WTOP Student Advisory Council FAQ

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WTOP Student Advisory Council

Shape the Future of News

The WTOP Student Advisory Council seeks students to advise WTOP News on issues and current events related to the student experience in and around the DC area. The council’s sole duty is to advise WTOP News and to provide reciprocal journalistic experiences to the student participant. The Advisory Council has no duties with respect to the operations of WTOP News. The Student Advisory Council is a volunteer committee that partners with WTOP News to share information and direction about news and current events as it relates to a typical student in the DC metro area.

WTOP will seek to create an engaging panel of local High School students with the purpose of opening up honest and impactful dialog about topics of interest to them and to our listeners. WTOP will seek applications from local high school students (including parental approvals) that outline their interests in news and current events.

Why should a student join the council?
Students can provide input on news stories and positively influence what WTOP News covers.

Students can serve the community by exposing community stories to WTOP for possible coverage.

Students can build their professional network and media experiences ahead of college considerations.

Students can gain and share expertise through professional development opportunities.

Membership Composition

The council will include 10-15 DC area students between the ages of 16-18 years of age from accredited high schools in the DC metro area who demonstrate, through their application and interviews with WTOP staff, a keen interest in news and current events.

Eligibility criteria:

Members of the Student Advisory Council will:

Be a currently enrolled student between the ages of 16-18 years old attending high schools approved to operate in DC and the neighboring states of Virginia and Maryland.

Have a general knowledge of news, community stories, and current events affecting students.

Engage with the members of their local community to bring potential news stories and news features to the council for discussion.

Ideal Candidate Characteristics

Ability to listen, analyze, think clearly and creatively, work well with people individually and in a group, and provide constructive feedback.

Openness to differing views; a friendly, responsive, and patient approach; community engagement skills; personal integrity; a developed sense of values; and concern for and interest in program development.

Selection and Appointment

In addition to eligibility requirements, the specific skills and experiences of an applicant will be important factors in the council selection.

Applications will be considered from currently enrolled students, with demonstrated knowledge of news and current events from the perspective of the student experience.

Appointments shall be made in a manner to ensure broad and diverse representation of students with relevant experience capable of representing the student experience in current events.

What are activities I will participate in as a member of the Student Advisory Council?

Attendance and participation at quarterly scheduled meetings. Meetings will be virtual with occasional in-person meetings when possible.

Completion of tasks as assigned by the council.

Review of meeting materials ahead of the meeting.

Ability to ask questions, share ideas, opinions, and experiences.

Periodic digital surveys that can be taken remotely via online access.

How often are the meetings? What is the time commitment?

The Student Advisory Council will meet once per quarter, with additional meetings to be scheduled for special news events as necessary. Members will also be asked to complete periodic digital surveys as part of the commitment. This means that members are asked to volunteer for about 2-3 hours per quarter between prep and participation, which would equate to one year of service.

Members of the Student Advisory Council may be reappointed each year.

Appointees are asked to commit to one year of service.

Council meetings will be made available on WTOP’s YouTube channel.


All appointments are voluntary. There is no monetary compensation for participation.



FAQ – About the WTOP Student Advisory Council

What is the WTOP Student Advisory Council?
The WTOP Student Advisory Council is an interactive community where members have the opportunity to share their views and opinions with peers and the staff of WTOP NEWS. Through participation, a student will provide insight that will shape the WTOP News platforms to better meet the needs of the local student population. Advisors also have the opportunity to weigh in on current news topics and issues and share in research findings, previews of new content and future product developments.

Who is on the WTOP Student Advisory Council?
Our Advisory Council has members from all the Greater Washington DC metro area. All we ask is that our members between the ages of 16-18 years old and be active students at accredited schools.

How do I apply to join the Advisory Council?
It is easy to apply, simply click on the ‘Apply to join the WTOP Student Advisory Council ’ button on the WTOP.com home page, complete the registration questionnaire and follow the on-screen instructions.

Once I am a member, do I need to login to the WTOP Student Advisory Council page on the WTOP website to complete a survey?
No there is no log-in requirement; we will simply email you a unique link to any survey you are invited to complete.

What would I need to do as a WTOP Student Advisory Council member?
As a WTOP Student Advisory Council member you will be invited to take part in various group discussions throughout the year which may include online, phone, postal, one-on-one or group conversations.

What happens if I don’t participate?
Under normal circumstances, we are unlikely to contact you more than once or twice a quarter, and you are under no obligation to participate. However, if after several invites you are not participating, we may contact you asking if you wish to continue to be part of the council. While there is no obligation to participate, we do reserve the right to remove council members after a period of time if we consider you to be inactive.

What am I able to say about being a member of the WTOP Student Advisory Council?
Once an approved member you will be able to use the following statement as a professional interest; “A member of the WTOP Student Advisory Council, an opt-in news and current events advisory community of Washington DC area students.”

Personal Info and Our Research Partners

Why do you ask general questions about me in the registration?
In order for us to understand our members it is useful to have a broader understanding about you, for example your age, gender, and school affiliation. By having this information, we can better design a committee experience that meets the needs of local students.

Why do you need my contact details (name, address, email address etc) and is it safe?
We ask for these details primarily so we can communicate with you personally, rather than just “Dear panelist,” but also in case we have other meetings that we may wish to invite you to. You may rest assured that your personal information is stored with the utmost care and will never be passed on to any third parties.

How do I cancel/ unsubscribe my membership?
If you would like to leave the WTOP Student Advisory Council simply email cschwalb@wtop.com to be removed from the committee.

Who are your news partners and how do they relate to the WTOP Student Advisory Council?
WTOP News partners with CBS News Radio, Fox News Radio, CNN News, and AP News that help provide national and international news coverage across our platforms on air and on the web sites. WTOP News also partners with Getty Images for pictures and news photographs.


Will my views be treated in confidence?
All discussions are carried out in private where council member privacy is assured at all times.  WTOP Student Advisory Council will not sell to council members as a result of participation.

Who has access to our views and opinions?
Only the relevant employees of Hubbard Radio DC will have access to the research results. All of your responses will remain anonymous and are reported on collectively and will not be directly attributed to you. In the event that we should we ever wish to ask questions where further contact may be helpful based upon your answers, this will be clearly stated at the time of the interview and you will have the option to not take part.

Will any of the discussion be published?
No, results of the discussions will not be published within the WTOP platform. Should we wish to make a discussion public, please rest assured your identity will never be revealed, unless there is written permission from you to do so.


How will you contact me?
Most of the communication will be via email. However, on occasion we may need to conduct you in other ways including telephone, or postal.

Why haven’t I received any email invitations?
Sometimes some ISPs may categorize email as spam even though you have requested to be a member of the WTOP Student Advisory Council and are therefore sometimes filtered out. Please check your spam filters for our emails and add our email address.

How long are the meetings or panels?
We always try to keep our surveys as short as possible but some subjects do require a more in depth conversation. Participation in each conversation is voluntary so if a topic is going too long or not of interest you may decide not to participate. WTOP Student Advisory Council members can also stop participating at any time.

What if I’m away when a panel or discussion invitation is sent to me?
You are not expected to participate in every panel or discussion. If you are not available to participate, simply delete the email invitation and wait until you are invited to another one.

How can I contact you about a panel or discussion?
Simply send us and email to cschwalb@wtop.com


Are there any rewards for taking part?
We may eventually offer some premium items from WTOP and/or any corporate partners who may support the WTOP Student Advisory Council initiative.

Why should I participate?
The WTOP Student Advisory Council is your opportunity to share your opinion on current news topics as well as contribute to the future development of WTOP News so that we can meet the needs of you and our community. Your feedback will go towards making real improvements in the coverage, content,


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