Good Luck to Tony Riddle!

Tony Riddle, until recently Executive Director of the national Alliance for Community Media, has left that position and will be joining the staff of Pacifica station WBAI-FM in New York as Executive Director. RTM considers Tony an especially valued colleague (along with others who have recently changed jobs within the media democracy movement, including former Media Alliance ED Jeff Perlstein and former Future of Music Coalition ED Jenny Toomey).

During his work at the ACM, Tony did a great job of highlighting the media policy issues affecting public access, educational and government cable channels, and making sure that the media democracy movement understood how sustaining grassroots community media is a crucial issue alongside media ownership, net neutrality, etc. RTM hopes that new ACM leadership will pursue these connections as Tony did. This morning, RTM distributed this appreciation of Tony's work:

On behalf of Reclaim the Media, we want to convey a few words of thanks to Tony Riddle for the fantastic work he has done in the most recent stage of his continuing career as a community media activist, helming the Alliance for Community Media.

The ACM, representing the interests of community media producers and managers in public access, educational and government channels across the country, is facing a particularly uncertain economic and political climate. Even as a nationwide movement to democratize media policy has grown substantially over the last few years, sustaining and expanding PEG has often been seen as a separate or second-tier issue in comparison to media ownership, community radio or broadband regulation.

Tony, of course, doesn't see things that way – and he refused to let either the Alliance or the larger media democracy advocacy community see it that way either. Building upon his experiences at Manhattan Neighborhood Network and the Media Justice Fund, Tony made himself a fierce advocate for community media concerns and a prominent figure within movement strategy conversations.

He has provided an incredible example of principled social justice/media activism which ACM members across the country should follow. For those of us in the media justice and media reform communities, his leadership served as yet another indicator of the powerful connections between grassroots media and grassroots activism for social change.

We wish Tony well in his latest adventure at WBAI!

Jonathan Lawson
Karen Toering
Reclaim the Media, Seattle

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