'The Truth' wants to be heard

January 22, 1998


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Designed to provide an outlet for teens in Franklin and Fulton counties, The Truth teen radio show is struggling to be heard.

When the radio show for teens, by teens and about teens debuted Jan. 11 on Greencastle, Pa.-based radio station WCBG 1590 AM, it didn't get the feedback - or the turnout - that was expected.

"We've had a bumpy, organizational road getting there, but I think we're on the right track," said Doug Price, administrator of Franklin County Human Services and a member of Healthy Communities Partnerships, a group of volunteers that oversees the radio show.


The committee met Thursday afternoon to talk about the radio show's progress and to come up with ideas to keep it on the air.

"To keep this thing flowing, we need more people," said Marcia Hoffman, chairman of the youth involvement/marketing committee.

The idea of a teen program showed promise when organizers held the first meeting last fall at the Fort Loudon Community Center. More than 30 high school students representing four school districts showed up, voted on the title of the program, came up with ideas for the show and seemed interested in getting involved.

Since then, interest has dropped off considerably. Now only about eight students show up to carry the one-hour show, including taping, participating in the round-table discussions and producing commercials.

Adult volunteers are needed to assist the teens in the show's production areas, advertising and marketing, and to help them create a newsletter and pamphlets.

The show also needs a logo design and a jingle to be played as an introduction.

"There's a lot of great ideas, we just need the people to make it happen," Hoffman said.

The program's volunteers and the students admitted their first show was "definitely rough," Price said at the meeting.

Those involved, including the teens, are confident the radio program is gathering momentum in terms of production, and more students are listening.

"They find it interesting and good," said Beth Jacobs, a student at James Buchanan High School and a radio show volunteer.

The committee is exploring ways to measure the number of listeners and is working with schools to recruit new student volunteers.

The basic format of The Truth features a round-table discussion on a topic that's relevant to today's teenagers. In some cases, doc-tors, social workers or other professionals will be invited to participate in the group.

On Tuesday, the teens taped a show about alcohol use that will air Feb. 1. Sunday's show will focus on eating disorders.

On Tuesday, two shows will be taped, one dealing with drug use among teens and the other about school stress. Shows in the future will highlight abuse, choosing a career and smoking.

Students incorporate music into the show and create advertisements to round it out.

The radio program is open to students in grades nine through 12 in the two counties' public and private schools. Those interested in participating can show up at the station, 10960 John Wayne Drive, in Greencastle, every Tuesday at 7 p.m., or call 1-717-261-3893.

The idea of producing a teen radio show came from a survey conducted by both counties in which the public identified three major areas of health concerns or problems in the area. One of those areas was high-risk behavior among teenagers.

The survey led to the formation of Healthy Communities Partnerships, which is made up of volunteers from both counties. Members include school district representatives, administrators, physicians, counseling/social workers, clergy and teachers, among others.

The Herald-Mail Articles