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Back to VISTA Library Far Right Radio Review
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.

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