Tuesday, June 29, 2004


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I stopped by the station this morning, between errands.

He's "Stretch," because he's SO tall. When I tried to sit in the newsbooth chair to work in the mornings, my legs would go to sleep, it was so high.

So, I'd lower it.

He'd grumble, "there's been a lowrider in here!"

So, we're Stretch and Lowrider.

I've respected Stretch's work as long as I can remember. He's tight; he's professional. Oh, he flubs now and again, sure; it's live radio. But he blithely laughs it off and gets right back to work.

I can always count on Stretch. He's a merciless editor, which I totally love.

The first piece I ever showed him, he tore to shreds.

I said, "well, thanks for editing my copy"

He said, "well, if you didn't WANT it edited, you shouldn't have given it to ME!"

I said, "No, Stretch, I really MEAN it! THANKS!"

He blinked, startled, and grinned.

Stretch is not a particularly affectionate or demonstrative person. In fact, I think he'd be perfectly happy to just do his job and leave, without human contact from anybody.

At first, he thought I was a flake, I think. One day, I heard him comment about me to someone on his cell phone.

After he hung up, I put my chubby fists on my chubby hips and told him who I am and how I deserve respect. One of my pieces of evidence was the fact I was walking three miles a day, round trip, to get to the station at five thirty in the morning, to work while it was still quiet. I explained I didn't have enough money for a patch kit, to repair my scooter tires.

About an hour later, I saw him digging in his bag. He said, "Rogi, come here."

He pulled out his patch kit and handed it to me, without a word.

As soon as I could, I brought him a new one.

Well, I padded down the hall this morning, looking for Stretch. I had no other business at the station; I just wanted to welcome him back from vacation.

I heard stirrings in the newsbooth and poked my head in the door.

"Hi, Stretch! Welcome back!"

He stood, grinning broadly, walked out into the hallway, stretched out his arms and gave me a hug!

Now, I've had hugs from lots of people. Some people are compulsive huggers. Stretch isn't one of those people.

A broadcast journalism award couldn't have met more to me than that hug, and toothy grin, from Stretch!

I've been smiling all morning!

repost from hood Life

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Turned on the radio, stumbled for the coffee and toilet. Flopped my butt down with a hot cuppa.

Tom Trowbridge fell all over himself, trying to deliver his morning salutations, started over and said, "yes, it's early."

For years now, my radio has greeted me with Tom's and Bob Edward's voices. To me, radio sounds like them.

I suppose I should be more upset that the gatekeepers of my main source for info and culture are white guys. But I'm not. I like both of them.

When I hear Renee and...um, is it Steve?...on Morning Edition, part of my mind patiently waits for Bob Edwards to come back from vacation. Upstarts!

These new hosts are eminently forgettable.

I remind myself of Bob Edwards' fate, to keep me sane, to keep me from getting my hopes up, to keep me wary and conscious of who I'm excited to produce for. They're wealthy, complacent, spoiled, impressed by fads & ratings, self-protective and not-too-bright.

Oh, they sell pretty radio, for sure. And a lot of it is very moving, informative and creative.

But a piece on Asian seahorses is not a piece on the children of crack whores in the War Zone.

Actually, most of their stories about poor folk are of the uplifting sort. They convey a problematic message to their yuppy listeners: see? This person made it out. So, the vast number of the poor are just too lazy and apathetic to do the same!

They really don't know how incredibly difficult it is to buck the odds and scramble up. They REALLY don't know!

So, much of what I have to say probably won't be "up to their standards," when it comes to the economically exploited.

I haven't even begun to research HOW to produce for NPR, let alone begun persuing a story; but I already know this.

When was the last time YOU heard a poor person, broadcasting on NPR?

Thought so.

So, while I'm very flattered someone is even considering that I could produce for NPR--because I appreciate rich sound--I'm very wary. What appendage will I be expected to amputate, so I can fit my round peg in THEIR square hole? y'know?

I should repost this in my radio blog, huh? LOL

Monday, June 28, 2004

Friday, June 25, 2004

Yes, I can still edit!

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My advisor gave me a CD of a mixed down story.

There's a LOT of ambient sound: crowds in a bright building.

I had to cut a minute of the piece.

I'm very proud of my work. I made sure the ambient went seamlessly.

Remember: I couldn't seperate tracks; I had to use it, as is.

There was a particular part, for instance: kid yelling "MOM?" At first, I thought I'd cut it off, and start the part with the subject, talking. But I could still hear the end of, "OM?" and its echoes; didn't sound natural. So I left the little brat in! LOL

There were other bits like that, too.

The bridges are tricky. There's nothing I can do about it, unless the talen wants to rerecord narrative.

But I had to cut a whole segment. If the narrative before the cut doesn't match that after the cut, what do I do?

I cut as carefully as I could.

There is only ONE sentence I'd like the talent to rerecord. But even it, to the casual listener, isn't glaringly obvious.

I've listened and listened and listened to my edit. It sounds totally natural: inhales, crowd mullings....

I called my client and left a message about the edit. Gave him the finished time, etc.

I hope I got the time right. It may actually be about fifteen seconds too SHORT now!

I also previewed the radio show from which I'm to make a transcript for the web site. I think I know what I'll swipe.

Discovered something peculiar: this computer has a "Word" icon, but no "word!" hmmm....

So, I'll have to write the transcript onto a web page on my domain, copy it into my webtv email so I can spell check, and paste it back into a web page to email to my client! bleh.

I can do it. But, if emails get too long, webtv has trouble swallowing them.

But, given what I've seen of other transcripts at the website, the complete transcript shouldn't be TOO long!

IF and I mean "if" I edited his story the way the client wanted, I just made a hundred bucks in just over an hour!


Thursday, June 24, 2004

to Marianna's family

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I hope enough time has passed now that I might ask you all a favor.

First: I think I have Patty's email address wrong. Would one of you mind forwarding this to her?

I'm working at a public radio station here, in Albuquerque.

I'm working on a piece about Marianna.

I want to know if any of you might help me with it.

I'd like some background, biographical details, for one thing.

If any of you has any interest in recording some oral history I might use, too, please let me know.

There's no hurry; take your time and think about it.

The project is fifty nine minutes long.

Once it's completed, I plan to try to pitch it to National Public Radio, as well.



I'm blown away!

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My advisor just dropped by, so we could get my UNM ISP working.

He dropped off two pieces for me to work on:

1) a 5:30 min. piece he wants me to edit to 4:30

2) a finished production from which he wants me to edit a transcript, for his web site.

It's over a hundred dollars' worth of work.

That's the MiniDisc!

In addition, he's asked me to pick my "best" commentary.

After the 1st week of July, he's hooking me up with two network mentoring programs. One of them is...are you ready for this?...National Public Radio!

I am literally in SHOCK! I had to lie down; I was so light headed, I was afraid I'd faint!

Youth Radio and other ideas

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I got up at 6.

I was just too jazzed from last night's meeting. I wanted to spin my ideas and remember what people said.

I think this notion of Youth Radio may be something in which I can be useful.

My concept would be that kids generate the content. My job would be as a facilitator. They'll need help with editing scripts, for example. They'll need help building on a basic idea to get their "angle," to narrow focus into a containable piece for broadcast. Basically, I could assist as an editor.

But I can also empathise with their direction, perspectives, interests, etc.

They're going to need adult role modelling of a very different nature. They'll need adults who RESPECT them, accept them, take them seriously and have enthusiasm for what they're trying to accomplish. They'll need adults who actually encourage them to think for themselves, question authority, test limits.

My years in the War Zone have taught me this. I had up to twenty kids a day, running in and out of my house. I know what their prejudices are, what their frustrations are, what's dangerous to them....

I like kids, even the big, sweaty, clumsy ones.

Steve has been doing some stuff with Youth In Transition ...YIT.... the only shelter space in town that deals with teen runaways and homeless.

I need to check in with him, hear what he's been doing, where the kids would like to go, etc.

I also need to read the Youth Radio website, to see what they're about. http://www.nfcb.org/projects/communityradioyouth.jsp

Steve's got a meeting with Programming on Monday. He invited me to attend.

I want to go in, ready to offer assistance with content generation.

I also want to work with Radio Theater at KUNM. They have prepared pieces that need editing. That'll get me past my fear of editing. I'm just rusty. I can also work on scrupt writing.

I wonder what work my advisor has for me?

His were the first eyes I saw, as I left the public comment mic, at the meeting last night. I was shaky. I saw his eyes twinkle and crinkle as he nodded and mouthed, "good job." It really helped me get back to my seat without stumbling. I just kept walking toward those eyes.

I felt very supported by radio folk and community activists last night. I got hugs from people I very much respect. Oh, there were a couple who avoided eye contact, who didn't acknowledge I was there. But that's ok; they've got their own issues.

But my conversations with producers, politicians, journalists, activists, etc. were, for the most part, warm and encouraging.

I'm meeting and connecting with some of the smartest, most committed people in Albuquerque. I'm proud to be in their company. It's a real honor.

It's good for me. It keeps me humble. These are people who influence make policies. They like having me around. If I'm careful to check my ego and commit myself to the work, I could really support the healing and growth of the community.

I couldn't stop complimenting Diane Denish for quoting Bill Moyers in her comments last night.

Poor, Mr. Moyers: his show's in danger from current cabal in power. And he's one of the last gasps of progressive journalism in a large market.

So, to hear the Lt. Gov. of New Mexico quote Moyers was balm on a wound!

I told her it was refreshing to hear a politician with passion; one begins to think one's politicians are all crusty, jaded and cynical.

I need to walk gently in the presence of these people. I need to acknowledge their humanity whenever I can.

I also need not be ashamed of my enthusiasm. I simply need to channel it, direct it, make it part of the healing process.

It's ok that I'm loud and colorful. As long as I use that for constructive purposes, for the benefit of the community.

My little hoots and ejaculations encouraged the assembled to get beyond polite applause and really voice their support for people's comments.

It's a Southern thing; it's a Black thing; it's even a Christian thing.

I do NOT come from the churches where people sit passively, sing hymns demurely.

I come from racous, expressive congregations who show the assembled, and their God, their appreciation.

I come from a spirituality that is a group effort. Everybody contributes to the worship, building up the energy, releasing their joy into the gathering.

Witches do it, too.

It's an indigenous form of participation. It hasn't been eviscerated. It doesn't abdicate power to the heirarchy.

In fact, in REAL, southern churches, there really isn't a heirarchy. The preacher, choir director, deacons....all are neighbors: farmers, shop keepers, sheriffs...people one sees every day in a secular context.

When your neighbor, the preacher, stands to deliver the sermon, you support it with your mouth, your body, your hands.

I've been told, in Western European-modeled situations, that I'm loud. Obviously, the critics haven't been to a Baptist church on a hot, July Sunday.

And church is the place town meetings are held. It's the only building in town that's large enough. So, the same methods apply there, too.

And, yes, we talk to the actors in the movie theaters. LOL

It was a lively group. The energy level was high. People were just thrilled to know their fellow citizens had been concerned about the same issues they were.

The listeners, the viewers, got to come out of their isolated homes to meet and hear each other.

The effect was so healing, so magical, so spiritual, so empowering.

A little hooting was required.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Public Forum on Media Independence

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KUNM cosponsors a public forum on media tonight, at Smith-Brasher Hall on the TVI campus.

Please attend, if you can.

If you can't, the entire proceding will be aired on KUNMfm live, beginning at 5:30pm, Mountain Time (I think that's -7:00, GMT). There's a live stream at their website. It is not MSNTV compatible, sorry to say.

It's a chance for New Mexicans to send their messages to the FCC and beyond.

Save our democracy!

Monday, June 21, 2004

Phone line taps

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Here's a run down of devices for recording telephone conversations to a computer.

I'm not endorsing any products, just providing some info.

National Endowment for the Humanities

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Here's a source of grant money for radio projects. They have grant writing guidelines, right on the site.


Sunday, June 20, 2004

Web studio in a bag!

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How to build a studio that will fit in the overhead compartment of an air plane, or under the seat.

Equipment used, trouble shooting, photos.


I am looking for information on "telephone interviews" +"audio editing" at Google.


I'll need to do it as inexpensively as possible, without degrading quality any worse than phones are, already....

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The FCC Song

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I do not post obscenities in this blog, or any blog, for that matter, if I can help it. So, I won't post a direct link to the SONG, but I'm more than willing to post a link to the PAGE the song is on.

This song circulated through a certain radio station I know, on an email list.

I saw two, very professional, undemonstrative reporters, leaning over a computer, giggling like girls, listening to this song. One emailed the link to me.

Now, it's yours.

NOT for children, George W. Bush (who cusses on MIC, at press conferences, to his veep running mate, about reporters, for cryin' out loud!), Jerry Falwell (who hires ladies of the evening) or others prone to violent, physical reactions to slang words for sexual intercourse, and the like.

I'm thinking of having the lyrics tattooed to my posterior, which should be large enough!


Tell your friends.

But you DIDN'T hear it from me, OK?

"A Brief Guide to Microphones"

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I can do this! I was just about BORN knowing mics! Dad was a sound engineer.

If microphones seem a mystery, a few minutes reading this guide may help clear up some misconceptions and assist you in understanding the differences between various microphone types and the advantages of important microphone features.

The fact is, microphones are really rather simple devices. And if you know the meaning of just a few key terms, you are well on your way to becoming a microphone expert. With this basic knowledge under your belt, it will be easier to select the right model for almost any application.


"Guide to Digital Editing"

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Requires a computer. Written by the producers of "This American Life." If THEY don't know how to do it, NOBODY does!

By Eric Nuzum


These instructions will help you transcend into a digital-editing-radio-producer. Notice I did not say "evolve"--for that would, of course, imply certain bias towards the direction of your transcendence.

In comic book format, no less.


Friday, June 18, 2004

"Audacity:" free audio editing program!

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I'm interested because it runs on old "clunker" puters, like I have! Even if I can't borrow my friend's computer, loaded with SAW32, I can still edit, if I watch my levels!

And there's SUPPORT! and UPGRADES..which means they might put METERS on it soon!

I LOVE being independent! I can do it myself!

what do you do if you need to do some editing on a budget, or want to run lean-and-mean on a laptop, or are working in Linux? The audacious program Audacity might be worth a look. It has a few significant drawbacks, but has the benefits of being free, continually updated and improved, and will run on just about any operating system.

...ProTools Free only runs on Mac OS9, and Windows 98 or Me (and not too reliably on either of those Windows platforms.) Now, in 2004, if you've bought a new computer it surely came with Mac OSX or Windows XP, neither of which can run ProTools Free. Or even if you're running an older computer, you may have banged-up against some limitations of the free program. So, we've recommended upgrading to the digidesign M-Box, an audio interface that's sold with a more capable version of ProTools. The $450 price is still quite a bargain for an audio interface with good mic pre-amps and an editing and mixing program with plug-ins, but even that expense is an impediment to some, and the fact that the M-Box must remain connected to use the program is a turn-off to many.

And ProTools LE takes a pretty fast computer and lots of RAM to run well under OSX or Windows XP.

Audacity will run pretty efficiently under Windows 98, ME, 2000, & XP, Mac OS9 and X, Linux, and Unix. Go to their website at:

Download the program, documentation and plug-ins. There are links to users groups, FAQs, tutorials, and one can submit requests for features and fixes.

There are a few shortcomings that make the program problematic for serious production, but used with some care, Audacity can be a convenient tool for simple editing or even multi track mixing. The biggest problem is the current lack of any kind of metering. There are no indicators of record levels, track levels or final mix levels. This is one of the most requested feature enhancements, so there's some hope that this will be added in a future release, but for now, it will take some extra vigilance to ensure proper level strength and to avoid distortion.


David Isay: a Mic on the Margins

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"There is always a prickly relationship with highly talented independent producers and the network," says Bill Buzenberg, who was NPR's vice president for news and information from 1990 through 1997. "It stems from the fact they are independent, don't want to work for the network, want to do radio art to the nth degree. So a mutual distrust gets in there sometimes."

MR. ISAY himself acknowledges the periodic tensions.
"I've been viewed with suspicion," he says. "There's a feeling that when you do a non-narrated piece, when you don't write, when you do something like oral history, that you haven't done the research, that you don't know your facts. There's a feeling that you're cheating."

Those feelings have not lasted long, even among Mr. Isay's few critics.

Mr. Buzenberg hails him as "one of the best radio artisans in the business."

After "Ghetto Life 101" was broadcast, Mr. Dinges wrote in a memo to the NPR staff that "pieces like this will revolutionize documentary radio."


News for nertds, stuff that matters

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Gadget reviews, blog, newsletters, bitch sessions and a LOT of brainz!

"Easy Teases" aka: calling all vain yuppies

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I certainly agree radio needs to be more interactive and multiple media.


NPR ended segments of an on-air series about obesity with teases to go to their Web site to get tips and calculate your own BMI to see if you're overweight. NPR.org, though, doesn't have a BMI calculator on its Web site, but it did put together a nice package of links to go with the series, including a link to the BMI calculator on the CDC's Web site. This is a great example of how you can put together useful packages online -- and cross-promote -- even if your site doesn't have the resources to build every interactive tool you'd like.

The things I've missed, producing radio, rather than listening. snort.

"Community Radio At A Crossroads"

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...public radio consultant David Giovannoni, promising stations higher cumulative ratings and income per broadcast hour if they just "lose what's on the periphery" and "focus on a single audience."

Giovannoni celebrates homogeneity and predictability: "A radio station should be something for the same person all the time." Those target persons, he explains, are middle-aged and college-educated.

However, by catering to the affluent, who already are blessed with many choices, this course effectively expropriates a public resource for the benefit of a privileged few.

The context for this latest move should be familiar by now.

Placed in a survival mode by the Reagan Administration and, later, Gingrich-led Congress, NPR stations began to pursue corporate underwriting more aggressively. This led to a preoccupation with ratings, polls and focus groups, and more and longer commercials. A 1998 study found almost half of public radio listeners threatening to stop contributing if the trend toward "more prevalent" and "more annoying" underwriting messages continued.

There also has been a shift to more national programming featuring a more establishment point of view and NPR branded sound.

Charlotte Ryan's study of NPR public affairs programming found a heavy reliance on government press releases, presented without comment. NPR rejected Prairie Home Companion as "offensive to the middle class." Ira Glass had to launch This American Life outside the NPR system, which he characterized as "a risk-adverse culture."

Even NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin has acknowledged: "I think we've become addicted to money. And that becomes a kind of self-censorship; we know�what's acceptable and what's not."

If anything, the importance of truly public radio has become greater in recent years with the deregulation and increasing consolidation of commercial radio.

Four major radio groups control 70 to 90 percent of local market share. Clear Channel alone has exploded from 14 stations in 1996 to more than 1,200 today. Contrary to official predictions, many group stations in the same market duplicate each other's formats.
Clear Channel has since parlayed its radio station dominance into becoming the nation's top concert promoter. Now, a great many artists, participating in the Future of Music Coalition, are charging systematic discrimination against unaffiliated musicians. Even FCC Chair Michael Powell, who has proclaimed the "free market" to be his "religion," has acknowledged being "troubled" by "media concentration, particularly in radio."

In dramatic contrast to its posture toward big media, the government has been zealous in its regulation of small media. To receive a CPB Community Service Grant stations must have at least five full-time paid staff, operate at 100 or more watts, and program at least 18 hours a day, seven days a week. This policy has effectively disenfranchised hundreds of small stations across the country.

More recently, stations also have been required to demonstrate a minimum level of Arbitron rated listenership or per capita financial support. Volunteer labor is not counted in the calculation of financial support. Jim Foley, KXCI Tucson music director, does not consider that an oversight. He calls it "a government bribe to reduce local community involvement in community radio."

When the ratings/dollars requirement was imposed, some 80 stations were put in immediate jeopardy.
While most of these survived, they did so only by dropping ethnic music and language programs and informational talk shows with smaller audiences; in short, according to Current writer Jacqueline Conciatore, the kind of shows "heard only on public radio." Thus, many "peripheral" communities-citizens and taxpayers all-- have been excluded from the public's airwaves.


Thursday, June 17, 2004

Job Opening

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Radio Resident Advisor
Internews Europe
Location: Jerusalem
Last Date: June 24, 2004

Internews Europe
Location: Jerusalem
Last Date: June 24, 2004
E-mail: afrancoise@internews.fr (Reference: DevNetJobs.org)

Internews Europe, Radio Resident Advisor - Palestine

Job Description
Job Title: Radio Resident Advisor
Starting date: January 2004
Contract duration: 12 months
Location: Jerusalem - with travels in the region and in Europe..
Salary: according to experience

- Oversight and management of project to develop and strengthen the
local independent radio sector in Palestine, to improve journalism
standards and to strengthen the role of local broadcasting in
supporting freedom of _expression, local development and civil

duties may be assigned as needed. Programme missions: - Oversee and
manage implementation of project activities - Create the Bethlehem
Radio Resource Centre - Select journalists and organize seminars for
journalists and station staff, - The resident advisor will plan,
schedule and organize training visits by Western experts as needed. -
Represent Internews to funders and other international organizations
in the country. Financial & Administrative duties: - Oversee
expenditure of funds from several grants. - Report on fund
expenditures to Paris financial controller - Report on programme
issues to Paris Executive Director - Select, hire, orient and manage
local staff - Manage local accountant employee who is directly
responsible for tracking expenditures according to European or/and
American funder standards. - Write reports, proposals and budgets as

- Fluent in English and Arabic
- Public speaking and writing ability
- Significant in house experience in radio journalism, radio
management and programme production
required (10 years), with experience in training radio journalists
highly desirable. - At least one year of experience working in
developing countries required, two years preferred, preferably in the
Middle-East. - Experience in other forms of journalism (print,
internet, TV) also desirable but not required. - Computer literacy
with knowledge of Word and Excel for Windows and Internet use. -
Flexibility: working hours are not regular and the resident advisor
will be called on occasionally to work on weekends and in the

CV and cover letter should be sent to afrancoise@internews.fr
(Reference: DevNetJobs.org)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"The Oxymoron of Free Speech"

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The Oxymoron of "Free" Speech

Therefore, those who believe that open public discourse continues to be the basis of the American democracy face a dilemma: how to advance the theory and practice of "free speech" from the town meeting of the past to the commercially-driven and technologically-advanced telecommunications networks of the present...?

In order to make this cultural leap, three basic problems must be solved:

Access: People must be connected to whatever forum provides open public discourse. However, this connection must provide symmetrical interaction -- allow people to participate a dialogue rather than be passive recipients of information and entertainment.

Economics: Creating and Maintaining Democracy in the Telecommunications Age. A cost-free stroll to the public street corner or public library has been replaced by buying expensive electronic equipment and telecommunications services. Although inexpensive to some people, the cost of participating in the new electronic marketplace of ideas is prohibitive to most people.

Knowledge: People need to know how to use the equipment and telecommunications service, as well as to understand how to get the most benefit from the "electronic street corner."

Community media organizations strive to overcome these three problems.

However, while community involvement in telecommunications is generally seen as a public good, over the past few years ongoing public funding has been threatened:

Public broadcasting has seen its funding cut in the past -- and may experience the eventual elimination of Congressional funding through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the national endowments.

Public, educational, and governmental (PEG) access television organizations have been relatively successful in securing funding through local cable television franchise fees, however the cash crunch from local municipalities and competition from direct broadcast satellite (DBS) television service is beginning to squeeze both franchise payments and the amount of funds passed on to community media organizations.

Community computer networks have never had sustainable public funding -- and the one source for major grants (the National Telecommunications Information Administration's Telecommunications Information Infrastructure Assistance Program) has been cut and may not survive future Congressional funding cycles.

"The Well-Tempered Audio Dramatist"

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See, just when I think it'll take me decades to learn something, along comes somebody with a grant, who provides what I need.

Info on Radio Theatre for the 21st Century!


emphasis mine

Coworkers have every right to demand professionalism of each other. Professionalism means competence and basic familiarity with repertory, technique and trade jargon. It also means attitude: a spirit of courtesy, generosity and cooperation. The surest way to subvert quality and ruin everyone else's pleasure in the process is to display a bad attitude. The surest way to invite coworkers to do their best and feel invigorated by the process is to act like a professional, expect professionalism of your coworkers, and give them the respect due professionals.

Over the centuries, theatre has acquired a traditional working etiquette, based on common sense. One does not, for instance, walk or stand between the actors and the director during rehearsal.

Unfortunately the rules are often observed only in the breach. In my experience, good actors generally behave well. Bad behavior most frequently comes from abusive directors and mediocre stage managers. If actors pull stunts, it is usually because they are fatigued and under stress, or have lost respect for the director. Yet, so important is professional decorum to the success of the process, and so great the tension between it and the personalities involved, that standards of production etiquette are often written into professional contracts.

Radio has no such rules. Even in commercial radio, abuses abound, as any actor knows who has worked voice-over auditions, which are routinely abusive to talent. In public radio, the standards of professionalism strike outsiders as appallingly low.

Defensiveness, self-pampering, touchiness, insularity, intellectual sloth, snobbery and dilettantism are rife among radio people. I suspect that, since most audio drama in America today is produced either by public radio hands or the equivelent of community theater troups, there is more acting out than acting. It is apparently not understood that civility and responsibility are as essential to the success of the production process as knowledge, talent and experience.

The most common and aggravating breach of professionalism in subordinates is second-guessing the person in charge.
This means unilaterally modifying instructions to suit the subordinate's convenience, a very different thing from modifying instructions to deal with unforeseen circumstances. The latter is often necessary, the former inexcusable.

The most common and aggravating breach of professionalism in supervisors is self-indulgence. This includes coming unprepared, tardiness, sexual harassment, mocking subordinates, and forcing the crew to become a captive audience. Any self-indulgence at the expense of coworkers or of the artistic product is a power trip and has no place in a professional or community operation.

Let me here suggest some guiding rules of professional etiquette for you and your collaborators:

Do your best.

Come prepared; do your homework.

Leave your personal problems at home.

Arrive promptly, begin at the appointed time.

Don't ask your coworkers directly or indirectly for positive reinforcement.

Excuses waste time. Make excuses only when you are unable to proceed with work and must explain why in order to obtain help.

Personal or deprecating remarks, condescension, showing off, tantrums, intoxicants, sexual harassment and all other forms of abusiveness and self-indulgence are taboo.

A spirit of cooperation, civility and courtesy is universally observed.

During voice sessions, the director is boss; in all other sessions, the producer is.

Theatre is not a democracy.

When the engineer calls for silence, everyone shuts up immediately.

Only the director directs the actors; only the conductor conducts musicians; only the producer oversees the engineers. Anyone else addresses suggestions privately to the director, conductor or producer to pass on at an opportune time. If it is clear that suggestions are not welcome, shut up.

When the producer or director begin speaking, everyone else in the room is quiet and attentive.

When it is time to work, all unrelated activity in the work area ceases immediately.

Differences of opinion are discussed privately.

Unless on break or finished for the day, don't leave the work or stand-by area without informing or asking permission of the appropriate person.

I have a lot of learning to do....

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

National Native News

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Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Connecticut's Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe Denied Federal Recognition
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Breaks Ground for $2 Million Youth Center
Idaho's Coeur d'Alene Tribe Concerned with State's Lake Management Plan
...Understanding our Present by Honoring Our Past
On this day 1799, Seneca religious prophet- Handsome Lake had a vision that lead to the 'Code of Handsome Lake.' The code promotes traditional values of sobriety, family, and community.
Listen to today's newscast, find a National Native News (NNN)
station near you, see what our listeners have to say, meet the
NNN staff and keep up with NNN in the press. �Visit NNN on-line at

Click here to read the press release


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TODAY'S SHOW: Tuesday, June 15

* "We Have Got To Bring Corporate America To Its Knees" - Harry Belafonte on Racism, Poverty, the Elections, War and Resistance *
We hear legendary actor, singer, activist and humanitarian Harry Belafonte speaking after receiving the 2004 Human Rights Award by Global Exchange in San Francisco.

* Spying in America: How the Pentagon is Overcoming Privacy Laws to Conduct Spy Operations At Home *
A new provision buried in an intelligence appropriations bill moving through Congress would exempt Pentagon agencies from the Privacy Act, vastly expanding their ability to gather intelligence inside the United States, including recruiting citizens as informants.

* Headlines for June 15, 2004 *
- Israel Seizes Palestinian Land Deep Into West Bank
- Cheney's Office Informed of Halliburton Contracts
- Assassination Attempts in Iraq Killed Only Civilians
- U.S. Gen.: Prisoners Should be Treated 'Like Dogs'
- Saudi Webmaster Innocent on Terrorism Charges
- Sibel Edmonds Calls For Other Gov't 9/11 Whistleblowers

Broadcast / New Media Jobs

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WARNING, MSNTV USERS: this site will suck up your cache and leave your globe spinning, 'til it smokes! Too many bells & whistles! I had to email some pages to myself, switch users, and come back in to use some of this. It's sure boring, waiting for all their precious webstering to load! yawn...

HOWEVER! This is a fantastic list of potential jobs!

Don't pull your hair out, OK?

Dang internet gizmos!

Story Booth

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Now, I've had a fantasy, since I was a young pipsqueek. It'd be an old bus or camper, outfitted with a b/w darkroom and audio/video equipment. 'course, back when I really WAS a pipsqueek, I imagined 35mm film! But that's another story...

Well, here is the travelling Story Booth: http://storycorps.net/participate/storybooths/. The link was emailed by a friend, when I waxed poetically about my Secret Dream.

I wanted to be Charles Quaralt, Studds Terkel and Jack Keroak...none of whose names I can spell! With a liberal dose of John Steinbeck, of course. And a whole lot of women writers, artists and broadcasters, thrown in to keep it grounded in reality.

I'd love to meander what's left of This Land Is Our Land and collect the flotsam and jetsom of We The People.

I wanted mixed media, so I could provide photos for press releases on my discoveries. And I was hoping for the Ultimate Plumb: a PBS documentary about my adventures, produced by Yours Truly.

As I told my friend, there was also a golden retriever somewhere in that dream.

I thought I might be able to earn a living, even without a grant, documenting people's Special Occasions, along the way: weddings, garage sales, family reunions, building demolitions...whatever.

Of course, I'd have a makeshift movie screen (an old sheet), so I could have Movie Nights, showing them their movies, and charge a couple of dollars per head, to cover my gas and a cheeseburger....

Wish I still had that old Winnebego! Sigh....

"What's Your Story?"

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See, this here's the kind of public radio that interests me.

I want oral histories of real Americans. I want to use their names. I want to document their lives.

I don't want to just produce anonymous, person-on-the-street reactions to Movers and Shakers.

I think ordinary people...whatever "ordinary" means...ARE the Movers and Shakers! I still believe in silly notions like informed, participatory democracy. People aren't participating so much. I'd like to know why.

Beltway bores and frustrates me.

I can do this: http://talk.transom.org/WebX?13@31.hGaJaZOhlb1.5063@.ee80ed3/0.

Tools FAQ

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Well, THIS should keep me busy for awhile: http://www.transom.org/tools/faq/index.php3.

Once I read the basics on the FAQ, it's also nice to know they have discussion boards!

Realistic agendas

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Something's wrong with the carts at the station. Stuff is stopping and starting again. I don't know enough about "carts" to know why it's happening, but most of those "carts" are....MiniDiscs! Ut. Oh...

It started last week. It was worst during an evening news broadcast; stuff would just stop, then start at tha same spot. It's creepy!

Then, I've heard a couple of DeeJays complaining over the weekend.

Now, it's Morning Edition. Tom's in there, alone. Poor Tom!

Part of what I'm doing, with all this studying and planning, is getting used to the idea of working from home, keeping a real schedule, reducing distractions, etc.

Soap operas are out. So's a lot of other TV. So's some radio!

I need to know, when I get up each day, what my schedule is for that day.

I need to try, with my limited experience, to set a practical agenda for each day. Biting off more than I could chew is a major issue.

I'm already pretty good at this working from home business, on a smaller scale.

I wrote for Net4TV at home.

I hate deadline crunches; panic makes me screw up and forget things. So, I'd start working on "the next story," even while wrapping up the current one. I'd outline my story, start researching and saving pertinant URLs, make notes, etc.

I also learned it from making arts & crafts to sell.

Basically, because my memory's so bad, my strenght is compromised, and I'm extra-vulnerable to outside influences that could turn critical if not given immediate attention, I need to get as much of a project done, once I start it.

I don't want incomplete projects, cluttering up my mind.

I've also paid attention to entrepreneurial (sp?) stuff I've learned over the years. Even if I were just watching an episode of Oprah, on how to start a home business, I really listened, even to the parts that didn't pertain to my situation.

So, I know, for instance, to keep receipts for my purchases for my business.

I also know I should have a 2 bedroom place, so I can have a real office.

I know I've got to learn about everything from taxes to book keeping. I won't be able to afford an accountant, so I'll need to take care of my own business for awhile. I don't want to mess up opportunities for tax write offs, etc., because of sloppy record keeping.

I know I need assigned hours, and have a pretty good idea WHAT hours, to work. This'll be flexible, given the nature of what I'm doing, of course: if I need to collect sound at other hours, etc., I need to do that.

But I also know I need to break up my day, to keep my mind fresh and my body active.

I've learned, from the lives of published authors, how to sit down at an assigned time, even if all I do is "stare at a blank page" during that time, totally uninspired.

I've learned one can do several hours' work and find one sentence, one paragraph, one concept worth saving. The rest goes in the round file.

So, I'm as prepared as I can be, to work from home.

Now, it's the nitty gritty details of indy prod. that I need to learn: the how-tos, the what-ifs.

So, I'm tearing up Transom and the like.

It also demystifies the process, so I won't be so nervous or reluctant to tackle particular aspects.

This is not a job for mere, raw talent. And, believe me, I do have some righteous raw talent. But it ain't enough. Not even close.

Especially in this digital age, there are specific bits of information I need, and don't even KNOW I need, in order to get things done right and efficiently.

For instance: The other day, I was looking for MiniDiscs for sale, on the 'net.

I found a reconditioned Sony, with the original software, headphones, etc. It was about 1/4 the price of retail.

I sent the URL to my advisor for an opinion.

No microphone output.

No good.

Now, if I'd gone to the Transom website and read that guide to MiniDiscs, I'd have KNOWN that, and wouldn't have bothered my advisor!

Don't get me wrong; my advisor was nice about it, and even surfed around, too, looking at MiniDiscs.

But I want to take care of myself.

That was a real lesson to me. There are hundreds of little details like mic jacks that I need to KNOW, so I won't waste: time, money, energy, etc. And I don't want to waste my advisor's good will, either.

I can learn this piddly stuff.

But it's a LOT of piddly stuff! Submission guidelines, mixing, editing, how to HOLD a mic! And on and on and....moan.

I can do this.


Monday, June 14, 2004

I'm finally getting excited

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Man, I've worked my butt off today!

Studying radio, I built that friggin' blog! LOL

BUt I have internet crap scattered all over my "favorites," and I want to get it all online, somewhere I don't have to pay for the friggin' BANDWIDTH!

SO, I've been going through all my folders, finding useful stuff.

Thought I'd just post the most useful, first, and start working my way through.

I'm already a member of some of the links on the bottom of the blog, by the way. And I write for 3 of them. That's a nice feeling, y'know? I'd slap them lil logos and links down and feel pretty damn good about my ig'nant self!

Anybody who helps, who has a web site, gets linked. It'll be quite a Rogi's Gallery, in a year or so, if I have that many links already! SHEESH!

I'm a joiner, but I'm also a loner. I'll read the newsletters. But I don't like the potlucks and rubber chicken. Y'know?

I contribute as I can, usually with free publicity in my blogs, websites, etc.

Now, I want to start researching listening to PEOPLE skills.

The more I study radio, the more into it I get. All this digital stuff makes things SO much easier! I can earn a living in my pajamas!

I'm going to turn into Mole Woman, never coming out except to eat!

The resources for indy prod. online are really amazing!

Back in the day, radio was as clunky as any other medium: took years to figure stuff out that is now taking me weeks! Especially editing!

I'm going to be ok.

I stood in my garden this afternoon, watering my wilting sunflowers.

Suddenly, a shock of electricity ran through me. I gasped at the realization that, soon, I'm going to have an indy prod studio, right in my home!

I'm going to MAKE IT!

I'm getting OUT! I'm getting OVER!

I have real support from at least three radio pros, whose opinions matter.

I'm going to produce stuff that is helpful to people!

I'm going to make a...modest...difference!

This is my THING!

And I'm FINALLY on my way!

I thought about my advisor. I thought what an unlikely and impossible thing that I found this person. I didn't ask for help, beyond the normal stuff we all ask each other for, when producing something. And out of the blue, I'm being assisted in a very real, pragmatic way that'll get me earning a living ALMOST the minute the equipment comes in the door!

See why I'm studying so hard??? I wanna be ready to rock & roll, when it gets here. I have a few days' down time, 'til the scooter tires get here, so I'd better get myself organized, with a map, compass, first aid kit and the other basics.

I won't have to ask my advisor for much help, now that I've rummaged the internet resources.


Short List

Well, now! This sounds like fun, and not too much work. They say they pay a little, too. How little, I don't know.

But I like these sorts of projects!

The Ear

Oh, boy!

Look what I found: Open Ear.

THIS is what I was talking about, re: hearing and listening!!!



"I hear the soundscape as a language with which places and societies express themselves. In the face of rampant noise pollution, I want to be understanding and caring of this 'language' and how it is 'spoken.' I compose with any sound that the environment offers to the microphones, just as a writer works with all the words that a language provides. It is in the specific ways in which the language is selected, organized, and processed that composition occurs. . . . I like to position the microphone very close to the tiny, quiet, and complex sounds of nature, then amplify and highlight them: to make them audible to the numbed urban ear. Perhaps in that way these natural sounds can be understood as occupying an important place in the soundscape and warrant respect and protection." Hildegard Westerkamp

MiniDisc Guide

In my ongoing battle to be independent and learn things on my own, I discovered this guide at Transom.org, which seems to be a major source for all information radio, especially indy prod.



From Alan Weisman
Sony MZ-N707
In an emergency last month, finding myself with a dead DAT back-up machine and leaving for Chile the next day to do pieces for the new Homelands Productions series Worlds of Difference, on the advice of our executive producer Jon Miller I picked up a Sony MD (MiniDisk) Walkman MZ-N707.

Right here let me introduce a caveat: I called Circuit City, they assured me that had Sony minidisk players. But when I got there, I found that the newest models did not have microphone jacks -- only USB-type connections to download music from computers, which is seems to be the main use for minidisk players, since they're so light and portable.

Same problem at Best Buy and Target.

I finally found the MZ-N707 at a store that specializes in professional music recording. List was $249, they took pity and charged me $229, but I've subsequently found them on the Internet for as low as $179.

If you buy, make sure there's a microphone jack, and don't trust salesmen to know.

I'm pretty sure I love this machine.

Sony minidisks give 80 minutes and this far are trouble-free. The MZ-N707 itself runs off a single double-A battery, which is good for three 80-minute disks.

Caveat #2:
There's a battery-life read-out, that seems to register full until near the end, then drops to half and fairly quickly to zero and the machine quits -- I learned this the hard way.

Another issue is limiter: That's the default position. The rather thick manual explains a procedure to control levels manually, but I admit that I've followed advice to trust the limiter because it's so intelligent, the audio equivalent of a great digital auto-focusing camera.

So far, it's very impressive.

The sound is excellent -- I guess engineers decry the difference between minidisk and DAT tape range, but some very seasoned radio producers have told me that the human ear can't tell.

I'm using it mainly for interviews, while I continue to use mainly DAT for gathering ambient sound and music.

But on the occasions when good sound erupted while I was using the minidisk, the recordings have been just fine. I've used it, by the way, with all my mikes: a Sennheiser shotgun, a Shure stereo, and an RE-50, with good results all around. It also seems pretty shock-resistant.

I'm addicted, as other producers who only use minidisk told me I'd soon be.
There's more extensive information on all things minidisc, including helpful feature-comparison charts and links to other resources at minidisc.org.

Ah, I feel a lot less nervous, now!