Redressing Genocide on Noncommercial FM

Mike Janssen of In These Times (9/27/08) explains that, while the fact that radio is “cheap and ubiquitous… easily accessible to the poor, the illiterate and the low-tech,” may not be valued by massive conglomerates like Clear Channel,

for many communities, radio still promises a way to spread news, share stories and support a cultural or regional identity.

This is especially true for the countryâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s Native American tribes, which have seized a rare chance to start new radio stations as a way of strengthening their communities. Last fall, many Native people joined hundreds of schools, activists, churches and nonprofit groups that applied for new noncommercial FM stations with the Federal Communications Commission….

Through locally controlled media, tribal communities gain the power to reflect their Native cultures back to each other–a right denied them throughout decades of persecution and genocide. [Native Public Media Executive Director Loris Ann] Taylor still remembers the grade-school teacher who pinched her hand if she spoke her Hopi language in class.