This past May, we spent nine days driving around the southwestern United
States visiting some of the 33 Native American reservations that have
their own radio stations. We knew before the trip that tribal radio would
be unique but there was no way to predict how much so. Every station we
visited was a different mix of professional old hands, volunteers, elders,
youth, tradition, and innovation. The more community members we spoke to,
the more clear it became that radio, often dismissed as outdated for the
Web 2.0 era, was the most essential medium of communication in Indian
country, whether it was serving a reservation the size of a small European
country or one just a few square miles long.
a showcase & workshop for new public radio
July 2, 2009
* NEW FEATURE: Tribal Radio *
Jesse Hardman and Maura O'Connor recently drove around the
southwestern United States visiting some of the 33 Native American
reservations that have their own radio stations. They said it became
clear that "radio, often dismissed as outdated for the Web 2.0 era,
was the most essential medium of communication in Indian country."
Airchecks from these stations sound alive and connected, peopled by a
real range of characters. On Transom, Jesse and Maura put together a
report, full of photos and audio, and we also created two radio
pieces. One is an NPR-style news magazine piece. The other is a
Transom-style collage. Listen to both. Tell us what you think. On our
discussion board, we'll be joined by some of the staff of the tribal
stations and they'd like to hear from you.
* NEW (OLD) MOVEMENT: Slow Radio *
You'll notice that we have two versions of the Tribal Radio audio. A
fast one and a slow one. At Transom, we've decided It's time to start
a SLOW RADIO movement. We're often complicit in hurrying things up to
get on to the next thing. It's our fault too. We are consumers and
makers of Fast Media. We've distorted time. We get impatient and want
our information served up efficiently. But we don't feel always good
about it. Why can't we wait until a person finishes her thought, takes
a long breath, is silent for a moment? At Transom, we want to champion
more radio that's willing to take its time, that even insists on it.
We're not being naive. We recognize the value of speedy information
delivery, but also believe there may be a developing appetite for the
anti-micro-burst of information, for that which slows the pulse,
quiets the mind, and allows the ear to lead the imagination: Slow
Radio. We're making t-shirts. Stay tuned.
Drop over any time,
Atlantic Public Media
Woods Hole, Massachusetts
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