My friend John Anderson of DIYmedia.net has enrolled in graduate school here at the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois. His assistantship is to produce a weekly 5-minute media reform newscast called Media Minutes that is posted to the Free Press website and airs on Robert McChesney’s Media Matters program on public radio WILL-AM.
The first edition of the program was posted last week, and second one went up last Friday.
I helped John set up a little mini-studio in an office in the Armory building on the U of I campus where he produces the program. I’m impressed with the very high-quality results he gets with relatively inexpensive equipment connected to a garden-variety PC laptop.
As a side note, apparently McChesney’s Media Matters program broke the WILL-AM pledge drive record a week ago during a special two-hour pledge drive extravaganza. I think it’s cool that the program beats the likes of NPR blockbusters such as All Things Considered. NPR and the CPB have for the last decade been trying to get public stations to carry more national syndicated programming (instead of local programming), always singing the siren call of increased pledge drive revenue for national programming. Media Matters’ success shows that public radio listeners do value local programming, especially when it values dialog and bringing in critical voices who challenge the ruling media oligarchy.