Saturday, July 11, 2009

try "please" and "thank you

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KUNM-FM Mail Rogi Riverstone

1 message
Rogi Riverstone Sat, Jul 11, 2009 at 5:16 AM
To: Tristan Clum, Richard Towne
When the stream finally decides to load, we're ordered to pledge now. The message is too long and not friendly, but demanding.

This is particularly annoying when the stream breaks up repeatedly and we hear it over and over.

Other stations and media manage to thank their subscribers, too -- not KUNM, which sounds bossy.

Alternative: "Your pledge at keeps steaming on the Internet. Thanks for subscribing!"

I realize, after three years of close proximity, this posturing of arrogance is a prerequisite among the subculture of KUNM staff. But the rest of us, out here in the real world, just find it unattractive and laughably snotty. I mention this because my neighbors in Fort Sumner have heard it, have curled their lips at it, have laughed at it and said, "That's the best example of why I'd never live in Albuqueruqe I've ever heard!" I simply agree with them, remind them I have no plans to move back, and we listen to the program together.

Nobody out here, including me, plans to subscribe. We need groceries, water, electricity and gas a lot more. And, although there is NO entertainment in Fort Sumner beyond cable TV, 2 bars and 2 scratchy radio stations over the air, we don't perceive KUNM as having any need for us. We get bossed around enough in every day life by arrogant jerks who think they're better than we are because they shower before, instead of after, work. We only put up with it when we HAVE to.

Maybe they eat that stuff with a spoon in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but bad manners won't cut it in the real world; common courtesy says a lot about motives and upbringing in the real world.

Rogi Riverstone

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Horse Named Buckwheat

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I detest the copy they wrote.

Download MP3 for your iPod or other player.


Five Farms

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I've been meaning to mention that the Five Farms series you've seen referred to here is (pardon the pun) coming to fruition. It's a series of five one-hour shows being distributed by PRI and has started airing in some markets with many more to follow in the coming weeks. 

You can listen to the hours (or download them for that next long drive), and see great photography from the farms, at our updated website:

One of the photographers, by the way, is an AIRster: the multitalented Alix Blair.

A shout-out to the visionary AIRster Wes Horner, who dreamed up this ambitious project and created the network of collaborators to make it possible.  


John Biewen
Audio Program Director
Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

Wikipedia vs. research

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Given PRX, AIR, and other various unnamed platforms, how can we make
our stories better?

I've been thinking about this since this thread started. The comments on the lack of fact checking have truly chilled me.

30 years ago, back when I could afford school, I remember going to the UCLA research library to look up literary criticism on a play by Ianesco. Don't remember which one.

I remember the creepy, skin-tingling feeling of being in a library, surrounded not just by students (albiet wealthier: they were attending UCLA while I smuggled myself in from a community college in the Valley), but by actual literary critics, professors, theater reviewers, writers of plays, maybe even some journalists. I was in the Belly of the Beast, surrounded by Professions, seeking wisdom.It was humbling.

I don't feel that way when I rummage around in Google in my jammies with a cigarette and a cup of coffee with a cat on my lap

The work I'm doing is still earnest, still sincere, still research and still hard work. That hasn't changed.

The MEDIUM has changed. Basically, I'm looking at a TV screen in my living room, not a vast and serpentine labyrinth of the Knowledge of the Ages, spread out before me in bewildering solemnitude.

I'm alone; there are no colleagues, peers, experts, professionals or pompous gas bags around me, except me.

So, I'm sitting at a veritable TV, alone, casual as can be, in MY space, doing MY thing.

There's something about having to open a library door, carry a library card, take hand-written notes about a library book that made me feel part of the Search for Knowledge.

Now, I just feel like an anonymous cog in a gigantic database in the Collection of Information.

Are there any other old ferts here who grasp what I'm saying, who remember #2 lead pencils and little, spiral notebooks in shirt pockets, who kept boxes of 3x5 index cards?

I walked among tomes by philosophers and queens.

Now, I'm spammed by Viagra and Christian moms, earning $5,000 a month.

I think the main paradigm shift is from KNOWLEDGE and, perhaps, WISDOM to information and data.

How can we make it better? It's as old as Moses and as new as blogging: resist the machine that would have us be cogs. We HAVE to be humans.

We have to teach each other, remind each other, encourage each other toward passionate care of the craft, of ethics, personal responsibility and KNOWLEDGE.

I think they don't teach that so much anymore in universities. We have to do it for ourselves and our colleagues.

Once it's forgotten, the special interests and corporate lobbyists win -- if they haven't already.

Rupert Murdoch owns the Wall Street Journal. We're on the other side of the looking glass, Alice

Musical Migrants

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BBC Radio 4 is running a very compelling first-person series called
Musical Migrants this week, with contributions in large part from
Rachel Hopkin - who is, I believe, an AIR member.

Stories about people who moved to another country because of music.
You can listen again to most of the series at:

, the first part will still be
up for listening through Sunday night.

Countries covered are Jamaica, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Georgia.



Thomas Marzahl

Facebook audio player widget

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Facebook audio player widget

I just tried this and it works. The catch is that you have to register as a "band" with ReverbNation (free) and the tab on your Facebook profile says "MY BAND." You can upload "songs" under 8MB. I did upload one of my pieces, but it doesn't look like that upload appears as an event in the newsfeed (if that's important to you) and you can't "tag" it like you can a video. However, you can collect Fans, who can sign up for your Mailing List.

Another workaround (if you have video editing software) is to render your audio file as a QT movie, using black video. My 5-min 65 MB file uploaded to FB fine. I also rendered the video as an MPEG4, using the mobile device preset H263, resulting in a .3gp format of only 5 MB. It sounded fine, but I didn't try uploading that format to FB.

Facebook audio player widget

You are reading

Facebook audio player widget

I just tried this and it works. The catch is that you have to register as a "band" with ReverbNation (free) and the tab on your Facebook profile says "MY BAND." You can upload "songs" under 8MB. I did upload one of my pieces, but it doesn't look like that upload appears as an event in the newsfeed (if that's important to you) and you can't "tag" it like you can a video. However, you can collect Fans, who can sign up for your Mailing List.

Another workaround (if you have video editing software) is to render your audio file as a QT movie, using black video. My 5-min 65 MB file uploaded to FB fine. I also rendered the video as an MPEG4, using the mobile device preset H263, resulting in a .3gp format of only 5 MB. It sounded fine, but I didn't try uploading that format to FB.


A new round of themes-in-progress are detailed below and we're coming
to you for story pitches, thoughts and suggestions for our upcoming

How this process works: When you send in a story idea to me, I'll
respond with a generic email letting you know that I received your
pitch and that I've read it. I promise. I read every pitch. (I
won't send you the auto response until I've read your pitch so expect
a day or two delay sometimes to get that email.) If we think the
pitch is right for us, or if we need more information from you, I'll
send you another email asking for more info on the story or letting
you know we'd like to commission the story. But if you don't hear back
from us within two weeks, beyond the initial auto-reply email, it
means the story just isn't right for us or for the needs of that
particular show. The idea of doing it this way is just to get through
pitches and get back to all of you contributors a little more quickly.

Like always, these themes are shows we're actively pursuing right now
but we're always on the lookout for new stories or ideas. So if
you've got a story that you think would work especially well for us
but doesn't fit a specific theme listed below, please send it along

Thanks so much for your pitches. All of us here are very appreciative.



ORIGIN STORY: This show is coming up in about a month so if you've got
an idea, you might want to get in touch pretty soon. Basically, we're
looking for stories about beginnings - or, rather, stories about the
story of the beginning. Creation myth stories would work well for
this show. But also true stories, maybe, about a little known or
surprising or unexpected beginning. We're working on one story about
a man who is trying to set the record straight about his career
achievements, including but not limited to, writing the "It Takes a
Licking and Keeps on Ticking" slogan, inventing thumb-wrestling and
popularizing the eating of shrimp in the New York Metropolitan region.
 We've also got a story about corporate creation myths. A story we'd
love would be where the origin story itself is almost more important
than the actual thing it spawned. If just the tale of
how-we-got-started is too good to let the thing fail. Historical
stories would also be great for this show. As you can see, we're
pretty open to anything.

THE FALL GUY: We're looking for stories about people who take the
brunt of the abuse, usually undeserved. We're working on one story
about federal indictments against mortgage fraudsters and examining
who gets charged and, tellingly, who doesn't. Another story is a much
smaller one where a lowest-on-the-totem-pole office worker tries to
hire someone even lower. Stories that would be great for this show,
too, would be stories of patsies or dupes, taking the blame for
someone else's crime or actions. Maybe a story about trying to
manufacture a scapegoat? Using a person to make an example of

DETROIT: We're putting together a show about the fall-and-fall of the
American auto industry. We're trying to answer bigger and more
complicated questions: Who can we blame? And smaller, more concrete
questions: what happens in Central Michigan during a summer furlough?
Other questions: are American cars any good? Is the demise of the
auto industry such a bad thing? How many people really are being
affected? If you've got more questions for us or thoughts on this
show about under-reported or unexpected stories out of Detroit in the
last ten years, please let us know.

TO PROVE A POINT: After a fight with his father ends with the father
yelling "and I bought that car!" a grown son decides to take his wife
and kids on a 10 hour trek walking back to their home. The father is
waiting for them when they finally get home and the father and son
immediately start up their fight all over again. We're looking for
more stories about going to extremes to prove a point. Stories about
making illogical decisions or cutting off a nose to spite a face,
would work well for this show. Even better, though, would be a story
about actually making a really brilliant move fueled entirely out of
revenge or malice or pride. We'd also love a story that weighs the
pros and cons of a decision, where the point to prove is actually
really important and does justify a seemingly extreme decision or

FRENEMIES: Our own version of US WEEKLY. We are a little worried
about the 2007-ness of this theme but, on the other hand, we can't
help ourselves. We love frenemy stories because a frenemy is the
worst kind of nemesis to have - are they entirely bad and full of
hate? Or is there a part of them that really still is our friend?
We're working on one story about the FBI's friendly overtures to
certain Muslim groups in the last few years and the, of course,
ulterior motives both sides had in the arrangement. Personal stories
would work really well for this show - stories about friends or family
members who seem to give with one hand and backstab with the other. A
story from an admitted frenemy would be nice here, too. Maybe a
corporate frenemy story?

THE FINE PRINT: For this show, we'd like stories that more literally
take place in the fine print - in a legal contract or user agreement
or credit card application. But we're also open to stories that live
in a sort of metaphorical "fine print" - where there was, maybe, an
implicit agreement or understanding that wasn't really apparent to
either one or both parties. The literal stories can be about legal
nightmares or binding arbitration or fighting with a corporate giant.
For other stories, though, maybe they could be about sort of willfully
overlooking details or circumstances that later turn out to be

Julie Snyder
Senior Producer
153 West 27th Street Suite 1104
New York NY 10001
(212) 624-5012

Friday, May 22, 2009

places to pitch

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VP for News Ellen Weiss says that despite the belt-tightening at NPR, there has been no edict for programs to cut back on acquisitions from independents. All shows have been challenged to cut costs where they can and, she says, some may be putting a higher bar on buying pieces but that overall work is still being commissioned. Editors are still interested in pitches. Contact the regional editors listed on the AIR pitch page - or me ( first if you'd like an opinion on your pitch. Of course, NPR's Newscast unit is always interested in wraps. 1-800-433-1277.


William Troop at The World says they are indeed in a budget crunch and while they are still wanting to receive pitches, they are only taking the ones they feel best match their international focus and style. This will remain the case at least until the end of their fiscal year through June. He's predicting that the '09-'10 budget will have a somewhat downsized acquisitions budget and that the bar for commissions will remain high.


John Haas at APM's Marketplace says they are still taking features from independents. Features are considered at a weekly meeting on Fridays (soon to move to Thursdays). MP features are shorter than many shows (2-4 minutes depending on which show it winds up). He says local economic/business/personal finance stories with national implications are considered. Stories pegged to recent news or specific dates have the best chance. They also regularly review more timely material - quick turnarounds pegged to the day's news - but mostly they work with folks they are familiar with on those stories. John says pitch to him if you like:


Leda Hartman at The World Vision Report says like anywhere else, their program is trying to do more with less but they are definitely still accepting story pitches. The program has had to cut back on paying as much on travel as in the past so it's best to be clear about that on a story pitch up front. She says, rather than being able to help pay for overseas travel, the program is trying to work with reporters already stationed where the stories are. To that end, they are looking for experienced stringers in Asia - Pakistan/India/Afghanistan.


APM's The Splendid Table, says Jen Russell, is commissioning very few pieces these days. What they do accept is more likely to be a finished piece as they are under-resourced to edit a piece. So they will check out your 3 - 5 minute produced piece if you want to send it to her for consideration. As usual, have a good idea if it will be a good match for the show.


LOE's Eileen Bolinsky says that at the moment, LOE is not acquistioning outside of what they have already assigned. She expects the doors to open up again soon.


OAG's Gary Waleik says they are still accepting pitches from freelancers and paying at the same rate they have in the past. Their softer longer features are booked a month or two in advance. More time-sensitive shorter features considered too. Check out their website first to see if they've recently covered the topic you're pitching.


New Hampshire Public Radio's Word of Mouth has a small budget for freelance work, according to producer Avishay Artsy, "as long as it’s sound-rich and fits the mission of our show, which is covering new ideas and trends. " They pay $60/minute for features produced for their show, $100 for pieces re-broadcast and between $75 - $150 for producing "interview scripts" (not sure what that means). Contact Avishay or Jen Nathan


Lester Graham at the ER says they are taking pitches, paying independents, operating full steam ahead. Looking for new freelancers in the Southeast, Southwest and West Coast. He says visit their website first (, go to "About Us" and "Submission Guidelines" first.


Kathleen McKenna says they have scaled back on acquisitions recently and right now, Here and Now is not commissioning new material by independents. She's hoping things will change before long but isn't able to say when.


David Krasnow says in their current fiscal year (which ends June 30) they have not cut back on commissioning an average of 2 to 3 independently produced featured in each new show they prepare. He's not sure what the new budgets will show in terms of acquisitions.


Jared Weissbrot at Soundprint (the half hour documentary series) says it's largely "business-as-usual at Soundprint. Anyone with grant money looking for a national outlet is always welcome. Anyone with a proposal that totally wows us, we'll do our best to fund/help fund. Anyone with a finished product that we like, we'll offer up an acquisition contract based on factors we've discussed before." (see my interview with Jared for more -

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

"Boot Cokie!" Some questions

Perfectly Obvious Cokie
Behold how little substance NPR's Cokie Roberts can pack into four minutes of airtime.

"his criticisms could be leveled at most any talking head on most any show."

OK, here are my questions:

if this could, indeed, be leveled as a criticism against any talking head on any show, what does that say about mental laziness among talking heads? Are they discussing issues of import to voters and constituents, or merely using the time slot to float trial balloons from their political affiliations and lobbying influences?

Also, if we're speaking of the influence of commercial media's talking head shows on public and community radio, why would we allow them to define the terms of what we say and how we speak?

Might we not consider speaking from a more authentic and more informed voice, rather than theirs? Ought we allow the corrupting influences on the talking heads influence us, as well?

Using Ms. Roberts as an example, Ms. Roberts speaks, I'm thinking, in a rather generic manner. She seems, very consciously, trying not to alienate anybody.

When she's done, or as her introduction, it is mentioned that she has a new book on women's history.

Might it not be better if Ms. Roberts spoke from her authority on women's history, when discussing beltway politics, rather than aping commercial talking heads?

Surely, we've progressed far enough past the stereotype of feminism as man hating lavender herrings that Ms. Roberts' views on the historical impact of beltway politics on women and, therefore, families and, therefore, culture in general could be insightful and provocative for NPR listeners.Those who don't learn from our history are doomed to repeat it. If we have not progressed that far, ought we not continue to push that envelope?

Perhaps Ms. Roberts' experiences of coming to a place of influence in media have been so informed by the sexism even she - as a member of an affluent, political family -- has experienced that it has has made her voice more timid, assimilated and conceded than it would have been, had it not been formed under the hostility of sexism in her profession that she experienced some thirty years ago. Sometimes, to paraphrase Freud, a microphone is just a microphone.

We need to remember that Ms. Roberts, like me, comes from an historical time when women weren't allowed access to credit, had little control over the conditions of their children's lives, were defined and named by the men who controlled their lives, couldn't prosecute a husband for rape, were medicated for "depression" by addictive substances like Valium and had hell to pay if they entertained the notion of pursuing a "man's" profession.

I see, in my own life, how these have changed my own voice. Perhaps they changed Ms. Roberts, as well. She is a "success" in an unhealthy culture; I am not. Her voice is more conciliatory; mine is not.

While I'm not thrilled that she "phones it in," literally, from home, I do not begrudge her the fact; telecommuting radio in the modern, digital age is saving my life.

Have you looked at your local news tv stations? Are the women intelligent, well-educated in investigative reporting, good journalists? Are they Barbie dolls, flashing a bit of cleavage and bling, batting their eyes as they banter with the dudes who do the more substantive (though also scant) reportage? Are any of them fat or older or living with visible disabilities? Do they look like models or do they look like they work for a living? Do they write the news or make editorial decisions? Or are they just reading from a teleprompter?

I'm going to suggest, for you younger producers here who never saw it, that you watch a movie, "Broadcast News," in which Holly Hunter speaks at a convention to an hostile, apathetic audience of young, local news people. It is a brilliant soliloquy, beautifully written. This was in the 1980s. At one point, she consults her notes and mutters a topic she's deciding not to address, as she sees the audience literally getting up and walking out. The phrase she reads is,"The historical influence of "Entertainment Tonight."

That phrase drilled a permanent hole in my brain. It shocked and horrified me then, and it still does, today.

Newspapers are folding. NPR has cut its news staff. Few local outlets even have real news departments anymore. Fewer even attempt commentary on policy making, local, national or international.

We are living in a media age of bread and circuses. We are not an informed democracy; we are over-informed consumers. The lobbyists and special interests control the dialogue on policy in this, the most influential nation on Earth.

Ought we not, as community and public radio producers, resist this trend?

Siskel & Ebert - Broadcast News (1987)

On 5/5/09, L H wrote:

his criticisms could be leveled at most any talking head on most any show. you have to wonder what else is going on here.

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list serv continues

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I am the canary in the coal mine. Because of my behavioral health disabilities, I am more acutely aware of things like exclusive language; it causes me real pain. People misinterpret that as my being "overly sensitive" or "taking it too personally." I see it this way: if it causes me discomfort, it is probably uncomfortable to others, whether they are conscious of it or can articulate it or not.

I only posted this to let people see an example of how much harder it is for people like me to participate at KUNM. We have fewer privileges and are SO overburdened by the disabilities of a society that refuses to respect our dignity; we have to fight so hard for basic survival. When we try to participate in the larger community, we are not welcome; we feel rejected, ignored, snubbed, attacked and stigmatized. Is it any wonder so few of us make the attempt or stay around very long, if we do?

I posted to the group because J called me out to the group. Yes, I've asked J not to email me privately. I don't feel comfortable getting emails from people at KUNM if others can't see them. People have done some nasty things to me when others at KUNM couldn't see them.

Yesterday, for example, I received the following, from someone I do not know, without explanation:

fuck cowboys and the whore they rode in on
do not get me busted

I asked who s/he was and why this was sent to me. The person responded s/he was drunk and had an "intense" day. Like that's my fault?

I don't think those of you who work inside offices during the day, who only show up at the station to do your own shows and who never go to KUNM at all have any idea how brutal and cold my experience has been.

Nobody -- not management, not the Ideas List, not this committee -- has addressed that. I have been, at best, ignored. This suggests that I am appropriately uncomfortable in a dysfunctional atmosphere and culture. I see absolutely no commitment to heal any of that and, because I have the gall to point it out, I am branded.

How is the atmosphere at KUNM any better than the redneck Bible thumpers out here who call me a Communist, a "N" lover and a bag lady?

Every time I make a contribution to KUNM, it is received rudely.

Wouldn't anybody at the station like it to be a happier and healthier place -- for EVERY person who works there?

Monday, May 04, 2009

professional arrogance

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Actually, something is really bothering me about the word, "Professional." The word is inappropriate for the Ideas List. It is exclusive, intimidating and, frankly, smacks of elitist snobbery. It also sounds like only staff and academics are welcome to participate at KUNM; that's too true, already, and needs to change. It implies that being an amateur is synonymous with being a slob or incompetent. An amateur is someone who pursues a study for the love of it, as an avocation, adding the extra burden over vocation, family and other personal commitments. Many amateurs contribute invaluably to the station, and that needs to be appreciated and honored, not devalued.

I would substitute a word like, "adept," "proficient," "competent," "skillful" or "efficient" over "professional."

We are not, most of us -- including some staff, board members and work studies -- "professionals."

That word needs to go.

From Wikipedia

A 'true' professional must be proficient in all criteria for the field of work they are practising professionally. Criteria include following:
Academic qualifications - a doctoral or law degree - i.e., university college/institute

This is ridiculous at KUNM. Most work is done by volunteers. Academic background is not a prerequisite -- YET! -- to volunteer at KUNM, nor should it EVER be! Just because someone can't afford to buy an academic ticket is no reason not to broadcast, work or volunteer at KUNM.

Expert and specialised knowledge in field which one is practising professionally

Again, this is nonsense at KUNM. It's a UNIVERSITY, where people are expected to LEARN things.

Excellent manual/practical and literary skills in relation to profession

Are people who want to LEARN skills no longer welcome?

High quality work in (examples): creations, products, services, presentations, consultancy, primary/other research, administrative, marketing or other work endeavours

Everyone is trying to produce high quality work. We need to be tolerant of the diversity of KUNM participants and give them the benefit of the doubt.

A high standard of professional ethics, behaviour and work activities while carrying out one's profession (as an employee, self-employed person, career, enterprise, business, company, or partnership/associate/colleague, etc.)

I'd be more comfortable if the last was better defined. Who determines "high" quality?



  It has taken me over one hour to address your reply. I truly detest it when people assume things about me, even when I've written very clearly what I think. Your reaction to my arguments against the word, "professional" truly dismayed, demoralized, frightened, hurt and angered me. I wasn't expecting that. I didn't deserve this. What follows is my attempt to address you as respectfully as I can, but I must say, I'm in tears.


  your aversion to the word professional

  I have no "aversion" to the word; it's simply inappropriate language to describe KUNM and the subscribers to the list serv, and I stated why I thought so. I took the time to research definitions of the word, "professional." I took the time to consult a thesaurus for other options. How we speak informs how we think. How we think informs how we act. How we act impacts others.

  It is interesting, because the word does not have such negative connotations to me.

  It doesn't for me, either, and I don't see why you would assume that. There IS a culture of snobbery at KUNM; several volunteers, work studies and staff have discussed it with me over the years. I'm not crazy, J; it's real. There's no need to solidify that atmosphere any worse than it already is. It needs to be HEALED.

  Your professionalism is not the point of the list serv; it functions as a communications device for ALL at the station. The majority of us are not professionals; we are amateurs. We need not to be disappeared. In fact, we need to be respected and honored as amateurs.

  I'd like other moderator opinions - *IF* this were a list posting, I personally would welcome a personal suggestion from Rogi directly to me rather than putting up what might be a flame-starter posted to the list where everyone would jump in.

  Yet, you posted this chastisement of me to the group, not to me personally. Thank Heavens!

  If the list is discussing policies, as we were, why would I only direct my comments to you, rather than the group? What you had to say is not more important than what I have to say to the group. Why would we not want the group to discuss things that are important to us? Are you aware that I live about 200 miles from the station and that these emails are my ONLY opportunity to discuss these issues?

  I wasn't flaming; I was discussing. I thought you asked for feedback or input about what had been written. I have no idea who first used the word, "professional;" I assumed it came from that Usenet manifesto, not Ellen or you. I thought KUNM was big on "speaking truth to power." When I do it, I hear how inappropriate I am. It's not I who seems to be flaming.

  I cannot imagine this would yield a productive dialog.

  All I did was look up the word, "professional," and state my arguments against the definition! Of COURSE, it's productive dialogue! It's an attempt at opening communications on how we define ourselves. It is ALWAYS productive to learn from others, even amateurs like me!

  consuming the list with word wars.

  I'm not being adversarial; there is no war coming from me. I'm participating. I don't see why it deserves to be turned into a personal attack against me. Is this the big fear: if we HEAR each other, we might actually have to respect each other? Please don't brand me as a crack pot, simply because my experience is different than yours.

  Rogi, Is it true, even though the specific word is offensive to you,

  J, I don't know your life experience, but where I come from, women speak for themselves. I never said it was "offensive" to me. I said it was not appropriate. Please don't put words in my mouth. I don't need editing.

  that the character of what I tried to present was at least understandable?

  Obviously: I even edited it down, as you'd suggested you wanted! I thought that's why you emailed it to us: so we could suggest revisions. I did that, but the word, "professional" didn't sit right with me, so I wrote back.

  Do you assume I'm intellectually challenged, have poor language comprehension or am mentally unstable? Would that be because there is so much discrimination and prejudice against economically exploited people and people with behavioral health disabilities? You do realize that I'm very intelligent, articulate and thoughtful, don't you? Do you realize writing is my profession?

  This is not the first email I've received from you that seems to indicate resentment and condescension. It would appear that I'm being put in my place and this is an attempt to embarrass me. You are the professional here. I didn't attack or try to speak for you in any way. Please grant me the same professional courtesy.

  This is EXACTLY the sort of atmosphere that intimidates and disheartens those of us who have the nerve to break in to the consciousness of the nine-to-five staff at KUNM and presume we have any rights to the facility.

  When I talk to people about why they don't participate in the Ideas List, they use language like, "bitchyness," "nit-picking" and "arrogant" to describe their reception. Those are their actual words, not mine. We NEEDED to ask the community at KUNM THEIR opinions, needs and experiences before we put together anything difinitive for the Ideas List!

  If that's the way people talk to each other on Usenet, I TRULY have no use for Usenet!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

1st meeting of list serv committee

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  We will meet again on Friday, May 8, from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m.

Nobody asked if I could participate on that date. Is anybody taking steps to accommodate my participation from out of town? I was never contacted. Please explain why not. Couldn't anybody send emails during the meeting, to let me know what was happening? What about chat? What about skype? What about streaming live on a secure URL so I could at least email responses?

  It was noted that while any individual can set up a yahoo group, for example, to discuss KUNM matters, Richard Towne wants KUNM-sponsored discussion restricted to internally managed services.

This doesn't mean anything to me. Please explain.

  I believe that there was a sentiment against limiting the number of posts each day, and to evaluate on a case by case basis

HERE IT IS: "Case by case!!" No policy, just double standard. Are we ever going to explain to people what we consider "acceptable," or will we continue contemptuous silence to "offenders," hoping they'll be punished?

  (it was noted that if there is a dialogue that relates to KUNM community, it might result in multiple short-term postings.)

There may be other news of importance to KUNM, too, that arrives more than once per day.

  Subject headers were discussed, including the option of participants creating new headers, as needed, perhaps relating back to a broader theme, such as MUSIC, MUSIC/NEWS, MUSIC/OBIT, etc.


  We discussed the possibility of recruiting a qualified volunteer (once guidelines were in place) to help with managing the Ideas List (there is precedent for this – the list was initiated by a volunteer in collaboration with a staff member.) 

What does "managing" mean?

  I noted that I can place individuals on moderation for Ideas List posting without affecting the majority of participants at all, and release individuals from moderation where applicable.

What "place individuals on moderation" mean? Is this some sort of punishment or restriction? For what offenses? Was any of that clarified? "Release?????????????????????????"

  We discussed publicizing whether ticket giveaways or other freebies should be offered only through the Ideas List (in order to encourage participation. Response to this idea was positive.)

I thought the problem was too much participation, already. Does this mean more people ON the Ideas List, but still discouraging posting?

  For discussion (I’m just mentioning it here): Should the Ideas List be mandatory for KUNM volunteers and staff? (If so, posting would presumably be more closely monitored.)

If it had a website, like AIR and Transom do, people could check it without receiving email. Ops bulletins go out to everybody.

  After the meeting of May 8, we hope to have a post/summary ready for sharing on the Ideas List, asking for feedback from the full list before fine-tuning.

How does this solve the content squabbles? Did everybody agree to something not mentioned here? Are we following Katie's demands: no job postings, no info from other aspects of community radio, nothing that's not narrowcasted to special interests, no matter who else might want to know? Unless it's about a yuppie vacation to Hawaii and visiting the station there. I see nothing resolved here: people we don't like will be "handled" on a case-by-case basis, but nobody knows what the rules are, still. This seems very unfair. What are the RULES???

  Once we have a working set of guidelines, Richard Towne will review before it is published on the Ideas List (for new participants and periodically, as needed.)

 Again, if we used a format with an actual website, like AIR, we could post guidelines there. In fact, when I joined AIR, I asked for a copy of the guidelines. They decided to post them on the web site; they hadn't been there before. It made for some joking and silliness among old time posters.

By the way, I recently joined AIR and their email list. It is a friendly and helpful place, accepting and generous. So are the forums at Transom, which is how I began correspondence with several producers for APM, NPR and Jay Allison, himself. People in both places are genuinely happy I'm there and enthusiastic about my postings. They appreciate my offers to volunteer, rather than ignoring them. It's been a blessing to get out of the small town and back to the big city online. Too bad KUNM is so brittle and rigid in its approach to every aspect of herding volunteers and monitoring correct speech.

Whom does this committe represent? It's not the users of the list.

I thought the decisions of this committee were to be trusted by the whole community -- which we can't represent honestly, because we're not allowed to ask them what they want. Seems very undemocratic to me. If Richard Towne gets final approval, if we represent nothing like the volunteers and staff who use the ideas list, why is this committee doing this work? Why isn't Richard Towne? Is the committee just reinforcing the unclear guidelines and double standards already in place (with the addition of complicated and long subject headings) so Richard Towne can blame any flak on us?


Thursday, April 16, 2009

about bogus postings and civil discourse

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Someone recently posted something to the ideas list that was not directly relevant. I suppose either they thought it was news, or that others on the list would share their opinion of the subject. I, naive fool that I am, read it and clicked a link. I was taken to a website of the most outrageous, chicken little, paranoid conspiracy theory junk I have seen in quite some time. AND it was ablist AND it was sexist. I replied. I researched the subject and found it completely full of holes. In other words, not only was it not of interest to the news department, it ought not be of any interest to anyone with a serious commitment to educating and informing people: something we do a lot here at KUNM. A few days later, the person tried again, from another source. Well, I had developed an interest in the subject by then. Specifically, I was curious about in whose interest it would be to launch such a misinformation campaign that people about whose work I care a good deal would have begun to believe it. So, when the next post came in, I refuted it. And I busted the hypocracy of progressive, open minded people who would resort to such epithets against marginalized social groups to debate their position on this particular subject.

I firmly believe that sloppy thinking has no place in community building. We need to be rational. We need to debate our points without lying or calling people names like "bitch," etc., unless we are speaking about literal, female dogs. I think we, of all people, need to be very careful with how we argue our positions on things and not resort to the tactics of what the Evangelicals would call "the enemy." EXAMPLE: Frankin apostrophe ---my apostrophe has died--s book, "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" is completely unacceptable to me. Oppressive language is oppressive, if Jesus himself uses it. I mean "we" as in communicators, journalists, community activists, experts in progressive causes and even experts in local music. Call me a "nigger" or a "ho" on KUNM, and you will DEFINATELY hear from me! I do not care how hip, cool, together and popular the programmer is: I will not tolerate abusive language that exploites marginalized populations of our listeners. Period. That trash is for commercial media, not here.

So, I am reasonably sure this is ANOTHER reason this committee was formed: because I was frank in my discussion of this issue in reply to the poster. I WISH someone in the News Dept. had backed me up in this. I wish someone knowlegeable in the subject under discussion had said something. They did not.

Now, I look like a crack pot and and over poster, because I beliveve in INFORMED democracy, responsible speech, civil discourse, logical debate of issues and something-- ANYTHING - better than a half baked YouTube video calling people bitches and inbred morons to make a point! The integrity of this station: its content, its programmers, its news department is a vital issue to me. I will defend with my LIFE our right, duty and responsibility to be the fifth estate, to inform voters and citizens, to keep the conversation out of the gutter and to ethically and logically defend the First Ammendment of the Constitution of the United States by providing a forum wherein people of ALL persuasions, parties, ethnicities, religions, abilities (INCLUDING INTELLECTUAL), national origins, genders, sexual identities and colors of underwear are welcomed to discuss openly whatever is of importance to our larger community. We DO NOT have enough of that; nobody is training people in that; WE have to MODEL that for ALL listeners -- including, apparently, some of the most "progressive" among us.

I am not a crack pot. Far from it. It was my hope to engage in this sort of civil discourse within the KUNM community, on the Ideas List. What better place for such discussion? I guess I was wrong. People just want to be told when we switch to Daylight Savings Time. Hell, the minutes and agendas of the General and Board Meetings are not even posted on the Ideas List, for the most part. I have NO idea what kinds of decisionsare being made there, as I cannot attend and have no access to a proxy vote, via email.

This whole thing saddens me greatly.


Monday, April 13, 2009

kunm ideas list committee

You are reading

Ok, I'm already confused. I thought this was about the Ideas List.

I didn't know there WAS a prob with website forums.

At any rate, what E has posted here re: forums seems pretty much like what's already going on w/Ideas List, so I don't see much need for committees and discussions.

As far as what people call those who pretend to usurp the word, "Christian," while not practicing the red parts of the Bible, my experience is that they've never held back their opinions of ME, so I'm not too worried about their feelings. Christians, as in followers of Christ, wouldn't act like that as group policy. Jesus sure as hell wouldn't, and got nailed to a stick because of it. So, if they're going to carry banners at funerals that say, "God hates fags" and "A.I.D.S. is God's punishment," they're pretty much setting themselves up.

It's a very unfriendly environment for honest discussion if people insist on sniping minutiae, which has been my experience. I ignore it, as much as I can. It's not my job to educate people about their presumptions, prejudices and pretenses.

Eighty per cent of the time, the Ideas List is on topic. The other 20, it's usually still of interest to people involved in the station. Can we not just forgive the difference? How are H's posts, and my replies, on that silly house bill more egregious than J' post about the UNM press dept. closing or someone else's obit on a singer or activist? Is Ps' mention of Cs' ill family member acceptable, but mine on struggling with food insecurity not? Why? Because he's middle class and I'm not? Because he's "cool," and I'm not? If L is pissed that her program got pulled, how is that more acceptable than my post that staff deliberately put up nearly-impossible obstacles of my production for the Homelessness Marathon? It's ok for K to call out R and, basically, call him a coward on the whole list, but my post about news stories on R, the diversity of issues he knows well and articulates to media is inappropriate? RK can promote a storytelling or one-woman-show she's producing outside KUNM on the Ideas List, but I shouldn't mention my work with De Baca County's Behavioral Heath Planning Council, the story telling group I'm starting here or the Youth Radio project I'm initiating? Nl can offer AMP concert tickets, but I can't ask for used MiniDiscs? M can write how much she appreciates the labors of the staff & volunteers at KUNM, but I can't?

Please know that I'm very conscious of Z's position about me on a number of topics. I don't even know what the guy looks or sounds like But he has been UNBELIEVABLY cruel to me, broadcasting personnel business to the Ideas List (which is the first inkling I ever had that he was in negotiations with M M to have me "banned" from the web forums, apparently because they didn't like my poetry about news stories I'd heard on KUNM -- because I CERTAINLY wasn't in violation of any published policies or procedures, re: the website forums). Apparently, he's invested in perceiving me as a rather dim witted crack pot, and reminds me when he can, on the list.

The use of the phrase, "borderline crazy postings," reminded me of it again. Ah, epithets about behavioral health disabilities! How refreshing! As if people with behavioral health issues CHOOSE to have difficulty with thought processes, emotion and memory! We just sit around all day, looking for ways to freak out temporarily "normal" people, who can't be bothered to try to tolerate, understand, accept, listen to or communicate with us!

Hell, at least people are finally POSTING to the website! How many YEARS did I go there, to see nothing new had been written by anybody about anything?

If the webmasters resent the extra work of "moderating" discussion there, they could ask for volunteers to help. I'd do it.

Will we be hiring a clinical psychologist to analyse posts to the website and ideas list, to decide what's worthy? Who determines what's evidence of too large a behavioral health disability to be allowed free speech? Is behavioral health disability the criteriion for silencing people? If it is, we'll have to shut the website and the ideas list down. First, everybody has behavioral health issues. Second, if we discriminate against ONE disability, we're still in violataion of the A.D.A. THERE's your lawsuit!

People make mistakes. But, at KUNM, that's grounds for swift, severe and permanent punishment. Poor L now has a note in her permanent record about that dang radio play with 'f'bombs in it! Is there an equivelent note about how HARD L works, how DEDICATED she's been to the station, Radio Theater, the Board, the General Meeting. She even donated FURNITURE to the volunteer room! Not crappy milk crates and bean bags: REAL FURNITURE! Is THAT in her file at KUNM?????

" is an unfriendly environment for honest communication." Damn right, if you're going to get your head bit off for honest mistakes, if someone's always going to go behind your back to management, to whine that THEY don't think what you have to say is important and, therefore, you should be immediately and permanently silenced!

The ideas list can be received in digest form. I don't get it that way; I get individual posts. And guess what? I rarely get more than 5 in a day! It's not an undo amount of incoming email, on the worst of days!


I don't understand how the Ideas List is a record for posterity. I thought it was a closed list, available only to subscribers. I didn't know it was a permanent archive to be unearthed by archaeologists and grad students in the distant future. How is it "easily accessed?" We talk about LOTS of things, ALL of us, that we wouldn't particularly want out there for general consumption! That's why we talk about them on the list, before we broadcast them.

I think the KUNM ideas listserv is a valuable tool, and has done a lot toward facilitating staff/ volunteer conversation. I also think that more could be done in general to open up conversations with the community at large, but I don't think that's possible without defining some kind of terms for acceptable communication in each of these areas.

Does this mean that the list is being opened up to the general public?

How is KUNM supposed to get sued for another person's opinion? There IS a disclaimer on the website, isn't there??? There was ONE lawsuit, which was frivolous and pathetic. Nobody ever discriminated against that guy for his religion OR his politics. We (as INDIVIDUALS, NOT as representatives of KUNM) disliked him BECAUSE HE'S A JERK. Period. The lawsuit just proved it.

I smell upper middle class rules of decorum in this: Conform to our standards of "making nice," or we'll throw you out, you crazy bag lady! I don't hear any attempt to make all people feel welcomed and respected. I hear threats of punishment and banishment. I don't hear efforts at being supportive, understanding or facilitating true community building. This is what we'll do TO you, not This is what we'll do ALONG with you.

Yes, I'm different. I have severe disabilities with which I struggle on a regular basis. For this, I'm ridiculed, ostracized, snubbed, ignored, mocked and excluded on a regular basis, even at KUNM

Despite this, I am a productive and positive contributor to the KUNM community. No, I don't speak in small talk. I don't know the code words and jargon of academics, engineers, IT specialists and the upper middle class. I try to be as honest and supportive as I can of people at KUNM. Some days are better than others. I've endured threats, humiliations, verbal and physical abuse, snubs and sarcasm from volunteers and staff at the station. I didn't leave; I KEEP contributing, even though it takes me much more effort and time to contribute than it does those with more privilege than I. You have no idea how bereft, defeated and full of self hatred I've been at times as a result of my attempts to interface with people at the station who've hurt me very deeply, deliberately.And I KEEP comig back, because COMMUNITY is more important to me than a few individuals who insist on despising me, no matter what I do, how far I've come and how much potential I have for the future. They've been hinderances, not helps. And I KEEP coming back! Some things are too important to quit; KUNM is one of them, to me.

Now, we're going to reign in the off topic posts. We're going to make sure nobody is bothered with my second class babbling, antics and interference. I'm ridiculous: worthy of ridicule. In the back woods of Kentucky, TO THIS DAY, some people CHAIN their relatives with behavioral health disabilities to back porches, or lock them in cellars. They don't know how to cope and they don't have any support systems or health education to do better. I'd have thought all this book learnin' progressivism would do better, but I see it coming: FINALLY, we won't have to listen to that crazy Rogi any more! We can get her sanctioned, get it in writing in her volunteer file, get her out of this station and out of our hair forever!

I've fed some of you, cleaned up after you, listened to your worries and concerns, defended your honors, hugged you and given moral support, helped you research projects and use equipment. I've cheered you up and cheered you on. I've defended KUNM on several levels. I'm agonizing right now, because I can't afford to pledge at present. I've introduced KUNM to the War Zone in Albuquerque and the citizens of Fort Sumner. Hell, people from Maine to California are listening to podcasts and live streams from the station, because I told them about it.

But, let me post one thing that SOMEBODY thinks isn't relevent to THEIR life, and I should be bound and gagged.

I've been through this before. I see it coming now. I figured I'd better be honest and direct about my fears and concerns about this committee.

I'm blunt. I'm from Los Angeles: take too long to ask what you need, you'll be waiting your whole life. And I don't deal well with all the curliques and flourishes of abstract obfuscation; I just say what I mean. That seems to offend the HELL out of some people. Those people do ME a lot more damage with their circuitous manipulations than I do them with my direct speech. I'm tired of people insisting I conform to a dysfunctional culture that nearly killed me! Why can't Who I Am be Good Enough? Because you think Who You Are ISN'T Good Enough? How does that make ANY sense? WHO's crazy?

One Station, Many Voices: all of them upper middle class.

Sorry if I've offended, but if the shoe fits.....


The list serv has very little volume. There's seldom any "tone," that I can discern, except a disdain for Republicans and Greens.

"Just the facts" is covered by Operations bulletins, etc.

some people who are currently subscribed to KUNM ideas are frustrated with the volume and tone of this free discussion. And while I like the idea of encouraging better netiquette through training, encouragement, and community-based moderation, I have a hard time believing members of the KUNM community have the time, patience, or inclination for such.

Again: DIGEST!

I don't need someone to abridge my freedom of speech through "moderation" because someone else needs to learn patience! Why should MY patience be taxed to accommodate the intolerant?

I should be banned from the website forum because I post "too much" (it was about 1 or 2 posts per week). I should be banned from the list serv because I post too much (not including forwards of info pertinent to broadcasting), I post about 3 times per week.

Speaking of time, my comments to this group take a LOT of time, and go unacknowledged, for the most part. And my questions go unanswered.

Maybe it has more to do with the expression, "members of the KUNM community." I don't feel much "community" among volunteers who broadcast. I see individual egos with narrow-focused agendas who promote only their own interests. It's what T mentioned: I don't see people encouraging or promoting other programs or programmers. It's like none of them knows the other exists, unless they get in a territorial fight at shift change. Others of us who volunteer -- or work -- at the station become human furnishings: we only count if we directly impact a particular programmer or program. The atmosphere frequently feels elitist, exlusive, snobbish and cliquish. It's not just me who has experienced this; I've had discussions with staff, volunteers, work studies, etc. who feel like they're perceived as being in the way, under foot, distracting . . . That's not community. There's little flexibility, acceptance, tolerance, etc.

Since living in Fort Sumner, I've become much more active in the community radio community nationally and internationally. I see active and vivid discussions, within stations and about them. I see people struggling to be supportive and accommodating. I see people LISTENING to each others' needs, concerns and ideas. I see policy decisions change to reflect better the community served.

EXAMPLE: When I write to the Development Dept. at KUNM and offer to volunteer (and this has happened under 2 directors) to raise funds, I am ignored. I mean, I'm not even politely refused. How am I supposed to interpret that? I'm so far beneath contempt, I don't deserve acknowledgement? I'm just a crack pot, trying to muscle in on someone else's territory? It's rude. It happens all over KUNM.

When I write to and offer to volunteer 5 hours a week with some sort of telecommuting job, the founder writes to thank me and, a week later, a Transom teeshirt arrives in the mail, because I "deserve it, just for offering to volunteer."

M ARGUED with me about which size KUNM tee shirt I should get, after pledging last year! I think she wanted to save the really big ones for people whose money was more important than mine! I like M a lot, but come ON!

At other stations, they get permits to block city streets for craft fairs, concerts, etc. where the listeners stroll with the station personnel and build connections and share skills and information.

At KUNM, programmers and staff usually only know listener community members if they're Somebody.

EXAMPLE: The Queers prepare for their Pride Parade in or near Onate Hall's parking lot. Do we ever set up a table, give people water, have subscription sign-ups and program guides available? It's not far away; it's not hard work; it doesn't last very long. It would be fun.

I don't need Big Brother to do my thinking for me, to screen me for PC speech, to deny me access to community building.

I'll tell you one thing: since I've decreased my involvement with KUNM as "community" and increased my involvement with vivid, active, inquisitive and proactive radio communities elsewhere, I'm finding I'm getting validation, support, encouragement and real enthusiasm from my fellow community radio colleagues.

For years, I thought there was something wrong with me, because people at KUNM tended way too often to treat me like dog poop on their shoes.

Now, I see it is the atmosphere at KUNM more than it is me. Yes, I make more mistakes than some others at KUNM. Oh, well. I also contribute much-needed content. I've been a loyal supporter of the station (which is often perceived more as fanatical party crashing than as useful). My gifts are often refused at KUNM. I felt crazy: SURELY what I have to offer has value?

Yes, it does, and others in community radio recognize that.

I can show you the difference dramatically. The agenda at KUNM is frequently set by "Democracy Now" style cynicism and political correctness. It's a bummer. Even though Goodman is currently pushing her book about regular people making change, her programs are too seldom about that. They're disempowering. They instill fear, resentment, anger and distrust. They describe, in agonizing details, the problems, but not solutions.

Look at this program on WFMU:

This is a young man who grew up on computers, who's an economist, whose Jewish heritage informs his thought processes as much as any other training he has had. He believes in grass roots, "bottom up" solutions. His programs are vivid and alive. He's also about 20 years younger than Goodman and our programmers. He doesn't broadcast the same, old leftist rhetoric; he seeks viable solutions that can be implemented immediately by individuals. That's solution-based radio. Everybody is welcomed, not just the same organizations and institutions that have received some sort of secret society acceptance and get heard over and over.

KUNM doesn't need LESS discussion; it needs MORE.

Brand me as a hairbrained malcontent bag lady party crashing dim witted crack pot if you must, but I'm not wrong in this.


Ok, let's say it is I who have made the most posts. That's about 160 msgs. in about 16 months. That's about 10 posts per month. About half of those are job announcements, community radio news, etc. That means I'm averaging about 5 original content posts per month; apx. 4 of those are "on topic," and about KUNM directly.

In the real world of list servs, that's not very much content from one individual. Some list servs to which I subscribe have posts half a dozen times a day, some by the same person.

Basically, people want an email list serv, but no content generation? People only want to hear what they want to hear? I don't get it. How do we learn from each other without communication? Don't we want to learn from each other? There's so much isolation at KUNM already. I just don't think it's healthy.


Rogi, since you can recognize your own tally, reinforces my point that this particular communication forum is not representative of the some 200 volunteers and staff that comprise the station.

Most people at the station don't need to use the wheelchair ramps. Let's tear them out. Most people at the station aren't impacted by exclusive marriage legislation. Let's enforce one man/one woman marriage. Most people at the station went to college. Let's prohibit self-educated people without degrees from contributing. Most people at the station own cars. Let's tell the others how weird they are. Most people at the station live on over $1,000/month. Let's keep poor people around just to scrub out toilets. Most people at the station aren't Asian. Let's never cover stories about Asians.

Most people at the station don't subscribe to the ideas list. Let's get rid of the ideas list.

"You're not like the rest of us; we need to make a rule to keep you out. That's democracy."

I get told this a lot at KUNM. When the news room was too busy for me to get my work done, I started working in what's CALLED the "Volunteer Room." The coffee pot, refrigerator and copy machine used to be in there, before the remodeling. A member of staff COMPLAINED that I was in there, workiing! She resented me for being friendly and saying, "hi" when she came in. I was a volunteer, in the volunteer room! That, somehow, interfered with her coffee!

So, I was ordered back to the news room. The big solution? Build partitions around me and WALL ME IN! JESUS! And then, complain that I hung some personal stuff on the partitions! I was in total isolation, inside a grey cube, KNOWING it was so people didn't have to look at or relate to me. I was totally demoralized and DETERMINED to keep contributing. I put up a few things to remind me I was a worthy human being. And they complained about THAT! Other people had toys and widgets and gizmos all over their work stations!

What is representative of the station is that people choose not to participate and communicate with each other, beyond the bare requirements. What is representative is that most of us don't know what each other looks like, who we love and how we are doing.

That's a management choice: to build an atmosphere of alienation, potential "punishments," isolation, intimidation and division. The fact that so many of us go along with that as the Status Quo is really demoralizing to me.

Are we so afraid our values and priorities don't really stand the light of day that open discussion would destroy our integrity?

People who work at KUNM get SICK from it! There's passive-aggressive mumbling, not open dialogue and problem solving. There's random sniping and character assassination bombs. It's not healthy not to communicate!

I guess I'm being handed my hat.

10 posts a week isn't much, either.

Nobody replied to my questions about "Spoken Word" playlists. So I went to the "Spoken Word" discussion forum on the web site. Mine is the FIRST POST there! Nobody speaks about "Spoken Word?" What?

I SO hoped people could see the ideas list is a very valuable way we can know each other, solve problems together, discuss innovations in technology and programming, share skills . . .

It looks like what people want is to be left in isolation, undisturbed by the larger community, to persue their own thing without any interference from the rest of the people around them.

I swear, I've worked in about 10 radio stations, and I've never seen anything like this before. Well, WLOU in Louisville, KY: All canned classical music and NPR. The Unitarian Church was directly across the street. The minister held a series of concerts there. He had HELL to pay, trying to get people from the station to walk across the street with some equipment to record the concerts for broadcast! Only rich yuppies listened to that station, and they liked it that way.

Even this podunk station, out here in Portales, is more welcoming and enthusiastic toward me than KUNM.


Yes, let us, by all means, not reach out to people to communicate with them about how to communicate. That would be most inappropriate. We weren't talking about a survey of netiquette. We were talking about asking people what they want.

And let's always keep in the front of our minds that the bottom line is how we can punish people for taking the risk of communicating at a community radio station! Implied threats keep us distrustful, suspicious of each other and divided. In other words, threats keep us manageable. Heaven forbid we be trusted to manage ourselves and forgiven for honest mistakes!

No, let's never acknowledge or respect the efforts, sincerity and commitment of those pesky risk-takers who make our lives so miserable.

Yes, this is a healthy atmosphere.

Anybody who's human, who gives a damn about KUNM enough to actually have DONE something useful at and/or for the station gets to be on the list. It's not a Greek society, a country club, a klan meeting or a cloister. If you've paid in, you're qualified. Period.

Nobody should be silenced for trivial garbage! What's next? Yellow stars?

Spammers, porno promoters and hate mongers should be bounced, as if they'd ever sign up.

So, here's the real bottom line: the station's thinking about silencing people -- probably me, in particular -- and that's what we're supposed to discuss. WE get to frame it, so management can say, "We asked you to participate on the committee, but you did not. A group of your peers did. THIS is what they decided (even though they knew they didn't represent the population, but couldn't get an opportunity to ask you). Live with it or get out." Management smells like a rose; we do the dirty work. great.

Why is this about hurting people: threatening to temporarily or permanently shut them out for "chronic" behavior (whatever that means; there's been no flame wars, spam, etc. on the ideas list that's of any consequence or duration).

Why are we pretending this committee is even welomed? Sounds like Richard will make the final decisions, no matter what we say, anyway.

I thought we already had criteria for participation in the list serv.

Every TIME R says these things, I get the sneaking suspicion that this wasn't set up to be a committee, but a lynch mob, and I'm the one being measured for the rope!

Sounds like a lot of back channel complaining has been going on, and now it's time to get a group together who will justify management, lowering the boom. Don't tell me I'm paranoid, either. I USED to trust KUNM regulars, but I'm still trying to heal the knife wounds in my back!

Oh, don't take it personally, Rogi. You're being overly sensitive. Like I haven't been around this May pole before.

Do you have any idea how much courage it takes me to participate in this?

Did any of you ever consider how much pain this causes me? Do you have any idea how offensive it is? Do you know how bitter I feel that nobody is acknowledging my experiences at the station, taking them seriously and offering me support in trying to get some justice and some of my dignity back? Does kindness cost money? When did it become uncool to care?


Listen very carefully: there is nothing wrong with the Ideas List. It's there for us to discuss topics of interest to us as station community members. Subscription is voluntary.

Ops Bulletins and some other sort of bulletins -- I can't remember what; they've been used very seldom -- discuss urgent issues, and are sent to everyone. They are "professional;" one cannot reply to all.


I accidentally sent something to the List that I meant to send to R. She knows this, because she got half a dozen other emails from me, citing a programmer's violation of FCC laws, with quotes of on air programming and exact times of occurance. One of these, subject: "I't Your Fucking Life," accidentally got sent to the Ideas List. I can't see my monitor well; I'm 6 inches from it. I accidentally clicked on the list address, rather than operations' address. It was an honest mistake and I apologized to the list almost immediately. I was trying to protect the station's license; no good deed goes unpunished.

In addition, someone posted something of very dubious origins, the contents of which were sexist and ablist and not good journalism. I addressed those 2 posts, as well. By doing myself, I "outted" myself as low income and not politically correct.

I'm sure all of these generated complaints to management within the past month.

I can't even have a private conversation in the so-called, "Volunteer Room" without someone complaining to management and management dangling the threat of "further action" over my head. THAT happened during the last Pledge drive.

I have cited MULTIPLE examples in my correspondence to this body about my treatment as second class at the station.

My income status, lack of formal education and behavioral health disabilities make me a very easy target, no matter how hard I try.

I firmly believe this committee was formed to create sanctions -- particularly against me -- so that management won't have to look bad for doing it. But management won't let us ask others at KUNM what they DO want, so we must be psychic and speak for everybody -- which, of course, we can't.

I'm sure these sanctions will be formed in such a way as to be retroactive, so I can be "dealt with" as soon as possible.

I have been physically assaulted by people from KUNM twice. I am screamed and cussed at, threatened, insulted, ignored, shunned, humiliated and mocked on a regular basis by people at KUNM.

There's nothing wrong with the Ideas List. The purpose of the committee is to try to, once and for all, get rid of me. Period.

NOBODY has cited a valid reason for this committee's assembly. Nobody has explained where this sudden need to change the Ideas List came from.

The Ideas List was never set up as a "professional" list; it was set up as a list for volunteers' ideas. It's not about staff, although staff is more than welcome to contribute. And I'll mention that Marcos Martinez, former Program Director, used to curse in a good number of his posts to the list -- INTNTIONALLY, NOT accidentally, as I did.

I use the list more than anybody, it seems. J has made that very clear. I didn't realize that actually using a KUNM resource was grounds for suspicion and resentment, but this has happened to me on multiple occassions, including but not limited to: the Call In Show, the "Volunteer" room, the website forums and now the Ideas list.

R is the one who brought up taking action against "Chronic" (which would seem to refer to me, as I'm the most consistent user) "abusers." R is the one threatening -- not to welcome, educate and support people, but to punish and banish people. She is doing this as a representative of management. She tipped the hand, not I.

My reference to nooses is metaphorical; I am a poet. But I've been ganged up on before at KUNM, and I smell it now.

As to yellow stars, they started by telling Jews they couldn't ride bikes, use radios or attend classes. A thousand tiny cuts of inaccessibility and withdrawl of rights to participate.

I know those cuts. I know them well.

This committee is "suddenly" important, within a month of the posts I cited above. I'm not naive enough to think it coincidence. This committe wasn't formed right after K's tantrum at R, now, was it? K generates press and subscribers; I do not. I'm more than expendable. In fact, for several people, it would be a pleasure to threaten me, punish me, hurt me and abandon me. Someone in this very discussion knows that, very well.

I'm not making this up. I am not delusional. I'm making it very clear in my communications to this group that I'm well aware of what is happening and what I can do about it. I am not second class and I'm sick of wasting time, trying to prove it.

Management, staff and volunteers all need tolerance training. It's not my job to provide it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Brainstorm" aired tonight on WCAI

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Let me explain why this is so validating for me.

The show it airs on is called, "Arts and Ideas Radio." It's produced by Jay Allison.

Who's Jay Allison?

Ever listen to "This I Believe" on NPR on Sundays? That's Jay Allison.

Ever hear of Atlantic Public Media? That's Jay Allison.

Ever hear of WCAI & WNAN? Jay Allison is a founder of both stations.

Ever hear of (the FIRST website to ever win a Pulitzer)? That's Jay Allison.

Ever hear of ? That's Jay Allison.

Ever hear of "Nightline?" The real one, with Ted Koppel? That's Jay Allison.

You cut this guy, he bleeds documentaries and diodes.

He picked out "Brainstorm" from a SLEW of independently produced pieces (by people with far more experience, education, productions, connections and polish than I) over on PRX, where "Brainstorm" is listed.

Jay Allison picked something I produced to air on his show. He picked something I care about deeply, that affects me, personally, to air on his program.

I can't think of better validation, except that Paul Ingles has supported it -- and me -- enough to encourage me to offer it on PRX.

This is the biggest thing that's ever happened to me as a radio producer. It means I'm swimming in the deep end now.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Maybe rejection by NPR is a compliiment?

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This was rejected by NPR because -- well, they chickened.

Could we wangle this for Radio Theatre?

Here's what I wrote in a discussion of the piece:

Larry Massett said, "the rule is nobody listens to a single piece that long." Yeah, well, KUNM has an hour call in show; the lines are always full when time runs out. They broadcast specials on Sunday mornings, and actually prefer 1/2 to 1 hr pieces -- not to fill air, but because our listeners like hearing things in depth. We've run Radio Theatre, one of the LAST venues for original plays, for years and have no intentions of losing it, because it's so appreciated. Every documentary I do for Sunday Specials is an hour: how should I discuss Native American Veterans with PTSD, brain injury or the lives of a single mom and her two developmentally and physically challenged daughters with the intimacy and focus on healing these subjects deserve if I don't allow the listeners time to absorb the content? Maybe commercial radio and, more insidiously, TELEVISION, have so corrupted not the audience attention span, but the MINDSETS of PRODUCERS that the latter can no longer conceive of life as more than a sound bite and an Arbitron rating.

There was a time in my life when I aspired to be "as good as NPR." When it comes to skill, technique, richness of sound and just plain quality of broadcast, that will always be true -- unless NPR finally and totally loses its collective mind.

But I came to community radio through KPFK. Ok, sure, sometimes it's polemic, strident, some might even say paranoid and delusional, at times. It can be technically sloppy. It can be one-sided (but, after the invasion of Iraq, and NPR's "coverage," well, speaking of "sloppy!"). But one thing about KPFK was that it was sincere, usually. I cut my teeth on sincere broadcasting, and that will always resonate with me. NPR's self conscious quirky/cutesy tendencies sometimes make me want to slap Scott Simon with Leanne Hansen or is it the other way around?

I'm a woman. I know the shock & awe of the stirruped nether regions. I also know a good rack (of lamb) when I see one. I also know a little about women's liberation, pansexuality and the deformity of culture through unnatural gender roles.

More men need to speak like this. ALL men, AND women, need to HEAR men speaking like this. If beltway dainty NPR can't listen to this, that says something profound and frightening about NPR. 'course, after eight years of an administration which treated everything honest, sincere and real in the world with contempt, I wonder if I can blame them for their timidity. Maybe things will lighten up for awhile now.

If it were customary in our culture to speak of our bodies and their amusements and frailties with this sort of honesty, we wouldn't live in a world of Seven Deadly Words. If we loved ourselves, nothing about our bodies would be "dirty." Messy, yes, and smelly and often sticky, but not dirty.

They say you're only as sick as your secrets. Imagine: if we could speak openly about our bodies, how many men wouldn't needlessly die of prostate cancer, or women of breast and ovarian cancer, because they were too "ashamed" and afraid to seek treatment?

Isn't it ironic that it is those who've nearly died of disease who often have the most healthy perspective on their bodies?

Yeah, hot flashes, dude. Men THINK they're tough. One hot flash, and that's all over. Try losing a pregnancy. "Women are not afraid to talk about their bodies." Well, most of us don't know what our genitals look like. Too many of us have never experienced orgasm. A lot of us don't know what a clitoris is, and quite a few of us who DO know only know because the culture we live in expects us to cut it off. No, dude, you do NOT know a woman's experience. Buying shoes is not hormonal; it's a symptom of women's feelings of powerlessness. But we do talk with each other, apparently, a lot more often than you dudes do about stuff that's real.

I'm going to leave this page, copy and paste the URL for this show and post it to the KUNM Ideas List, in hopes we might find a way to broadcast this, maybe as Radio Theatre. 'course, people would probably like to get PAID to have this air on our station, and we don't have a budget for either Sunday Specials or Radio Theatre, so it's probably a moot point.

The music was awesome!

Don't stop doing real radio, no matter how many rejections you get. You're good at it

Monday, January 19, 2009

home made speakers

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"Hi-fidelity Homemade Loudspeaker.

"From the Inventor of the Styrofoam Plate Speaker, here are the instructions to build the "Hi-Fidelity homemade styrofoam-plate speaker". (8/6/2007)


"After I built my homemade speaker With a plastic cup, some people started to criticize it without even trying to build one. The worst rant was the "quality of the sound". Other people started to make their own homemade speaker based on my instructions without even giving me the credit as the original author, so I decided to build a new version, simple and better.

"When I said, "keep your socks up", I really mean it. I was working and doing some tests until finally I was able to build my own homemade speaker with the sound quality that competes with commercial speakers."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

audio links

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Mix Tape
Windows Mix
Concert Vault
Free Indy Music
tv tunes
find sounds
'70s top 100
internet Broadway database

no category
Ditty Bops
Suzanne Vega

Desktop Blues
Pinetop Perkins
bb King

airborne toxic event
Radiohead "Creep"
auf der maur
Rock albums, '65-'78
Dolls Eye


Bill Withers

Woody Guthrie
Sacred Harp Singing

Sound Track
David Lynch

jazz improv tv
Duke Ellington
Cook Trio Gypsy Jazz
Miles Davis

how to build a pocket amplifier
sonic visualizer
learn Morse code
how to build a solar generator for under $300
madtracker plug-ins
PC-VST compatible plug-ins
Renoise songsmith
Testing, 1,2,1,2: sound engineer glossery
advanced urban rhythm machine
Exact audio copy
Reason Freaks

CO2 emissions
bike to work
Mapping Rights GLBT
the future of our worldWindows
bra ball
illegal interest rates
IBM to build brain-like computer
Steal This Book Abbie Hoffman
world processor
Project Censored News
Complete Your Evil Plan
one-sentence true stories
Ecology news
Alternative news links

No Particular Reason
Timothy Leary
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (attn: Bob Ottey)
ninja cat
virtual kaleidascope
I don't know what it is; just play with it.
Death to the Tinman
Conference Bike
Haiku error messages
Hipster handbook