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Richmond IndyMedia Live! Every Tuesday, 12:30 - 1PM on 97.3 WRIR LP-FM, and streaming online from wrir.org!

News :: [none]

Radical Media Strikes Back

On the airwaves, on the Internet and in print, Richmond media is experiencing a strong, new radical upsurge in 2005. For years many Richmonders have gotten their local news through the racist, anti-poor daily, The Richmond Times Dispatch, right-wing radio programming and sub-par nightly TV news. Now the stars are seemingly aligning to bring us a rich new diversity of media options including 97.3 WRIR low-power FM and a new monthly publication, The Richmond Defender that is serving as the mouthpiece for the community organization of the same name.
On the airwaves, on the Internet and in print, Richmond media is experiencing a strong, new radical upsurge in 2005. For years many Richmonders have gotten their local news through the racist, anti-poor daily, The Richmond Times Dispatch, right-wing radio programming and sub-par nightly TV news. Now the stars are seemingly aligning to bring us a rich new diversity of media options including 97.3 WRIR low-power FM and a new monthly publication, The Richmond Defender that is serving as the mouthpiece for the community organization of the same name.

After a decade plus of tireless grassroots organizing the staff at Richmond Indie Radio finally saw their dreams become a reality when in January of this year the station went on the air for the first time. Boasting the largest coverage area of any low-power station in the United States, WRIR has potential listening audience of 250,000 residents of the greater Richmond area. The 100 watt station's geographic coverage area extends from Fulton Hill to Willow Lawn and from north side communities such as Barton Heights and Highland Park to the immediate south side neighborhoods such as Woodland Heights and old Manchester. On a good day, the station can be picked up fairly well near Ashland, fifteen miles north of Richmond.

WRIR's mission states that the goal of the station is to: β€œair unrepresented news, music and views and to provide a platform for cultural diversity in Richmond.β€? Being that the station isn't even two months old yet, they're off to an auspicious start. Music shows include underground hip hop, and punk, World beats, Americana, noise and experimental and plenty of vintage and contemporary independent and politically progressive music. The news programming which runs for the majority of the time during weekday hours carries popular leftist shows like Democracy Now! Talk of the Nation and Power Point, all new to the Richmond area. In addition to the nationally syndicated programming, local political shows and news are in abundance at WRIR.

Station reporters and archivists frequently attend and air broadcasts of important Richmond area political developments. At twelve noon on Thursday's our own, Richmond Independent Media Center broadcasts a weekly show recapping the week in news from our site as well as interviews and discussions about the latest in city politics and culture. The show is hosted by RIMC member and long-time activist, Jason Guard. The preceding day, Wednesday's twelve noon time slot is host to the Defender's Live with hosts and Defender members Ana Edwards and Phil Wilayto. The radio show is the tip of the iceberg for the Defenders who also have a 10,000 circulation free monthly community newspaper and a well-updated Internet site not to mention being the most active community organization in the city, fighting numerous battles on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised.

Hitting the streets of Richmond for the first time on February 3rd, The Richmond Defender paper is taking the tradition of the Richmond Voice and the Richmond Free Press to the next logical step. The Defender is unique in many ways to the aforementioned papers. Like the two well-established papers, it's free and primarily serves the African-American community of Richmond. The similarities end there. The Defender has a labor page, an anti-war page and a community organization spotlight page in each issue. The staff is diverse and knowledgeable and it s the only paper in Richmond being distributed in the city's public housing units. The early response has been very positive.

Each issue is themed with the February edition being devoted to the myriad issues confronting the the past history and future development of Shockoe Bottom. As the latest talks of a proposed baseball stadium heat up it is important to understand the historically sensitive nature of the area which includes: the Burial Ground for Negroes, the former site of Lumpkin's Jail , the site of countless slave auction houses and the execution site of Gabriel. It is an Internationally important area known as the Devil's Half Acre. Other featured stories include RRHA tenants developments, an update on the future of Chimborazo Playground, An open (and unresponded) letter to Mayor Wilder and the opening of the Neighborhood Resource Center in Fulton. The paper is slated to come out the first Wednesday of every month and is being distributed throughout the Richmond Public Library system as well as 120 drops citywide. The march issue will highlight women's health issues, including some of the latest legislation at the General Assembly.

For more Info: The Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality – PO Box 23202 Richmond, VA. 23223 – 804.644.5834 – DefendersFJE.tripod.com

Richmond Independent Radio - 97.3 WRIR LPFM – www.wrir.org – 804.864.9450
 
 


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