How Local is 88.1 The Park?

88.1 The Park, a local Plymouth-Canton radio station, has been thriving since its origin in 1972. Having been student-led and student-run all these years, the club and station is deeply rooted in the community. With programs like “News File” everyday at 5:30 P.M., listeners can get a glimpse at the happenings of the Plymouth-Canton area. One of the main focuses of the radio station is to connect and inform the local community which is done masterfully and with professional finesse.

After listening to 88.1 in the car exclusively for the past month, some of my personal features are the two daily news stories, local traffic and weather reports, sports bits and campus news. Among these diverse topics, many are traditional radio news, namely traffic and weather as well as sports; however, the one portion that stands out is the campus news section. This is a small segment that provides an in depth look into school news, never shying away from controversial topics.

The feel and listen of the station is authentic with student volunteers assuming the responsibility of being DJs and creating an air of excitement, displaying genuine joy for their role in the station. The actual music played is drawn from the top charts and includes popular music from all genres, appeasing listeners of many different tastes; compared to popular stations like 98.7 and 96.1, 88.1 The Park is very similar with a flare for the local community. To determine what songs are played, the station looks at how many “spins” a song is getting on the charts and compares. Those on the rise are played more, and those declining are played less. Of course, the songs are all family friendly, meaning references to drugs and sex are censored in the music.

When interviewed, Canton senior Fiona Hughes, a four year member of the station said, “The main focus of the station is to spotlight positive community events and bring upbeat news to our listeners to keep them informed.” This was reflected by my personal listening experience. Moreover, Hughes said, “The election coverage was the biggest thing covered this year and showcases how connected the station is to the community.” The coverage this past November was not only in depth, but also featured local elections for important positions in the Plymouth-Canton area including school board elections.

The station earns a perfect five out of five stars. With voice tracking or recordings running year-round and live students from 2-8 P.M. daily, the amount of effort put in is revealed in the final result. The authenticity and connection to the community of P-CEP cannot be found elsewhere. Now, whenever I choose to listen to the radio, 88.1 The Park is my go-to option every time.