Friday, May 30, 2008

Keeping an Eye Out at KZYZ


Our community radio station is such a vital element of Mendocino county and, except for a few key positions, is entirely operated by volunteers. The main studios and broadcast tower are over in Andersen Valley to the southwest, but the Willits studio is linked in for additional production coverage in the inland and north areas of the population. Here, Louis performs a sound check as he learns to produce his own news broadcasts. He's been delivering coverage of local government meetings and hearings for quite a while, and lately Tim has been mentoring Louis in the engineering part of it, broadening the base of local skill-holders. Tim hosts his own weekly late-night talk and music show, Cardboard Prison Radio, on Wednesdays at midnight. Check them out at www.kzyx.org, where internet streaming is available.

Without hard-working volunteers like these, we would barely have a functioning democracy. If we don't take it upon ourselves to keep an eye out on the decisions being made in our names, we deserve what we get handed to us. Keep the airwaves free, keep the libraries free, keep the internet free. Or pry them from our cold, dead hands.

Click here for more pictures of KZYZ!

11 comments:

Dina said...

Woohoo, you sound good up on your soapbox!

Jim said...

Nice pic, and I agree with you totally.

Halcyon said...

I love radio shows. I much prefer to listen to my news rather than see it.

There was a really good show, Fair Game, that was distributed by PRI. I just learned this week that it's going off the air. Didn't even last a year. Sad. :(

Long live KZYZ!

Kelly said...

Beautifully expressed sentiments!

USelaine said...

Dina - it's my favorite one!

Jim - thanks.

Halcyon - there are great programs out there with too few listeners. KZYX & Z airs material from PRI, NPR, BBC, Pacifica, and Free Speech Radio, as well as producing original local news coverage and community interest programming. I'm also fed up with advertisements and commercials being adopted by the non-critical thinking masses as a replacement for any shared authentic culture.

Nothing like a curmudgeon on a soapbox!

USelaine said...

Kelly - and thank you as well.

Fabrizio - ikol22 said...

Another thing I love: to self produce a radio station

Josy said...

You know, I've never been inside a radio station--certainly not the part where they do sound checks and recordings, anyway. I'm curious--how did YOU end up in the studio (and get the opportunity to take what I think is a really nifty and unique shot)?

USelaine said...

Fabrizio - Thank you.

Josy - Well, that's another thing that's different about "community radio". It's you, your friends and neighbors that create it. I had already forcibly loaned Tim, the Willits studio site coordinator, some vinyl records that I had in storage. And I had already had some conversations with both these men on our shared regard for building the local capacity to communicate, etc. I have also been a phone-answering volunteer over at the main Philo studio during pledge drives, and that gets you in to the guts of the place as well. (I took pictures at the last drive, but it's located out of this blog's territory.) The Station Manager is an experienced media literacy advocate as well, and I know she believes everyone should learn about how these things are done. Imagine a world where only the "experts" were allowed to use the internet!

Anyway, in a rural community like this, maybe there's more openness. If you don't have something like it in your area, try finding the nearest college station. Who knows? You may want to get more involved! 8^) And you can start on your own by downloading the free audio software, Audacity, and learn how to make digital recordings of yourself. Cheers!

USelaine said...

Oh, and thank you so much Josy - these guys are pretty nifty too!

Petrea said...

What a great, "insider" kind of shot.

You go, girl.