Hello- Helen from the Cast Iron Balcony here. The LP hivemind has kindly asked me to submit some posts here, which I’m honoured to do, especially since the sad demise of Road to Surfdom. I irritate a great many commenters here, and I intend to go on doing so sporadically throughout 2009, so have at it. I also write from a feminist perspective, with no apologies.
Unlike most writers at LP, I am not an academic of any stripe. Read my posts at your own risk. Do not use these posts for financial or other planning.
I listen to Radio National talk radio most days. It’s a habit I picked up when the children were young. I mightn’t have been able to sit down and read a newspaper or journal article very often, but with the air full of the issues of the day and interviews with various scholars and opinion makers, it went a long way to mitigate the isolation from the world of ideas that I sometimes felt. I still like to listen to RN – alternating with music stations, naturally – while I weed, cook or drive the car.
Street Stories is a series of very wide-ranging social documentaries, bizarre, intriguing, or confronting. The last two Street Stories dealt with the day to day lives of Iraqi bloggers and Australian single parents. The latter program gave voice to mums and one dad who are experiencing the neoliberal economic miracle in much the same way as the mother I wrote about here. It’s giving a voice to people who generally, in our daily news, have none. (All the programs I’ve linked to are downloadable/listenable as podcasts, which I recommend highly.)
No wonder they had to axe it.
Radio Eye is another documentary program which I love (and it’s not just the content, but the production; the use of music, sound effects, voices.) Awakening from History, about sectarianism in Northern Ireland, was a finalist for the United Nations of Australia Media Peace Prize.
Apropos another Radio Eye documentary, producer and narrator Susan Murphy says: “I regard it as an important function of Radio National, especially Radio Eye, to open windows upon worlds we may otherwise not know about or venture into. …I wanted to look in on a strange, sometimes funny and disturbing world right in the heart of Sydney suburbia, yet far off the beaten track of ordinary experience.”
No wonder they had to axe that, too.
Also for the chop are the Sports Factor (a program even I listen to with interest, and I’m a sports dunce); the Religion Report, Media Report, Perspective, The Ark, and In Conversation. There’s been a controversy about the Religion Report, but not much else, which could give the impression that it’s religious programming that’s under threat at RN. It’s much more than that.
Can the ABC pretend this isn’t about cost cutting? Will our RN radio listening be more and more bought off the shelf, like this new-agey Californian program?
New Dimensions is a thoughtful alternative to the relentless urgency of energy draining crisis oriented programming. Like a breath of cool fresh air on a hot day, New Dimensions revives and inspires those who just can’t take another minute of what’s wrong with the world but who aren’t satisfied with simply escaping into fluff and filler.
But don’t take our word for it. Here is how one of our affiliate station’s managers says it:
We at WDBX absolutely love New Dimensions. We have carried it from practically the time we singed on in 1996. We carry only two syndicated programs and New Dimensions is by far the most popular. It consistently draws callers during our Pledge Drives and just makes a great fit with our listeners. The programs are always insightful and inspiring and provide much needed insight into a more complicated world. Keep up the great work!
Brian Powell Station Manager
WDBX Community Radio for Southern Illinois 91.1 FM
Available from PRSS, CD, and MP3 at a cost that fits any station’s budget. Stations are not asked to pay for production costs. We only ask for a $10/week distribution fee and are even willing to work with stations so that money never becomes an obstacle to your desire to carry New Dimensions.
Contact us today…
Not even comparable. Not even close.
I’m not a media insider, so I’m not sure of the specific history of these axings, although I have my suspicions. And the daily half-hour homilies from
our Glorious Leader Rupert* are nothing less than creepy.
*In case you’re reading this in the archives after the ABC has, hopefully, moved on – to a better or worse place I don’t know – the current page for the daily Boyer lecture has seven items, all of which are
the Thoughts of Chairman Rupert. So you’ll forgive me for feeling the ABC has come over somewhat Kim Jong-illish.