The Voice of Fairfield, Iowa
Submitted by: James Edward Moore, Station Manager
KRUU-LP 100.1 FM, website: www.kruufm.com
When Mayor Malloy gave us a recommendation for our puzzle piece of the Great Places grant ap, he noted that KRUU-FM was the first completed project in the cultural district. With over 40,000 volunteer hours in this citizens' initiative, which received plaudits from the Governor's Great Places' Commission, and over 100 hosts producing 80 shows a week (98% local programming), KRUU has become a vital part of Fairfield's cultural landscape.
Its mission is giving voice to Fairfield. KRUU offers Fairfield's extended family the opportunity to tune in directly in real time from far and wide via internet streaming at www.kruufm.com.
As many as 100,000 visitors a month from 40-50 countries do just that to enjoy the mix of local events, civilized talk and wide range of musical programming. A half dozen show hosts have cited the radio station as key to their decision to relocate to Fairfield.
We feel our the station not only showcases the cultural vitality and diversity of our community but also provides a welcome window for those outside our area, a place for visitors to tour and be interviewed, and a tourist destination in its own rite especially as we continue to upgrade our facilities and landscape.
Our latest project involves raising solar panels which will power over half of KRUU's electrical needs and provide backup power in case of outages. The importance of having a go-to emergency response center alone makes KRUU an invaluable resource for the entire community and something low power stations have been particularly noted for.
KRUU has received awards and special note from the local Chamber of Commerce, SEVA, and the Ottumwa Courier for community improvement, humanitarian contributions and progressive innovation. As part of Fairfield's Great Places' designation, it was awarded two full-time VISTACorps service members, though the second was rescinded due to state budgetary restrictions.
KRUU has been called the leader of the pack and leading an "open radio" revolution for its open source community radio innovation. What that means is KRUU employs free culture open source software for its daily operations.
Senior editor Doc Searls wrote in the May 2007 issue of Linux Journal that KRUU was the most committed to these values of any radio station he had come across online. The operating system the station uses, Ubuntu, secured the first major open source deal with Dell Computers in 2006. KRUU is one of 7 case studies/success stories on Ubuntu's website highlighting the system's applied value. Community stations in various stages of development from Des Moines to Cedar Rapids to Quebec to Jamaica have sought our help in this regard.
We've been working hard to create a place where everyone in the community feels they are welcome. In the fall of 2008 we will be developing an open source citizens journalism model to empower teens to retired folks to tell stories, cover events and chronicle local news. We often include in our taglines "... broadcasting live from the cultural district in Fairfield, Iowa."
KRUU will also be sponsoring the August 2008 ArtWalk with the theme "Imagine Community" highlighting civic groups and non-profits. We're planning for this annual event to do awards next year, with a mayoral proclamation honoring the gifted many who give, and much more.
Despite all the great things that have been and continue to be accomplished at KRUU, many of our key city organizations are not aware of them due in no small part to inadequate public relations from our side. We're attempting to do a better job!