Free Speech Radio News announced this past weekend that it will resume a semblance of operations on Tuesday, February 11th. It’s a soft launch, beginning with the provision of limited content and then working up to the resumption of regular daily broadcasts.
A pioneer of the networked newsroom, FSRN has been a stalwart of community broadcasting in the United States for more than a dozen years. Unfortunately, it fell silent last September after its major funder, Pacifica Radio, welshed on several outstanding bills. Continue reading “Free Speech Radio News Rides Again”
We’re about to lose one of the most important independent voices in grassroots radio journalism. Free Speech Radio News announced late last week that it would cease production on September 27th.
In a nutshell, the problem is money, and the writing’s been on the wall for a while. Free Speech Radio News has been hurting in that department since the fall of 2010, when it first raised the spectre of going dark. Saved by a last-minute crowdfunding campaign, FSRN’s been teetering on the brink ever since, held together by creative management, another emergency fund drive, and the passion of its crowdsourced production base. That can only take you so far, it would seem. Continue reading “The Long Goodbye of Free Speech Radio News”
In less than three weeks, Free Speech Radio News has raised more than $75,000, saving itself from the brink of silence…for now.
This is enough to keep the newscast operation floating until the end of January, but nowhere near the amount necessary to offset existing incurred costs and secure the future of this vital decade-old journalistic endeavor. Continue reading “Free Speech Radio News Gets Reprieve”
Barring significant divine fiscal intervention, the United States’ only collectively-produced progressive daily radio news program, Free Speech Radio News, will suspend production on December 20.
FSRN has been an amazing accomplishment of independent journalism. Founded in the ashes of the Pacifica Radio network’s self-immolation of the late 1990s (which also led to the independence of Pacifica’s primary nationally-syndicated show, Democracy Now!), FSRN runs on the efforts of community radio stations and grassroots journalists from around the world, and airs on more than 100 stations domestically. Continue reading “The Unfortunate Death Watch of FSRN”
One of the things mainstream radio in America has all but abandoned is journalism. It’s only been a half-century since the advent of television, and from then to now is the time it’s taken for radio news to all but disappear.
Radio news departments were some of the first casualties in the industry’s downward spiral into consolidation and cost-cutting sparked by the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. It costs a lot of money (read: salaries) to produce local news, and offers some of the lowest return on investment (read: ad rates).
As an independent media movement took root at the end of the last century, activists rediscovered radio journalism. A portable minidisc recorder makes it possible for one person to archive a large amount of sound on a matchbook-sized medium; regular cassette tapes are cheaper still. And the MP3 file system makes coverage of events and interviews easy to produce and distribute online. Continue reading “Guerrilla Radio News”