The Voice of Media Reform?

Many activists (especially those involved in progressive/radical causes) are intimately familiar with doing hard work for little or no money or recognition. I’ve unfortunately watched friends burn out on causes for change because of this. However, my hiatus of late has taught me an important lesson: people do notice your work and, if you keep plugging away at it, you will reap rewards (above and beyond altruistic satisfaction, which still unfortunately is not yet considered a form of currency).
When I decided to move to Urbana-Champaign, Illinois from Madison several months ago, I had little idea what I’d be doing when I got here (outside of the higher-learning thing). It was the first time I’d apartment-hunted with no clue as to how I’d manage the rent, an experience I’d recommend to nobody.
Then I got an e-mail from Bob McChesney, who’s a professor at the U of I. After a relatively short correspondence he dropped his bomb: Free Press is launching a weekly radio news program on media reform and activism, and he’d like me to produce it.
It was not difficult to answer that question. It’s turned out to be doubly beneficial: this gig is classified as a research assistantship, which means most school costs are covered as well.
The vary basic plan for Media Minutes outlines a five-minute weekly headline-style program. That’s about all I know at the moment – even the title is tentative. I’ll be working closely with the Free Press staff in D.C., which should be fruitful, but Bob’s left the enchilada pretty much up to me to define.
It is a daunting task to establish a reliable and respected news outlet from scratch, but fortunately this time will not be my first. I plan to open up the show to as much participation from others as possible (both on the story idea and production fronts), and as things begin to firm up in my own head I’ll certainly share the results. Production will likely begin next month with distribution to commence in late September/early October (it will be free to all).
In the meantime I’m perched in temporary digs as my landlady cleans up after the previous tenant (who was quite reluctant to leave). This limbo has gone on for nearly three weeks now and may continue through the end of the month – hence the staleness. Rest assured, though, when I’m back to being plugged in there will be some significant action here.
Mad props to Mediageeks Paul and Ellen for letting me store half of my life in their garage, do laundry, and get the occasional cyber-fix.