jonathan's blog

Listen Up! Northwest: Life behind bars

RTM note: With producer Yuko Kodama on vacation, we present an encore presentation of a program originally aired in 2008.

This week, Listen Up! Northwest explores life behind bars in the Northwest.

Segments include:
* One young woman navigates life with an absent dad and a mom in prison. (Sandi Billings, KRFP Moscow, ID)
* An inmate's mother discusses the latest Oregon ballot measures regarding prisons. (Ruth Kovacs, KBOO Portland)
* The racial disparity in prisons in Oregon and nationwide. (Carlos Chavez, KBOO Portland)
* An ICE spokesperson looks at the legal rights of undocumented immigrants (Patrick Kilpatrick and Linda Olson-Osterlund, KBOO Portland)
* A Commentary on some ways that the police and media can help lessen police
brutality incidents (Logic Amen, KBCS Seattle)

* download program 15
* program 15 promo

Listen Up! NW is produced by Yuko Kodama at KBCS for Reclaim the Media, and distributed by the Northwest Community Radio Network.

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Listen Up Northwest program 57: Hate crimes

Listen Up! Northwest is a collaboratively produced radio magazine featuring stories of communities in action throughout the Northwest. Each broadcast highlights the work of skilled community radio producers and artists from our region, including Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

This week, a special feature on hate crimes in Seattle and what some are doing to stop the rising trend (Rosette Royale and Callie Shanafelt, KBCS, Seattle).

Music by Northwest artist DJ B-Girl.

* download program 57
* general Listen Up! NW promo

Listen Up! NW is produced by Yuko Kodama at KBCS for Reclaim the Media, and distributed by the Northwest Community Radio Network.

Read more.

Listen Up Northwest program 56: Prison farms

Listen Up! Northwest is a collaboratively produced radio magazine featuring stories of communities in action throughout the Northwest. Each broadcast highlights the work of skilled community radio producers and artists from our region, including Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

This week, a special edition on the closure of prison farms in Alberta and other Canadian provinces (Jonathan Steinman, Nelson B.C - CJLY Kootenay Coop Radio)

Music by DJ B-Girl and Adam Shaikh.

* download program 56
* general Listen Up! NW promo

Listen Up! NW is produced by Yuko Kodama at KBCS for Reclaim the Media, and distributed by the Northwest Community Radio Network.

Read more.

Listen Up Northwest program 55: Considering Whiteness

Listen Up! Northwest is a collaboratively produced radio magazine featuring stories of communities in action throughout the Northwest. Each broadcast highlights the work of skilled community radio producers and artists from our region, including Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

Listen Up! Northwest program 55 offers discussions about the meaning of whiteness as a race. (Callie Shanafelt, KBCS, Seattle)

What is cultural appropriation in contrast to cultural sharing? A discussion on how cultural lines can be crossed when one takes on artifacts of another culture. (Theryn Kigvamasudvashti, KBCS, Seattle)

There are serious gaps in proficiency and success between students of color and white students. We feature an interview of two people who are trying to close this gap through cultural work with white teachers (Esther "Little Dove" John, KBCS, Seattle)

Music by DJ B-Girl, DJ Sabzi, Mako and Aiko Shimada.

* download program 55
* general Listen Up! NW promo

Listen Up! NW is produced by Yuko Kodama at KBCS for Reclaim the Media, and distributed by the Northwest Community Radio Network.

Read more.

Echo Chamber

Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment
by Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph N. Cappella [Oxford]

In this valuable study, public policy and communications experts Jamieson and Cappella look at how right-wing media have produced an ideologically-focused media establishment, with mutually reinforcing outlets in print (The Wall Street Journal, for example), television (Fox News) and radio (Limbaugh). Moving slowly through case studies and analysis, they seek to understand how this "echo chamber" functions, and how it has come to wield such power in American politics--arguably taking over some Republican party political functions, such as vetting candidates for office.

The book offers much in the way of helpful analysis, but falters in its brief conclusion, where the authors refuse to say much about whether they think the conservative echo chamber is good or bad for America. Pointing out that partisan media has enjoyed a long history as part of the American media landscape, they reasonably note that ideological media consumers are in some ways more likely to become civically engaged. More puzzlingly, they count as a positive the fact that conservative media "help their audiences make sense of complex social issues" (surely this is not always a net positive). On the negative side, of course, are the echo chamber's ideological selection of facts, its appeal to emotional outrage rather than argument, and its encouragement of audience balkanization and antagonism towards nonideological media.

After spending so many pages detailing how right wing media produce these effects, it is troubling, then, that the authors find it necessary to insert, in passing, a facile equivalency between Fox and Limbaugh and what they call, without evidence, "the pro-Democratic distortion" on NPR and CNN. (More fairly, though also without detail, they also note Air America and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann as liberal counterparts to the right wing media). Apart from these arguably unfair parallelisms, what's also largely missing is an account for the relative market power and ubiquity of the right wing media establishment, which cannot be explained simply in terms of audience demand. -jl

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Listen Up Northwest encore presentation: International Stories

This week, Listen Up Northwest is taking a short break. To tide you over, we're revisiting one of the most celebrated LUNW programs from 2008, featuring international stories and perspectives from Northwest community radio journalists.

* South Ethiopian women who travel miles to fetch water each day (Jessica Partnow, Common Language Project-Washington)
* The orphan crisis in Uganda (Tom Herriman, KBCS-Seattle)
* The impacts of the US military efforts on women and children in Afghanistan (Martha Baskin, KBCS-Seattle)
* A Cambodian artist whose music literally saved his life in under the Pol Pot regime (Dmae Roberts, Crossing East-Portland)

* download program

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Expand Low-power FM in 2009!

Now is the time to expand Low Power FM radio! Once again, Congress is taking up the Local Community Radio Act, which would dramatically increase community access to the public airwaves by allowing for thousands more low-power noncommercial radio stations to pop up across the country.

People across the country have been waiting patiently for Congress to take action to expand LPFM. This could be the year that it happens! Read more on how you can help support Local Community Radio.

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Jamming prison cell phones threatens public safety, groups tell Senate

Today, the Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on legislation (S. 251) to allow corrections officials to jam cellular transmissions in prisons. Reclaim the Media joined Public Knowledge and seven other public interest groups and consumer organizations, telling the Committee that the legislation would cause more serious problems than it would solve. Read our letter to the committee (pdf).

In a separate letter to Senator Maria Cantwell, RTM is encouraging the committee to look at the related issue of prisoners and detainees' lack of access to affordable phone services. As described in the recent report Criminal Charges: Excessive Prison Phone Rates Take a Toll on Innocent Families, exorbitant long-distance rates and privately negotiated service contracts for prison telephony cut access between prisoners' families and their incarcerated spouses, parents or children. This harms innocent families, and denies prisoners crucial resources for self-evaluation and self-improvement while incarcerated. A Wired Magazine article notes that these high rates are a key motivator for prisoners to smuggle in contraband phones.

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Dueling media conferences! AMC Detroit and ACM Portland

This month the calendar gods wreak havoc with those of us who think that media justice and community media belong together like Bert and Ernie... with the Allied Media Conference taking place in Detroit and the Alliance for Community Media meeting in Portland, both this weekend. Reclaim the Media will use our super media justice powers to be both places at once!

At the AMC in Detroit, I will join Andrea Quijada (New Mexico Media Literacy Project), Steven Renderos (Main Street Project) for a media justice/community organizing panel on How We Used the DTV Transition to Expand the Fight for Media Justice, and What’s Next. That's just one of several panels and workshops organized by members of the Media Action Grassroots Network (complete list here).

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Community broadband on The Conversation

UPDATE: Here's the mp3.

Tune in to KUOW's The Conversation today for a discussion asking, "should Seattle have a city–run broadband network? Tacoma does." Guests will include Seattle Chief Information Officer Bill Schrier and me, hopefully also a representative from Tacoma's CLICK! Network. Segment begins around 12:20.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey