Live from Seattle and Reclaim

  • Live from Seattle and Reclaim the Media!
    I arrived in Seattle yesterday evening along with my traveling partner, John Anderson of, after a not-too-bad 2000 mile trek from Madison, WI. Constant scanning through the AM and FM dials only proved how pervasive cookie-cutter, automated radio formats have become, even in small western cities. And any city with more than 20,000 people seemed to be covered with ClearChannel stations or soundalikes. And AM radio is just a swamp of right-wing talk, mostly syndicated. I guess living in Champaign, IL I’m a little sheltered since our AM talker airs a lot of local still, along with the likes of Dr. Laura and Rush. But the shit I heard on our way out here makes those two look like Phil Donahue. Liberal Media? Christ — how can anyone sincerely believe that, at least without brainwashing?

    We arrived at the Seattle IMC around 8:30 last night, where the Surrealist Subversions book tour was taking place to a pretty full house. I got a chance to meet some of the folks who have been putting in the hard work to pull off Reclaim the Media, like Johnathan and Susan. I also got to meet many of the microbroadcasters who’ve decended on Seattle to take part in the “mosquito fleet” multi-site broadcast on all open frequencies in Seattle, to prove to the FCC and NAB that many more community-based low-power stations can fit on urban FM dials. Broadcasts are already underway, with the big kick-off starting tomorrow at noon when all stations will simultaneously broadcast a half-hour program produced by media-pranksters Negativland that ruthlessly and hilariously parodies Seattle’s big Clear Channel-owned station KJR. That program will air repeatedly on 8 – 10 stations for six hours.

    The rally outside the NAB’s radio conference kicks off tomorrow at 3 PM, where independent media creators and people who desire a democratic media will confront the cabal that is consolidating and hacking away at our nation’s airwaves. That evening, Negativland’s Mark Hosler will do a presentation on Creative Media Resistence that I’m really jazzed to see.

    I’m gathering interviews, digital pictures and video to put up here and at the Urbana IMC and the Seattle IMC. I’m producing this week’s mediageek radio show here and it will be available in mp3 on the site and air Friday at 5:30 PM on WEFT 90.1 FM in Champaign.

    This should be good!

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