Using community radio to promote blogs, self, causes

November 16th, 2007 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

One of my Google Alerts pointed me in the direction of this interesting post on a site devoted to advising people on improving their sites’ search placements. I usually stay clear of such sites, but this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill recommendation from such a site:

Take Your Blog to the Airwaves – There is always at least one low powered community radio station near you. Take your blog and blog’s topic(s) to the local radio station and see if they have any slots open for you to have your own radio show based around your blog. Even if you can’t get on the local radio station, there are satellite stations that will broadcast your podcast.

Now, they’re a little optimistic in suggesting that LPFM is everywhere, and from my perspective I’d see community radio and online communication as mutually beneficial means of furthering substantive projects (rather than radio as a space for promoting a blog), but the notion of integrating community radio with other activism is something that, if not new or particularly innovative, does not reach ‘top 10’ lists of means of getting a message out as often as one might expect.

There is, of course, a challenge here for community radio stations. While writing this post I returned to my 1988 copy of ‘A Voice for Everyone” – a handbook from the Irish NACB – which stresses the role of on-air staff as facilitators rather than self-promoting personalities. Of course, the reality of community radio in practice is far more complex, and the manner in which community radio volunteers relate to their communities varies tremendously. Still, just as we often take steps to diffuse self-aggrandizement on air – at WRFU we require that people be part of a programming group of at least 2 people, both to provide redundancy and to place broadcasting within a cooperative framework – we should be aware to the risks associated with an individual using a show simply for promotion of their private interests.

As an example of the ‘synergy’ that can be generated from interaction between community radio and other activism, I need only point to my own show on WRFU, which I co-host with local activist Bob Naiman. Naiman works with Just Foreign Policy and we frequently use the show to draw attention to topics identified by that group, as well as local labour issues (Bob is also involved with Jobs with Justice, and I of course am involved with GEO and the local Central Labor Council). Of course, we see our discussion as growing out of our community and activist involvement, but the need to reflect on the goals of the show (and its benefit to the community, broadly construed) is, I think, constant.

  1. One Response to “Using community radio to promote blogs, self, causes”

  2. By lorraine stewart on Nov 18, 2007 | Reply

    hi, mean no offence, but would like to see a working example of this theory

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.