The city of Atlanta has been in an uproar all month over the deal Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) has struck with Georgia State over its crowning cultural jewel, the student-run radio station WRAS- Album 88. For over 40 years 88.5 has meant a meaningful music oasis in the desert that is Atlanta radio- a vast, parched land with few options: Bon Jovi-country hybrids, rap music with no sense of individualism, or the same three Seether songs on repeat.
GPB will be using the coveted time slots between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m., leaving the not-so-primetime slots for the original GSU broadcast. There are lots of questionable things about the GPB deal. From the small amount of money they paid for the broadcast rights to the contract itself, which reads like the fine print in a promotional cable bill. And while GPB has only vaguely made promises of new opportunities for GSU students coming from this deal, it is much easier to point out all the ways in which Atlanta and the surrounding areas need Album 88. Let's look at some of the important ways Album 88 helps the city we call home (and beyond).