The show must go on

Illustration by Monte Lowery

For the past month, COVID-19 has taken its toll on Atlanta, the U.S. and the entire world. Amid tragic deaths of loved ones, shelter-in-place orders and ravaged grocery stores, most people are trying to cope with the new “normal.” 

Throughout the chaos that the coronavirus has left in its wake, Georgia State students are working on finishing their semesters strong. Student media organizations have been working in high gear to deliver content to students during this in-person hiatus. 

WRAS-Album 88

Established in 1971, WRAS-Album 88 is Georgia State’s student radio station. The station broadcasts a variety of genres, special shows and hosts events within the community. General Manager Raina Morris helped plan WRASFest, the station’s biggest event. 

WRASFest is an annual off-campus event, paired with live musical acts and a free Album 88 tote bag. This year, eight acts were scheduled to perform, including Atlanta’s CoCo & Clair Clair and Stemlines.   

Morris became involved with the organization after attending last year’s WRASFest with her friend. She enjoyed jamming to the diverse setlist on The Bakery’s dancefloor.

This year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19 and campus closure. Morris is disappointed to have lost this year’s event after laboriously planning since October.

“I think [WRASFest] being at The Bakery is always a good idea because it is … kind of the epitome of the Atlanta DIY scene,” Morris said. “For us, WRASFest is kind of what we give back to the community as our biggest event. That’s really how we’re able to showcase different artists and also push our message of being a very community based, Atlanta based and definitely underground based music.” 

The Album 88 staff has been working to adapt to life off campus. Generally, DJs and artists record content in the booth, but that process is unfeasible, given the current circumstances. 

Currently, Morris and other members plan to record at home, upload the content to the shared server, and then, on campus, a verified Georgia State staff can upload the media for broadcast. 

Morris hopes to have new content up and running by the end of the month.

Check out the station’s broadcast schedule here and tune in to connect to fellow Panthers.


Senior Cayce Tiedemann is editor-in-chief of Underground, Georgia State’s submission-based literary journal. Underground generally publishes one journal each semester, and hard copies can be found in the English Department or Ebrik Coffee Room, the staff’s unofficial meeting place. 

Last semester’s journal, entitled “IN TRANSIT,” has 83 pages of content, including poetry, photography and a mix of multiple mediums. The staff promotes hard copies of the journals, so these editions are usually available long before their online version. 

Their system is adapting due to the coronavirus, though, and last semester’s issue can be found online here

Their next issue, entitled “TAKE ROOT,” will be published online next month. The theme was decided last summer, and Tiedemann sees a bit of irony with the journal’s concept, given today’s circumstances. 

In lieu of in-person meetings, the staff has been holding group video meetings. An unexpected benefit of virtual communication, Tiedmann said, is that all staffers are involved in the production meetings.

“What’s interesting recently since everything is virtual now, the members of Underground — not just the editors but every single member — has sat in on every single video call we’ve had,” Tiedemann said. “So, they’ve been able to see the process step by step in-depth, probably more than ever before. It’s definitely brought us all closer.”

Tiedemann also looks forward to the virtual TAKE ROOT release party. The program will be hosted by Tiedemann and other editors, and artists are invited to log on to present their art. She also encourages people to watch the event, more details can be found on their Instagram account @undergroundjournal.

“Hopefully, people won’t be too shy or too sick of video calls at that point,” she said.

New South

Similar to Underground, New South is the university’s graduate student magazine, mainly consisting of poetry, fiction and nonfiction writing. 

The organization publishes two hard copies a year, each containing roughly 150 pages filled with student submissions. The tangible copies, once life resumes to normal, will be available for pickup in 25 Park Place, Langdale Hall and a few other buildings on campus. 

New South also produces a bi-annual online issue. The last was created in 2018, and can be found here, meaning another journal is due this year. 

Graduate student Anna Sandy-Elrod has served as the editor-in-chief since 2017. Sandy-Elrod said that, at this point, most of their production is able to be done remotely, and they are able to work relatively uninterrupted by the campus closure.

The journal’s biggest change is the cancellation of their First Friday Reading Series. Prior to social distancing, community members were invited to visit JavaVino once a month. For each reading, a featured writer or poet is paired with a Georgia State graduate writer to present their chosen works.

To make up for the cancellations, staff members have posted videos of their own readings, labeled #readingsfromquarantine. 

NeoNetwork/Panther Report News

NeoNetwork is the university’s student broadcast network, with Panther Report News as one of its three programs.

Junior William Bridges is the lead photo and video editor for PRN and hopes to take over as general manager next semester. 

Like the Album 88 staff, Bridges said PRN is working to make their production system at-home friendly. Segments are generally recorded in-house, meaning broadcasters have had to turn their bedrooms into studios. 

Overall, the shelter-in-place order has made for difficult filming, so reporters are expanding their portfolios by turning to the written word. Bridges believes this is an unexpected benefit because staff members are involved in every step of the reporting and production process. 

In the demanding world of multimedia and 24/7 news coverage, Bridges hopes this method will help staffers to get the “jobs of their dreams.”

Through the rest of the semester, PRN reporters are posting articles daily, and they can be found on their website. Broadcasts by NeoNetwork can be streamed on their YouTube channel. 

Bridges said the organization will continue to report on Georgia State-specific and national news. Bridges adds that PRN editors are working in overdrive to produce quality content.

“The leadership staff is integral to PRN’s survival right now,” Bridges said.

If Netflix just isn’t cutting it anymore, check back regularly to these student media organizations for new content.