Pittsburgh Campaign for Democracy Now!
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Thomas Merton
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The Pittsburgh Campaign for Democracy Now! was formed in early 2003 with the goal of bringing the the program Democracy Now! to a radio station in Pittsburgh. With the cooperation of CMU's student-run radio station WRCT, we have achieved this goal. The program is now on at 88.3FM every weekday at 8am. Our main work has now shifted to keeping the show on this station, and promoting it to increase the number of listeners.

DN! is hosted by Amy Goodman, is produced in New York and is distributed by the Pacifica Radio Foundation. A typical show has a news summary, followed by in depth coverage of a few stories, frequently with interviews of the participants. Usually the stories are very important ones that are getting scant attention in the mainstream corporate media, including NPR and PBS. Recent examples include analysis of the 2004 Ohio election, the stories of soldiers who refused to go to war, or the latest Whitehouse scandal. In addition to WRCT, you can watch the show live at 8am every weekday on Pittsburgh Community Television (PCTV 21 on cable), and you can also listen to it live and archived on the internet.

Much has been written about the terrible problems with the US mainstream/corporate media system. [For example, see FAIR, Free Press, Daily Howler, Media Matters.] Without a functioning media, democracy itself is impossible. Here's Amy Goodman describing one egregious example:

The media reflects the establishment consensus. And before the war the Democrats joined the Republicans, for the most part, in supporting the invasion. And so, because the media brings you that very small spectrum between the Democrats and the Republicans, when the Democrats agree with the Republicans they bring you no spectrum of opinion. So you had mainstream America against the invasion. And you had, I won't call it a mainstream press I will call it an "extreme press." You had this extreme press instead beating the drums for war -- the four major nightly newscasts out of 393 interviews they did in the week leading up to and after Colin Powell's address -- push for war at the United Nations, of the 393 interviews, three were with anti-war representatives. That does not represent mainstream America. Mainstream America was for more inspections and diplomacy. The majority of people in this country. That was a media that just iced out dissent.

The importance of keeping this program on the air is obvious the moment you listen to it.

Of course money is needed to pay for the program, pay for the equipment, and to promote the program. Donations are welcome. If you're involved with a local company that would be interested in underwriting the program, please contact me.

If you don't have money to donate, then you can still help by getting involved with airing the show or with helping to promote the show. Now that the show is on WRCT every day, then we can begin the work of publicizing it. Plans include designing and printing flyers, passing them out, posting them, putting up billboards, contacting the media, getting underwriting for the broadcast from local businesses, etc.

We've created a mailing list of people interested in this project. It's used to inform listeners in case of problems, announce plans, and solicit help. You can join the list or see all previous posts here.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the Three Rivers Community Foundation for a grant of $1000, and all the others who have donated time and money to this cause.


Danny Sleator
Last modified: Thu Aug 1 21:36:08 EDT 2013