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Supporting Local Community Radio September 14, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.

Today I got home from work in time to catch a little of my friend Lori G’s program on WVEW radio out of Brattleboro, VT. Her show generally features teens spinning tunes and telling tales of their lives, their views, their dreams. Lori is exceptionally gifted at drawing kids out into the light, often getting the isolated ones to open up with her insightful questions and warm way of listening.

This afternoon she featured some younger-than-usual guests, and I was delighted to hear their unjaded take on life, as well as some truly cool music. Weird Al featured prominently (think “Spam In The Place Where You Live“) and reminded me how much I loves me some acordian (!)

Thanks Lori, both for your service to the children of all ages who are part of your work and for the smiles you cause me on a daily basis 😉

WVEW streams live, and is well worth a listen.

Support Local Community Radio!

Let The (Mind) Games Begin! June 4, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
Tags: , , ,

One of the things I value most in the “Information Age” is, well, information. Not spin or hype or press kits or “leaks” from the Whitey-House. I’m thinking more of the unfettered exchange of facts and ideas which is the hallmark of the Blogosphere.

Yeah, I know, that’s a double-edged sword: there’s enough spin in here to demonstrate the right-hand rule. But still, there are plenty of independent voices and perspectives, and that abundance of unfiltered viewpoints gives me lots of jumping-off points for my own investigations of things which interest me.

Public Radio has for most of its existence been a similarly independent voice in a sea of Media Behemoths, but if you’ve been paying attention, you’re probably aware of the gradual shift which has been taking place. It started with NPR sweating bullets over their funding, an issue which got pretty out of hand during the ascendancy of the “Moral Majority” debacle and continues only slightly less precariously to this day.

An outrageous example of The Right’s efforts to suppress your First Amendment rights occurred in New York a couple of years ago, when then-governor George Pataki tried to zero out the budget for WAMC Public Radio out of Albany, and only WAMC, in retaliation for their reporting critically on his administration. The public outcry was immense and the effort went down in flames, but he tried.

The clammy, crawly feeling of being swallowed whole by a grinning serpent continues with the appearances of NPR mainstays such as Juan Williams on M$M outlets where the smell of money is less subtle. Does anybody else wonder if maybe, just maybe these gigs might influence the kinds of leads Mr. Williams might or might not be willing to pursue in his good-guy job?

Maybe we should.

Now we have news of a Brave New World of broadcasting independence and integrity: WFCR, public radio out of Amherst, MA is teaming up with Clear Channel to bring The Whole Truth to the people of the greater Springfield area.

Don’t get me wrong here; I’m not saying that the unwashed masses shouldn’t have the benefit of hearing NPR’s version of the news. I think more people should be listening to that (admittedly increasingly insipid) feed instead of watching Faux sNooze. It just creeps me out to see the Rupert Murdochs and the Clear Channels of the world devouring everything in their paths. And I wonder how many other “public radio stations” outside of my sphere of consciousness are Crossing Over.

New York Congressman Maurice Hinchey is working on The Media Ownership Reform Act (MORA), an important and long overdue piece of legislation which I believe is crucial to preserving freedom of speech, and ultimately democracy itself in My America. I would like to urge you to check out the above link, think about it, and encourage your own legislators to sign on and fully support this bill.

And tell your friends to get on it, too. While you still have a voice.

A Resource For Like-Minded Individuals May 23, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
Tags: ,

I really can’t tell you how lucky I feel to be in the immediate listening area of WAMC Public Radio out of Albany, NY. Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good radio stations out there, and I hope you have a fave within ear-shot of your daily routine. When in Boston, for instance, I try to tune in to WERS from Emerson College for reggae, hip-hop and the most INCREDIBLE a capella show on Saturdays at 1pm.

But WAMC is different in that it combines your typical NPR pablum with a serious number of well-produced local shows about politics, the environment, culture and society. It’s frequently hilarious, usually informative and always entertaining. Even their fund drives are great, and draw some of their largest audiences.

The driving force behind this phenomenon is their President and Grand Poobah, Alan Chartock, CEO of a veritable media empire consisting of a network of about a dozen radio stations and a superb program production company. While I don’t always agree with his point of view, I do always respect his position and admire his energy and enthusiasm. Plus he’s short, which is a plus in my book.

Today’s highlights for me included a segment on their morning program, The Round Table, in which a local “folk-hop” musician performed some interesting original tunes; an hour long conversation between Alan C. and Greg Palast, a personal hero of mine; an installment of 51%, the ever-informative program for and about women’s issues, and the upcoming Fresh Air, tonight featuring a discussion about Congressional corruption.

For those of you not able to tune into this feast at 90.3 FM and it’s herd of progeny, the whole thing streams live at WAMC.org. Browse the programs in the left side-bar, you’ll find some real gems.