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Morehead State Public Radio exceeds university safety policies

Johnathon Burton, The Trail Blazer

Morehead State Public Radio has had to exceed university safety policies for the sake of students and staff to kick off the Fall 2020 semester.

Work-study, internship and practicum programs are elements of college life to consider when discussing the impact of the pandemic. MSPR provides work-study positions to students, offering a means of paying for their education and giving them work experience.

“The radio station, like all communication outlets whether it be newspaper, TV or radio, are essential to our society,” said Paul Hitchcock, the general manager at MSPR.

The station continued to work throughout the summer with a limited number of staff to do the essentials. For the new semester, several students had to be cut back from the program in order to keep the work environment safe.

As of now, 12 students are working part-time at the radio station, either through practicum courses or internships. Four to five students were cut back from the program in order to focus on workplace safety.

“We’re basically following MSU, but then also putting in extra precautions in place,” said Hitchcock.

Credit Johnathon Burton, The Trail Blazer
Employees are required to check-in and record their temperature upon arriving at Morehead State Public Radio on August 18, 2020.

New workplace policies at the station include performing self-checks before arriving, wearing a mask, checking-in upon entering the building and encouraging employees to wash their hands and sanitize their workstation. Other changes include a modified work schedule and keeping doors locked 24/7 to keep infection risks low.

“We’re promoting, we’re advocating, we’re educating, all the basic things that radio does,” said Hitchcock. “Because we can take the time in longer form to provide those services to the public

Public Service Announcements promoting safety and guidance during the pandemic are played throughout the broadcast day. Examples include messages from the mayor and county judge, encouragement from Feeding Kentucky to donate to your local food bank and messages from the CDC that are in both English and Spanish.

Credit Johnathon Burton, The Trail Blazer
Guidelines are posted with information on how to keep safe while working at Morehead State Public Radio on August 18, 2020.

"We’re all trying, we’re all adapting, we are all trying our best,” said Hitchcock. “We want to help out and be supportive as much as possible.”

Information about the current state of the pandemic from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and MSU campus health guidelines can be found on MSPR’s homepage at http://www.wmky.org

(The Trail Blazer is online at: http://www.thetrailblazeronline.net