NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

On January 18th, help organize the return of progressive talk radio with Norman Goldman

Edi­tor’s note: At NPI, we believe strong­ly in coop­er­a­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion, which is why we’ve been assist­ing a grass­roots group called Pro­gres­sive Radio North­west in their effort to bring talk­ers like Stephanie Miller, Thom Hart­mann, Ran­di Rhodes, and Nor­man Gold­man back to the Seat­tle radio dial. Read on to learn more about their work and their upcom­ing event, Par­ty on for Pro­gres­sive Radio.

On Jan­u­ary 2nd, 2013, Seat­tle became the lat­est in a string of major cities to lose its only pro­gres­sive talk sta­tion when KPTK was switched to an all-sports for­mat by its East Coast cor­po­rate own­er. What’s a pro­gres­sive radio enthu­si­ast to do? Stay silent? Kvetch and com­plain to CBS? Shrug our shoul­ders and car­ry on?

We say: none of the above. As Moth­er Jones once said, “Don’t mourn, orga­nize!” And that’s exact­ly what we’re doing. We’re Pro­gres­sive Radio North­west (PRNW), a group of ded­i­cat­ed vol­un­teers work­ing to devel­op a well-thought out plan to bring back strong-sig­nal pro­gres­sive radio to the greater Seat­tle area.

We sup­port pod­cast­ing, stream­ing, satel­lite and new means of deliv­er­ing pro­gram­ming as a way for activists and engaged cit­i­zens to stay informed. But that does­n’t mean we should aban­don pro­mot­ing the pro­gres­sive point of view on the free pub­lic air­waves. As cit­i­zens, we all ought to be able to hear a diver­si­ty of views when we are chan­nel surf­ing on the AM or FM bands.

Here are some impor­tant rea­sons we believe local, ter­res­tri­al pro­gres­sive radio should have a place on the radio dial here in the heart of the Northwest:

  • Radio sta­tions root­ed in the diverse, inher­ent char­ac­ter of their regions can be invalu­able com­mu­ni­ty resources.
  • Lis­ten­ing to a live broad­cast can be a unique­ly pow­er­ful com­mu­nal expe­ri­ence, and in turn a pow­er­ful vehi­cle to pro­mote com­mu­ni­ty. The new­er tech­nolo­gies offer con­ve­nience, but so far lack this potential.
  • Just because ter­res­tri­al talk radio is dom­i­nat­ed by right wing talk­ers like Rush Lim­baugh does­n’t mean we have to cede the free pub­lic air­waves to intol­er­ance and misinformation.
  • Even as broad­cast tech­nolo­gies con­tin­ue to evolve in com­ing years, the most wide­ly lis­tened-to out­lets will be the ones that have already estab­lished a ter­res­tri­al radio audience.

With vision and bold, cre­ative ideas, pro­gres­sive ter­res­tri­al radio can be a valu­able, viable endeav­or that makes a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the qual­i­ty of life in the Pacif­ic North­west and to the nation­al conversation.

The PRNW team has been review­ing a num­ber of pos­si­ble paths for­ward, from cre­at­ing a com­mu­ni­ty owned sta­tion to sim­ply tak­ing over an exist­ing fre­quen­cy. Stream­ing capa­bil­i­ties and oth­er ways to inter­face with new tech­nolo­gies are a pri­or­i­ty. We believe a new sta­tion ought to fea­ture pop­u­lar nation­al shows as well as com­mu­ni­ty con­tent and local talent.

The chal­lenge is clear. Broad­cast con­tent that used to be con­fined to the tra­di­tion­al AM/FM dial is mov­ing beyond its ter­res­tri­al moor­ings to an expo­nen­tial­ly expand­ing, increas­ing­ly decen­tral­ized media uni­verse. With the prop­er lead­er­ship and finan­cial sup­port, how­ev­er, the poten­tial exists to cre­ate a new kind of busi­ness that will help local ter­res­tri­al radio thrive in the dig­i­tal era.

We invite you to join us in paving the way for the return of pro­gres­sive talk to the pub­lic air­waves. Let’s show poten­tial adver­tis­ers and investors that the Greater Puget Sound can sup­port strong-sig­nal pro­gres­sive programming.

On Sat­ur­day, Jan­u­ary 18th, at the Impact Hub in Seat­tle, we’re hold­ing a spe­cial event to reunite KPTK lis­ten­ers and thank past adver­tis­ers — Par­ty On for Pro­gres­sive Radio, with spe­cial guest Nor­man Goldman.

It promis­es to be a won­der­ful evening, and we invite you to join us. Tick­ets are avail­able now from Brown Paper Tick­ets, start­ing at $10.90. You can learn more about the event and our mis­sion at our web­site. You can also like our page on Face­book to get updates from us. We hope to see you in a cou­ple weeks!

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One Comment

  1. Hel­lo
    I missed Ran­di and Thomm. I just got Stephanie’s app.
    Norm is back! Thank u. Let free­dom ring!

    # by Toni :: January 9th, 2014 at 5:00 AM
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