children, a source of childlike wonder to adults, and a place where all of us can continue to learn and grow, whether our interests are science, current affairs, antiques, or bouillabaisse.
Through KAMU-FM, we are a primary information source, going beyond the headlines to explain world, national, and local events. We provide context, along with insightful interviews with writers, artists, and thinkers.
KAMU Radio is the cultural and artistic voice of our community. It not only brings the world’s great music into our lives throughout the day, it is a portal to the arts throughout our region, bringing news of concerts, plays, art exhibits, and lectures.
KAMU’s extensive online capacity, supported by Texas A&M’s commanding investment and leadership in internet technology extends the value of our radio and television programming through Internet links to additional program content and program-related educational resources. KAMU online helps you find programs of interest before they air and find repeat broadcasts of programs you’ve missed. It takes you behind the scenes to show who we are and how we operate.
KAMU’s web-based educational resources are working to improve the quality of learning in our community by helping teachers use KAMU programs in the classroom during school hours and to hone their teaching skills through in-service training.
KAMU is more than television, more than radio, and more than the web. It is a multimedia service that touches people’s lives in a variety of ways. Through this combination of media, KAMU works to serve citizens where they need us, when they need us.
- KAMU Radio as a Primary Information Source
Over the past several years, KAMU Radio has become a primary information source for thousands of listeners, on par with their daily newspaper or a weekly news magazine.
You have come to expect KAMU to provide the very finest in news and information radio programming whenever you turn to us—to go beyond the headlines to provide meaning and context to world, national, statewide, and local events.
Through national and locally produced news and cultural programming, KAMU rises to meet those expectations daily. It is thorough, fair, and authoritative. And in what is increasingly rare among 21st Century media, KAMU prides itself not on always having the answer, but in always having the questions.
KAMU is an important partner with NPR and other national programmers, not only bringing outstanding radio programs to our community, but providing news reports, when called upon, that are shared with other public radio stations. We are not just a presenter, but a representative and interpreter.
KAMU has been widely recognized for the excellence of its radio news broadcasts.
But our greatest reward is the knowledge that we are a trusted partner in the everyday lives of thousands of our listeners. We have worked hard to build a reputation for accuracy, impartiality, and diligence, and consider your trust the bedrock of our mission.
- KAMU as a Source for Jazz and Humor
KAMU Radio provides jazz every weekday afternoon ranging from big band, classic jazz, smooth jazz and vocal jazz all hosted by local personalities. Classic country and blue grass music also find a home on KAMU.
- KAMU Radio as an Arts Advocate and Preservationist
KAMU is fine arts radio for our community. To thousands of listeners, we are a concert and recital hall—always open and never requiring admission—and a constant companion.
But KAMU is more than just our community’s stage for the world’s greatest music. KAMU is a portal to the arts, informing our community of upcoming events, such as plays, musical performances, lectures, exhibits, and other cultural gatherings sponsored by a variety of organizations and groups.
Unlike any other arts organization, we strengthen the entire cultural community and thus contribute to the quality of life here.
Throughout its programming, KAMU preserves access to the arts for all citizens. For many older members of our community, we provide entry to concerts they can no longer attend. For those of limited means, we open the doors of the world’s great concert halls, affording them an opportunity they would not otherwise have.
By preserving access to the world’s great music, we help to prepare audiences of the future, introducing youngsters to a quality music experience that is becoming increasingly rare.
In an era when too much radio has grown shrill and strident to attract your attention, KAMU Radio goes quietly about its business—providing a quality cultural experience for quality listeners.
KAMU is more than radio. It is a performance stage, recital hall, musical educator, and portal to the community’s artistic life, providing equal cultural opportunity to all. Recognizing this important mission, it is no exaggeration to say that KAMU Radio is our community’s most vital cultural attraction.