Friday, June 01, 2007

Other Items

Zach notes that tomorrow on KPFA, 10:00 am PST, the following special airs:

Pacifica Radio and Free Speech Radio News will present a national 2-hour special "The War on Immigrants" hosted by WBAI's Dalia Hashad and KPFK's Sonali Kolhatkar. The broadcast will analyze the new Senate immigration bill set to be voted on by the upper house, present challenging interviews with lawmakers, and look at global dynamics that lead to migration and Europe's own crackdown on immigration.

Sonali Kolhatkar is the host of Uprising and Dalia Hashad is one of the co-hosts of Law and Disorder. In addition to KPFA (and KPFB and KFCF), the special should also air on WBAI, KPFK, KPFT (today, beginning at 10:00 am CT) and WPFW. At the Pacifica Radio website it is up for streaming already. Houston has their time posted (which is today). KPFA has their time posted (tomorrow) so KPFA and Pacifica will be what is promoted in the snapshot unless members know times for the other stations. The snapshot will go up long after Houston's broadcast the special. All websites allow archived broadcasts to be streamed without payment, without registration or surveys. This special presentation follows the Memorial Day special of Free Speech Radio News that you should also check out if you missed it. (Ava and I will be covering the Memorial Day special in Hilda's Mix Tuesday for those unable to listen. We'll also try to include, at the very least, some excerpts from the immigration special. "Try to include" because we wrote that Wednesday and thought we were finished. Due to the issue of the voting on the bill, we really can't let it wait for two Tuesdays from now.)

West notes Danny Schechter's "Special Blog: Can Our Media Channel Survive?" (News Dissector -- and there's more than the excerpt and there are several things up today, just FYI):

Yes, it is painful for your news dissector to come to the point that we have with and find, after seven years in the web trenches, that the cupboard (ie. our bank account) is bare. And so we are forced to
send out an SOS with no certainly that there is enough time for us to save and strengthen our internationally acclaimed website in just one month. (Don't rule us out. We have been the "comeback kids" well before that term was applied to Bill Clinton, but 30 days goes tres fast!)
with your help, or with unknown rabbits to be pulled out of unseen hats, we will live to fight another day. We know our work is needed. And we know we are better at making media than financing it
I am off tonight on one more foreign trip speaking at an international student conference in Germany. As an old timer whose first trip to Deutschland took place in the l960's, I am thrilled to still be wanted by younger people, and know that this invitation is a tribute to the respect that the Medichannel has achieved globally.

[. . .]
So, alas, if we do have to "pull the plug" on a media outlet we love, we'll know we gave it our best shot in a very dark time and actually succeeded beyond our expectations. Nothing lasts forever.
Also, I may be breaking my newsy, counter-narrative blog format this month to share some of my "greatest hits" and reflect on what a strange and exciting journey this has been and still is.
I had hoped to publish a tenth year anniversary edition of my first book, THE MORE YOU WATCH THE LESS YOU KNOW (Seven Stories) that called for a Mediachannel way back in l997. But the Press couldn't/wouldn't do it and I had no other takers, Nevertheless, I wrote a special introduction for the edition that was not to be, assessing what's happened to me and to us in this eventful decade. (This is, to be sure, only one version of what was and may yet be.)
So as the month of June begins, culminating in a big birthday for me on the 27th, and with
Mediachannel's future on the line, please join me for some walks down memory lane.
And, if you like what we are doing, and want to be part of it,
invest some energy and money, if you have it, keeping this unique experiment in global journalism alive.
Comments to:

Marcia notes Pepe Lozano's "Honoring the Rosenbergs, celebrating resistance" (People's Weekly World):

In 1990, Meeropol founded the Rosenberg Fund for Children (RFC), a public foundation providing for the educational and emotional needs of U.S. children whose parents have been targeted for their political activities. Over the years, the RFC has made grants of over $3.5 million to benefit hundreds of children.
This June 19, the RFC will commemorate the 54th anniversary of the Rosenbergs' execution with "Celebrate the Children of Resistance," a program of dramatic readings, music and poetry.
The event will take place at the John Hancock Hall at the Back Bay Events Center in Boston. Angela Davis, Eve Ensler, David Strathairn, Howard Zinn and many other notable figures will be featured.
"What we are trying to do with this program is to celebrate the heroic resistance of my parents," Meeropol said in a phone interview.
Meeropol said he never forgets the words his parents wrote to him and his brother Michael, in their last letter to them from prison, saying that they died "secure in the knowledge that others would carry on after them."
Today, Meeropol believes RFC recipients and their families are doing just that.
"The progressive community rallied to our aid," he said. "They may not have saved my parents but they saved my brother and me."
"We are trying to replicate that today through the RFC," Meeropol added. "We are trying to make a positive connection between the activists-parents and their children in order to transmit generations of social justice advocates."
"During the McCarthy era the government said there was an international communist conspiracy out to destroy the American way of life," he said. "And the only way they could solve this was to increase military spending and instill fear as a scare tactic. Now, the same thing is happening all over, but it's not a 'communist' but rather a 'terrorist' conspiracy. This is a false assumption. It was then, and it is now."

Camilo Mejia will be speaking at the event and we'll pull from that section for the snapshot today.

NOW with David Brancaccio focuses on prison this week (begins airing in some PBS markets tonight). I read the e-mail over the phone to Jess' father (prison reform is an issue he advocates for). He said he'll watch but doesn't expect a great deal from a program that (a) can't stop selling big business and (b) sees a "drug prison" as the answer as opposed to the needed reform in drug laws. I left it up to him on whether to note it or not and he said he'll watch but doesn't expect much and to put in that warning. For anyone new to this issue -- prisons are overcrowded as a result of the drug laws (and other issues but the broadcast addresses drug 'criminals'). The idea of a 'drug prison,' though it may appear helpful, also appears to exist as yet another advertisement passing as 'news' from NOW. When the laws need reformed is focusing on selling prisons the answer? I don't think so. Unless the answer is Big Business which is what prisons have become. My fear (and Jess' father's fear as well) is that this will be an infomercial urging other states to create 'drug prisons' which will certainly line many pockets but it won't address -- in any shape or form -- the much needed overhaul in the current drug laws.

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