Occupy Wall Street Makes Its Own Media

One of the biggest stories you’ve never heard of is unfolding in New York City. For nearly two weeks now hundreds of people have occupied Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan under the moniker of Occupy Wall Street. Inspired by this year’s popular uprisings in north Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, OWS hopes to spark a similar movement for democratic change in the United States.

Much of the media have dismissed or denigrated the occupation, with many professional journalists missing its point entirely. The ongoing happening, at present, is not geared toward all-out, head-to-head confrontation with corporate America or the state, but rather to provide a space for folks from all walks of life to talk, listen, and collaborate, in the hope of reaching that point in the future. Read More

The Unfortunate Death Watch of FSRN

Barring significant divine fiscal intervention, the United States’ only collectively-produced progressive daily radio news program, Free Speech Radio News, will suspend production on December 20.

FSRN has been an amazing accomplishment of independent journalism. Founded in the ashes of the Pacifica Radio network’s self-immolation of the late 1990s (which also led to the independence of Pacifica’s primary nationally-syndicated show, Democracy Now!), FSRN runs on the efforts of community radio stations and grassroots journalists from around the world, and airs on more than 100 stations domestically. Read More

Props Out of Nowhere

Community radio stations are strange animals. While they all have paper-missions to be inclusive, alternative, and oriented toward citizen access to the airwaves, the reality is that they often have poisonous internal politics, can get caught up in their own legacies to the detriment of their futures, and – like many volunteer-driven organizations (but ironic for a radio station) – don’t necessarily communicate well amongst themselves.

My current home for radio-catharsis, WEFT, is not immune to this. I’ve served a year on the Board of Directors and came away completely frustrated. Fortunately, many community radio stations – if the volunteers are detached from the baggage, empowered with a sense of collective responsibility and left to do their thing – can almost run themselves. This applies to WEFT as well. Read More