|Global Community Forum Debuts
by Brad Heavner, July 1996
The Far Right Radio Review went on the air in February of
'94 with a budget of zero. No prior fundraising had been done for the program, but RFPI
felt that a response to the rise in intolerance on shortwave could not be delayed. Thanks
to the generous contributions of individuals who joined Friends of Radio For Peace
International in support of the Far Right Radio Review, the program has been on the air
continuously for nearly two and a half years.
For the first year, we produced one 30-minute program
every two weeks. Then this was increased to a weekly half-hour, with an expanded, live
call-in edition every couple of months. In March of this year, we increased our production
to an hour per week, and in April committed to producing the program live each Tuesday
evening with telephone interviews and toll-free calls from listeners in each edition.
Thanks to a successful membership drive in April and some
recent foundation grants, we are now ready to expand further. A new program is now being
created as an outgrowth of the Far Right Radio Review. Beginning this quarter, the
hour-long Global Community Forum will be produced two nights each week. (See the Program
Corner for airtime details.) In addition to investigating the far-right and its use of
media, this new program will cover a wide variety of topics, including human rights, the
environment, economic justice, demilitarization, and education. While the Far Right Radio
Review was always glad to take on these issues, our space was normally filled with
reporting on organized racism and reactionary violence. Now we will have the time to look
further into the distorted interpretations of reactionary radio hosts and present positive
alternatives. The format will be that which we have been using for the past two months --
an interview with an activist or researcher working in an area of concern, presentation of
research conducted at RFPI, and then comments from listeners.
We have seen outrageous rumors sweep through the far-right
programs with amazing speed. A listener hears an allegation on one show, then calls into
another to present it as an objective piece of information. Before anyone stops to realize
that it is based on the skewed speculation of one program's host or caller, it has been
accepted in the community as established fact. Many of our topics will be determined by
this type of conspiracy hysteria. As a rumor grows, we will be there right alongside the
other stations to present the well-reasoned side of the issue with documented evidence.
While we will not be concentrating specifically on racist and militant programming in
every edition, we will always present the issues in the knowledge of what is being said
about them on the conspiracy-laden programs, exposing the misinformation.
Many thanks to the Boehm Foundation, the Greensboro
Justice Fund, the Kempner Foundation, the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, and the
Samuel Rubin Foundation for their support of the Global Community Forum. And thanks
especially to all of you who are members of Friends of Radio For Peace International for
doing your part to make it all possible.