San Antonio’s Local 782 Organizes for Media Empowerment

Anne Elizabeth Moore reports on independent musicians and media makers organizing right in Clear Channel’s own backyard:

“People in San Antonio have been doing media justice organizing for over 30 years,” the outspoken Latina activist and director of the Texas Media Empowerment Project DeAnne Cuellar explains. It makes perfect sense. One of the most renowned radio conglomerates in the world is spitting distance from your doorstep, and “you are nowhere on the radio at all,” as Cuellar puts it. This, plus the hour’s drive away from Austin, the so-called live music capital of the world, fosters a keen awareness of what locally consumed media could look like. …

Local 782’s approach is upfront and very clear. The group aims to organize local musicians, improve working conditions and the local music economy with socio-economic strategies, archive the diversity and history of music in San Antonio, and strive for solidarity throughout the music industry—especially among the working class.

Local music is local culture, and serves as a glue that ties people and communities together. Seems to me that musicians and artists in a lot of towns and cities could take a page from Local 782’s playbook, joining with existing truly local media, or working to create new local media opportunities.


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