Jul 6 2007

Mark Lloyd, Hannah Sassaman, Dory Graham and Bruce Dixon on the state of radio


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This week on CounterSpin, we’re talking all about radio. Perhaps the most democratic medium—cheap to produce and to access—U.S. radio is nevertheless not the most democratic in its content, whether that’s music and culture or, especially, political ideas and discussion. How did that happen? What would it take to alter that landscape, and are we seeing an opening for change right now?

We’ll discuss the political lay of the land with Mark Lloyd from the Center for American Progress. They’ve just released a study, along with the group Free Press, saying the conservative domination of talk radio is not “nature’s way” but has to do with the lack of diversity and localism in corporate-controlled media. Mark Lloyd will join us to talk about “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.”

Also on the show: As corporate dominance of major media has solidified, people nevertheless continue to find ways to talk to one another around those big companies, and one of those ways is low power FM radio. Frustrated by Congress, the low power FM movement has simply kept on keeping on, and now there may be major action at the national level. We’ll talk to two organizers from the Prometheus Radio Project, Hannah Sassaman and Dory Graham about that story.

And finally on the program, do shifts in the radio landscape provide special promise for the black community—for whom, when it comes to big media, “historically underserved” is an understatement? Bruce Dixon from Black Agenda Report has thoughts on that. We’ll hear from him as well later on in the program.


The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio, by Mark Lloyd et al (Center for American Progress, 6/20/07)

Action Alert: Bills To Expand Low Power FM Radio to America’s Cities Introduced in Congress!(Prometheus Radio Project, 6/21/07)

The Black Stake in Low Power Community Radio, by Bruce Dixon (Black Agenda Report, 6/13/07)