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June 20, 2002

The Future of Lefty Radio

Salon has a good indepth piece on the past and future of Pacifica radio, the five station leftwing radio network that recently emerged from a bruising internal war. I've known a bunch of folks around the conflict and strongly favored the recent victory of the "dissidents" who just took over, but the piece highlights the tensions even between the various groups that won.
...What is the role of an alternative voice in the media? As a voice for activists? As a production home for local talent in a nationally-dominated media world? As a fearless independent questioner of all received wisdom, including on the left? And, as importantly given the internal fight for control, who gets to decide?
...With stations worth over $100 million, Pacifica is possibly the most valuable financial asset controlled by explicitly left forces in the country, yet almost everyone involved feels it doesn't get the bang for the buck it should. The article doesn't have the answers but does a decent job of laying out the options.

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