Valley Eye Radio expands coverage to keep pace with COVID-19 news

  • A control panel at Valley Eye Radio’s Springfield studios. STAFF PHOTO/ANDY CASTILLO

  • Volunteer Jeanne DelMonte reads from The Republican in Valley Eye Radio’s Springfield studios in January. STAFF FILE PHOTO/ANDY CASTILLO

  • Volunteer Jeanne DelMonte reads from The Republican in Valley Eye Radio’s Springfield studios in January. STAFF PHOTO/ANDY CASTILLO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/26/2020 12:46:05 PM

SPRINGFIELD — News related to the expanding COVID-19 public health crisis has dramatically increased in volume in recent days. To keep pace, a Springfield-based radio station on which volunteers read stories for the visually impaired is expanding its coverage, too.

“As a response to the breaking news regarding the coronavirus, Valley Eye Radio expanded our readings of the Greenfield Recorder to six days a week to keep our listeners updated on the important information that (newspapers) provide,” said Harold Anderson, the program’s director, in a statement issued Tuesday.

Monday through Saturday, the Greenfield Recorder will be broadcast to listeners for an hour each day beginning at noon. Ordinarily, the Recorder is broadcast Mondays at 11 a.m. by Chicopee resident Jeanne DelMonte.

Local readings are now preceded by an hour of stories from the Recorder’s sister newspaper, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, beginning at 11 a.m. Recorder stories will be rebroadcast at 10 p.m. and Gazette stories will be rebroadcast at 9 p.m.

Valley Eye Radio, which has operated for more than four decades, doesn’t have call letters as do other stations. Instead, the program piggybacks on frequencies used by other, larger stations. Because of that, ordinary radios can’t pick it up. Listeners can only tune in on special devices that can be obtained from the station. The radios are free, although there’s a one-time $65 suggested donation (if listeners can afford to pay that much) to help keep the station running. Additionally, a telephone service broadcasts the programming 24 hours a day.

Notably, the articles broadcast over the station’s airways are from a variety of local publications as well as national newspapers. The articles are read by volunteers, who, in this public health emergency, have begun recording them at home, Anderson said.

“With the breaking coronavirus news, we could not wait to begin this long-planned expansion of our local programming to our listeners,” Anderson explained.

For more information or to obtain a radio that can pick up the frequency, call Valley Eye Radio at 413-747-7337. The station’s website is valleyeyeradio.org. Contact the station for a full programming schedule.




Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906

 

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