KWCW Show of the Week

The Pio Hour

Megan Hearst, Staff Writer

It’s been just a few days since the Pio Hour’s last broadcast, and already sophomores Andrew Schwartz and Anna Middleton are gearing up for next week’s bimonthly release. As the show’s editors, reporters, broadcasters and research team, there’s a lot of work to do before 10 a.m. Monday.

The Pio Hour started off as an effort of The Pioneer to start a radio show dedicated to stories and news important to Whitman and Walla Walla at large. Schwartz and Middleton, both first-years at the time, were all too willing to take up the post. Inspired by radio shows such as “This American Life,” “Radio Lab,” and “The Moth,” the Pio Hour broadcasts a mix of interviews, reporting and personal stories.

Middleton says,  “We like to have a mix of things that are funny and light-hearted and serious issues on campus.”

Past shows have covered everything from the couches in the library to the struggles of reintegration into society after prison, united by the relevance to the Walla Walla community. “It’s extremely random, but I kind of like it that way,” says Schwartz.

Despite the great variety in topics covered, “there’s always little things which connect the stories,” Schwartz says. In the upcoming weeks the pair hope to cover topical issues such as breast-pressing in Cameroon and migrant workers in US.

The local community inspires the stories and topics covered on the Pio HourSchwartz reflects that “people don’t realized that within Walla Walla there’s so much going on, people from all walks of life,” and in the future the team hopes to cover more events going on within the town.

“There [are] all these dynamics that are really interesting and kind of embody a lot of bigger things with America generally, its just fun to tap into Walla Walla, and show small connections between Whitman and Walla Walla,” says Schwartz. The objective of Pio Hour is to tell relevant and often overlooked stories, and Middleton hopes “to create a show worthy of the story,” and states that “we’re trying to find narratives in things which don’t traditionally have a narrative.”

It’s hard work putting together an all-new news hour twice every month, but Middleton and Schwartz are driven by their passion for journalism and storytelling. “Stories are meaningful in the sense that they speak to something bigger,” says Schwartz. And the Pio Hour has big hopes for radio news on campus.

The hosts of the Pio Hour are always on the lookout for new stories. If you have a story to tell, or a topic to suggest, contact them at [email protected]. And if the thought of Whitmancentered, Whittieproduced stories excites you, make sure to tune into the Pio Hour with Schwartz and Middleton at 10 a.m. every Monday. The next broadcast will be on Sept. 28 at 10 a.m.