Dirk Koning

b. 31 Jan 1957, Zuni, NM .... d. 10 Feb 2005, Grand Rapids, MI

Community media visionary; founding director, Grand Rapids Community Media Center

Whether at home in Michigan or helping launch community media facilities around the world, Dirk Koning was always busy spreading an idealistic and generous vision of community media and its importance for living culture and participatory democracy. The Grand Rapids Community Media Center, which Dirk founded in 1981, quickly became an international model for integrating community TV, radio, digital photography and Internet production under a single high-tech roof. Training programs taught technical skills, but also how to use media tools for community empowerment and cultural development. On the other end of the technological scale, Dirk knew that community media could mean a megaphone, a fistful of magic markers, or a mobile lab to bring media tools to those who didn't have them.

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