Wednesday, April 06, 2011

"Bright" future for radio?

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Well, they don't make it easy, now, do they? Google doesn't acknowledge audio even exists! I can't post audio directly on my blogspot blogs, for instance. It's not like we're Luddites, living in a world of 21st century denial, or something. Look at all the creative ways we've found to get our audio out there. Even Facebook doesn't cooperate with their video options. If you ain't got no purdy, moovin pitchers, you cain't put it on our website! WHO is backward?

...The problem is not that radio is hobbled with a
doomed technology but that it’s failed to take advantage of the
opportunities these new digital technologies have made available. . . .
There’s Hulu, countless video services, such as Netflix, where viewers
can catch reruns of favorite TV shows and on-demand services from most
cable providers with rich catalogs of content. . . .

Where is radio by comparison? Way behind. Broadcast companies have
watched as others, like Pandora, have risen to dominate the emerging
audio venues and they are equally far behind in mobile.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Telling AIR I'm leaving

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2 emails to Association of Independents in Radio:


I just wanted to say good bye and thanks for the support and information I've received here.

I'm homeless. I've been actively seeking affordable housing, but there is none in New Mexico ("Weekly Alibi" newspaper). I look every week.

I live without sewage, running water, heat or air conditioning, in a travel trailer, in the drive way of a house I rented last year that is uninhabitable. I'm 100 miles, round trip, from provisions. I have no car; there's no public transportation. So I have to hitch hike.

I tried to save up for my AIR membership this year. But, if I find a place, I'll need every dime I have to hire someone to haul my trailer there. So I cannot take the risk of renewing my membership this year.

I leaned a lot here. Thanks.

I've thought, all day, about what to say. I don't have AIR's permission to say this, but they discounted my membership 2 years in a row. My circumstances have been so bad, the past 2 years, that my life is, literally, in danger. But, on $700/month, with NO support, it's taking longer than two years to recover; I'm barely surviving.

Last year, I was robbed and stranded, hundreds of miles from my animals and possessions, with only $200 and only 2 weeks to find housing. Many of my animals were killed and I lost most of what I owned, including 30 years' worth of air checks of programs I've done, all over the country, as a volunteer at community radio stations.

I called an AIR member, the only phone number I had memorized, and begged for a ride. I was given the ride, but told not to speak, at all. Once I found this hideous place to "live," I sent that person an email, asking to be treated with respect, explaining that my life was in danger and that I had nobody else to ask for help. The reply was insulting; my note was called a "screed," as though it were just a rant of no significance. I had forgotten my place, I realize now. I was ordered never to call or email that person again, was immediately fired as that production company's transcriber and told never to ask for a professional or personal reference from that person again.

That person was my radio production mentor, access to markets and liaison to NPR. That person is in a position of significant influence with AIR, PRX and NPR.

I had already been branded as a loose cannon and made unwelcome at our state's largest public radio station. My productions were sabotaged by management and I was called "crazy." I was even hit and screamed at by paid staff there. I have lost all privileges as a volunteer there and any staff or volunteers I contact let me know I am not welcome to do so. The person of whom I spoke, above, is closely associated with that station.

I cannot produce radio a mile from the BNSF railroad tracks, in a travel trailer, on a windy prairie; it's too noisy. And I can't drive anywhere to record interviews. I'm trapped and abandoned.

If I had a professional career, credit cards and alphabet soup after my name, that station would fall all over itself to get me to participate. I'm very talented, have a good heart, and a great researcher, good writer and, despite my broken teeth and lisp, a good voice for radio.

But I am branded as a loser, a pariah, an embarrassment, a threat to the status quo of a public media cartel with cozy relationships to very influential politicians, entertainers, business leaders and wealthy donors. My humble documentaries about brain injuries, Native American veterans with Post Traumatic Stress, homeless Queer kids, sustainablity, subsistence living with grace and dignity, poverty, homelessness, disability, etc. are not welcome here. And neither am I.

I know I'm not welcome and never was. I bent over backward to reassure them, to try to build their confidence in me. I worked five times harder than others around me to show that a person in poverty, with brain injuries and post traumatic stress, can make at least as valuable a contribution to society as anybody. It was a wasted effort. They were determined to silence and shun me.

So, I'm not welcome. But I'm too destitute to move, to start over. I'm trapped and I'm alone. And all that talk about nonviolent conflict resolution, tolerance, acceptance and treating people with dignity makes great radio, but I'm not seeing it displayed to me.

Meantime, my neighbors throw beer bottles and rocks at me, threaten to burn me out and kill my animals and call me the most vile and hateful things. They even think I worship the devil, because I have goats.

So, enjoy your career, dude. The least you could have done was give me closing credits for helping, transcribing when I had no access to internet and had to endure the humiliations of the Fort Sumner librarian, as I transferred your transcripts from my thumb drive to their computer, to email them to you. I'm a hard worker. I did my job as well as I could under circumstances that would have killed a weaker person.

I will be back. And you will be ashamed at the way you treated me when my life was so endangered, I lost control of my bowels.



Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to handle a troll @ KGLP's FaceBook

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So, as admin. for the facebook page, I post a lot of news stories, including this one:
Our local troll got into it and I wonder: is everything I post just an opportunity for him to get attention, raise a stink and treat people like crap?
So, as admin. for the facebook page, I post a lot of news stories, including this one:
Our local troll got into it and I wonder: is everything I post just an opportunity for him to get attention, raise a stink and treat people like crap? 
I replied:
KGLP 91.7 fm Radio Please document your assertions with facts. Rumors by white people about people of color can be construed as racist. There is a lot of precedent. Surely, you can understand how any perceived attempts at race baiting might be unwelcome.

So, he called me "fishy." I'm wondering if he's paranoid. He has also called me a liar and is implying the station has a "far left wing Marxist-Leninist agenda." I took off my admin hat and said, 

Rogi Equality Riverstone One might perceive genocide and slavery on this continent as "the most disgusting forms of racism." One wonders who, in their right mind, could possibly perceive otherwise. Painting millions of people with such an hysterical and misrepresentation brush causes one to suspect a neurotic terror of people of color and so-called "race traitors." In other words, this troll post looks very cracker, from here.

That's when he called me "fishy," for speaking of his race. So, I replied as KGLP:

KGLP 91.7 fm Radio
What is "fishy" is that we live in a world where it is in the best interests of powerful institutions to attempt to erase the fact that we do not live in a society where all people are treated equally. This "post-racism" notion pretends the... playing field is equal and that anybody who declares otherwise is simply a whiner, a malcontent or an opportunist.

Opportunism exists; that is fact. That it is endemic to the civil rights work still required on this planet, that every member of very group you mention, struggling for true equality in society, is guilty of "the most disgusting form of racism" is a generalization and is unfair, unjustified, and unwarranted. It is also very offensive to people of color whose not-too-distant ancestors lived under slavery, Jim Crowe, boarding schools, "Indian" wars and the like; those are arguably "the most disgusting forms of racism." Pretending not to know that does not change history or its consequences on subsequent generations, nor does it disappear the reality of real racism, right now, in Gallup, New Mexico and the USA.

When a white person (who still, statistically, in this so-called "post-racism" world) makes broad, sweeping accusations such as yours, it is fair to suspect racism.

One might suggest you "like" the groups with whom you have these disagreements and take your arguments there. We imagine they would be more willing and able to address your concerns than can a humble, rural, community radio station's FaceBook page.

We are trying to run a radio station for the entire community and we want its members to be respected, welcome and comfortable.

Inflammatory accusations, calling people liars, accusing them of motives not their own, putting words into people's mouths that they did not say, attributing false motives to people one does not even know, posting sweeping generalizations and overtly trolling posts do not lend themselves to civil conversation, community building, honest examination of issues or education.

You have a strong history on this FaceBook page, which is less than a month old, of all of the above, but no proven history of participation in, support of nor contribution to KGLP. Your opinions of KGLP, or anything else, for that matter, are taken into consideration in this light, alone. When and if that were to change, your input might have more value to our efforts.

We want the community to be involved in KGLP. Everyone who wishes to contribute something constructive to the station is more than welcome, no matter their world view, so long as we all agree to approach each other with civility. It is unfair for one individual to demand so much attention from such a small and precious resource without contributing into it, as well.

This is a FaceBook page for a radio station. We try to provide news, announcements, resources, information and skills sharing. Nobody is paid to administer this page; it is done out of genuine concern for community. We have no time for destructive, divisive, resentful, derogatory behaviors, comments or attacks.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

what I'm up to at KGLP

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 The part of KY Bettina's in is truly luscious. I'm afraid she was there a smidge too early to see the real festival nature puts on: red buds, dog wood, lilacs, wild violets. But she beat the smothering humidity of summer, so that's a good thing It's very like the rain forests I was in in Chiapas, except shorter. The world is a constantly rotting and sprouting soup.

Rachel is loving that station. She's scared about money. The NPR funding bill is hurting all of us in community and public radio. Whether the Senate passes, and the President signs it into law is not the point. It hurts. On a very, VERY profound level, it hurts us personally. I'm a member of AIR: Association of Independents in Radio. A lot of my chums on the email list are NPR reporters. We barely even speak of it anymore. We did, during that Juan Williams kerfuffle, but with that pathetic O'Keefe tape, that Glenn Beck's website even says is shoddy, manipulatively edited and without merit, followed by the "emergency" bill to cut funding to NPR, something very resigned and sad has happened to the independents. And we don't talk about it anymore. I want to hug them all and thank them all. You know, independent producers make next to nothing. Even NPR reporters have to work SO HARD to complete a story by NPR's very demanding standards that it really doesn't pay much.

So, Rachel's making sure the equipment is right, putting out her first station newsletter...which quotes MY letter to Independent producers here: and getting ready for the Spring Fund Drive.

KGLP now has a FaceBook page, thanks to me. And I keep it fat with news stories, not just from the usual suspects like NPR or PRI or even Pacifica and FSRN, but Queer, Latino, Native, poverty, homeless, spoken word...... radio from my independent friends. It's my hope that soon, everybody in Gallup will come to that FaceBook page, for everything from weather and the local Drag Queen Ball to passive solar and innovations in programs for the homeless. The mayor's wife joined yesterday and "liked' my post on Elizabeth Taylor (who died today), where I quoted her:

is no gay agenda, it’s a human agenda,...Why shouldn’t gay people be
able to live as open and freely as everybody else? What it comes down
to, ultimately, is love. How can anything bad come out of love? The bad
stuff comes out of mistrust, misunderstanding and, God knows, from hate
...and from ignorance.”-Elizabeth Taylor
In fact, I got more "likes" for that one quote than for anything else I've posted yet. The FaceBook page is only a week old, not well promoted yet, but has 20 "fans," including "Abmer Yokum," a rabid Tea Parody shill (whom I suspect is paid to rouse rabble), who flounced in one day, calling KGLP and NPR "Marxists," because KGLP airs Amy Goodman (whom I, personally, can't abide. It's old school chicken little reporting: the sky is falling, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it but be pissed off and paranoid. I stopped listening, except when people post snips on particular topics, years ago). Well, Yokum stirred up a little discussion in which I, as the Administrator, calmly and politely told him NPR has nothing to do with Goodman. He screamed and ranted a bit more. A Navajo dude who's on the KGLP board, flat out called him a fascist and a Taliban. I went back in as Rogi and just asked him what the hell was WRONG with him, he'd been told four times NPR and Goodman are not associated. Rachel got a kick out of that one. When I'm KGLP, I'm very formal. Even when I'm Rogi, ANYWHERE on facebook, I try very hard not to be rude, use inappropriate language or let people know what horses' asses I secretly think they are! hee hee.

A little trans person, Allison Wonderland, sent me a private message. She wants to do Youth Radio and volunteered in her high school, so I told Rachel. I think it would be SO COOL if Rachel had a little foster daughter! I feel Allison's joining the FaceBook page is my greatest achievement of all. It's very hard to be Queer in Gallup, especially if you're Navajo, even with Renaldo and Gallup Pride and all.

So, I got this idea. FaceBook is ok for little announcements, but it doesn't facilitate larger articles, of a page or more. Facebook limits original postings to small paragraphs, although there is no limit to comments. But what if we want to post something longer, with mixed media, like audio, video or photos? So, I up and started the KGLPfm BLOG go look. I'm SOOO proud of it. And there's a picture of Rachel, too.

As administrators on FaceBook, Rachel and I both receive emails when someone posts to the page. So she's very impressed to see so many notices I've posted there. And she loves the blog and the photos. So, she emailed me today and said, If I'll keep up the internet work, she'll pay me $50/month and take it off my house trailer payments! So, starting in April, I pay $50/month for my house! She's not sure she can afford it, and she's awful worried about money, but she's going to try.

And, I liked the way the KGLP blog looked so much, I'm redesigning all my blogs, too. And then, I'm beefing up my website, adding audio, etc. It will have neighborhoods: writing, audio, arts, goofy stuff, etc., instead of a mishmash all over the front page. It'll still be a circus, but better organized.

I need to start selling some damn radio and I need to take my own stuff seriously.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

open letter to fellow independent radio producers

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House votes to end funding for NPR
open letter to fellow independent radio producers

Since the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have free speech, I no longer recognize my nation. For their convenience, those newly elected through an AstroTurf campaign, claiming to be a “Party,” but not held accountable by campaign finance laws and other restrictions on a registered political party are rolling back unions, discrediting educators, destroying independent media and gutting community and public broadcasting, one of our nation's best treasures.

I'm a volunteer administrator for the KGLPfm Gallup, NM FaceBook page. The spokesperson for the local Tea Party ("Dog Patch"), "Abner Yokum" (AKA Joe Schaller) is railing that NPR and, hence, KGLP, have a "far left wing Marxist-Leninist agenda," because KGLP airs DemocracyNOW! As Admin, I pointed out the inaccuracies of his information, which he dutifully ignored.

I think NPR, PBS, CPB need to grow a pair. It's not enough to laugh about "death panels for Elmo," although I loved that on this list and made a graphic of it, which you  can see on my FaceBook page). It's not enough to speak in high-toned rhetoric, either. People need practical examples of how public and community broadcasting are benefiting their communities. AND people in those communities need to feel welcome, no matter their class, race, academic credentials, gender or orientation.

Personally, I've been made to feel like a suspect, second class and unwelcome at some stations (one of which served giant shrimp, Italian bottled water and pate at a fund raising lunch at the station) that have cosy  associations with lcoal politicians, business leaders and celebrities. There's not a lot of tolerance for those perceived as "outsiders." The feeling seems to be, "we're doing just fine as we are and don't need anybody rocking the boat."

Well, the boat is capsizing and we should be coming out, swinging -- not just to protect jobs and funding sources -- to champion free speech, education, news, culture, etc. AND the voices of the under-represented.

This campaign to destroy community and public broadcasting is carefully orchestrated. It has been in planning, like a military operation, for years. That is obvious to me. It is a full on assault. It is anti-intellectual, opposed to free information and education. Its assaults are coming to all communities, on a lot of issues, not just community and public broadcasting. It is a "shock and awe" campaign and, so far, it is working efficiently to create chaos and strip citizens of much more than just Big Bird or Click and Clack.

My example of "Abner" points the way. Mr. Yokum/Schuller is also a staunch advocate for stripping the University of New Mexico of all state and federal funding, aka "his tax dollars," that are being "wasted."

Quoting "Abner:"
UNM Gallup? Private schools are far more student oriented than our ivory towers of academic corruption. What a waste of taxpayers money.

We are only seeing the beginnings of what this military-style operation has in mind for shifting our nation's agenda toward something I find terrifying. We cannot sit back, cajole, beg or brush this off.

We have the advantage over the Abners; we have facts. These need to be presented to the citizens clearly and firmly, without condescension, without arrogance.

NPR, PBS and CBP should not be perceived as an elitist country club, pandering to the well-heeled, smirking at the working poor who are frustrated and angry, daily reporting stock prices while not reporting on how social welfare programs that impact the poor operate, what the term, "corporate welfare" means, etc. We need to involve our communities, not alienate them, provide them with practical information, train them in reporting, editing, interviewing, producing and fund raising, bring them into our stations and conversations.

We need to approach the American people with humility, honesty and respect, inviting them to the largest open house party on the face of the Earth, so they begin to appreciate more fully what a national treasure community and public broadcasting are.

I believe it is the Suffis who have a saying that a really good way to get loyal students is for the teacher to feed them. That's a good part of it. But the other part is that we need to be the students. We need to hear people's real, boots-on-the-ground concerns and priorities and address them, clearly, honestly.

I'm glad a soccer mom in a Prius stops in her driveway to listen to the end of a story on NPR. I really, truly am.

I will know community and public radio have succeeded when  a football mom sits in her driveway, outside her peeling single-wide, in her dented, old pick up to listen, too.
On May 10, 1994, I planted corn in a field in southern Indiana. I had just learned it was a Ku Klux Klan town. I was very discouraged, but could not afford to leave. I lived in a pole barn. Just inside the big, barn doors, I had my stereo speakers turned toward the field where I worked. I was listening to National Public Radio as they began a tape-delayed broadcast of the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa: an event I had never imagined I would ever witness. I cried in joy and silently hoed weeds. Suddenly, I heard the sounds of jet air craft. The NPR announcer described the military aircraft passing overhead, billowing streamers of colored smoke, in the colors of both the Apartheid and African National Congress flags. At that precise moment, I looked at shadows of leaves on the ground around me. The tiny holes, through which light passed through and shone on the ground, were crescent shaped. And I remembered we were scheduled for a partial eclipse that day: something else I'd learned on NPR.
None of my neighbors witnessed any of these miracles. They were inside, watching game shows or driving, listening to “talk” radio, totally oblivious to how wonderful that day was. But I knew. And I felt badly that they didn't. I think we can help our neighbors see the marvelous in the world with community and public media.
Please help me make this happen. And thank you for all you've done. Community and public broadcasting have made my life, as a very low income person, much richer and has allowed me to participate, not only in a national conversation, but around the globe, as well. I'm very grateful that my universe is so much larger, and still expanding, as a result of community and public broadcasting than it would have been without it.


Monday, February 14, 2011

To The Homelessness Marathon on facebook

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Note: I need to put that broadcast up on prx.

Here's what I wrote to the Homeless Marathon:

I produced for you one year on KUNM. I was treated like crap and my program was sabotaged by the chief engineer, the production manager and the program director, who each did everything HE could to make the broadcast unnecessarily stressful, inconvenient and terrifying.  It was my first ever live broadcast, and it was national! Examples include, but are not limited to: seating me in the studio facing AWAY from the window to the control room and waiting until only a few days before the broadcast to FINALLY borrow that thing you needed for us to connect to you in real time. I think it's called a telos?

I think it's because I called my hour, "Kicked Out Queers," and invited homeless LGBTQI people to come to the station. I also got them some "swag:" sheets, toiletries, food, shirts . . . donated by local businesses, for which I was chastised.

The station had "no budget" from their underwriters to buy a few pizzas and soda pop for my guests, who would be out in the middle of a cold, February night, to volunteer for the broadcast. I was told, "we won't be able to give them any food to take home," to which I replied, "They HAVE no homes!" The program director told the volunteer coordinator he no longer wanted to work with me because I am "crazy," a slur against people with behavioral health challenges; he knows I have brain injuries.

The program director had put out on our email list that we could broadcast for you and asked for volunteers. NOBODY ELSE wanted to do it. I jumped at it!

I'm very proud of that broadcast. Your people told me it was the first time anybody did an hour on that subject. And we ended it with that song that STILL makes me cry, "Rainbow Connection."

Sunday, January 02, 2011

how does one get funding?

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Reply to an email at AIR:
David: Yeesh.  I'm gonna go crawl under a rock now

You're cool. It's New Year's weekend. No sweat.

Is it just me or does all the pub radio grant $ always seem to be
"granted" to the same small group of people/organizations? Seriously,
isn't it always the same people announcing, receiving... Getting the
money? Money is "sticky" in most industries. Radio too?

It's just that people who've discovered a source in the past reapply to it and new people, getting started, don't even know it exists. AIR helps with this, as they have pages on the website about grants and grant writing, which I hope to exploit, as soon as I'm living some place safe.

The other thing is connections. I'm outside the loop about whom to pester for funding and I have such a small, and old, body of work, few people even know I exist. Again, I plan to exploit the resources of PRX and Transom in this regard, once I am safe.

David: How does one
get serious funding for a start up? I mean, without entering some
sort of contest.

Well, I hope to submit some things to a few festivals, contests, etc., although the concept of competition is not healthy to me, so I'll really need to let go of any expectations around it.

I don't know how to get funding, so I'm no helpful. I went to New Mexico Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. I asked for a modest fund with which to buy better equipment, software and computer. I think the total was under $1,500: well within their means. I also broached the subject of returning to university, to complete a Bachelors degree, as no degree doesn't look very good on a resume, despite my vast life experience.

I was turned down. The reasons are prejudicial: I have brain injuries and I'm fifty-five years old. In other words, in their infinite ignorance, DVR has decided to hedge its bets; only those with very high statistical odds of "success" will receive funding, never mind that I have many years' experience and am already trained in my field! I am old, crazy and want to work in an industry they've never heard of, and assume means I want to be a disc jockey. They refused to even listen to samples of my work! This, of course, is discrimination based on age and on "disability," but how am I supposed to fight a federally-funded, state bureaucracy? I can't.

My tactic is as follows: I am simply collecting sound, documenting my stories in blogs & videos. When I am safe, I will produce pieces without any hope of getting paid. These will broadcast on the local, community radio station. I will post them on PRX. I will submit audio/video blog posts to Transom, if they might be interested.

And I will not shut up, give up, slink off or take "no" for a final answer.

I am good. Self taught, but good. My voice is different, not in an amateur, sloppy or irresponsible way; I'm different because my life experiences and how I got here are very unique. That makes what I have to share MORE, not less, valid, useful, interesting and entertaining to listeners.

Look, actors in Los Angeles work as waiters and bus persons, right? They don't expect to be loved. They expect rejection, even as they're lugging their wardrobe change onto a bus for the next audition.

It's like applying for those weird, semi-secret scholarships from places like Clairol, to go to school. It's boring, tedious and, more often than not, useless, but if I don't bait the hook, I'll definitely go hungry, right?