Philosophy of #ds106radio – Open Community and Free Thought

I was thrilled with broadcasting our Spirit of the Land class last night.  While it’s great that we can archive and post these lectures, there is something different when you can tune in and listen live to the class.  Sharing time even if we cannot share space.

So this morning I woke up and tuned into my favourite radio station and @scottlo was broadcasting from Saudi Arabia with his signature radio voice, sweet tunes, and significant insights.  He returned to a post by @grantpotter and an excerpt from Lorenzo Milam’s guide to radical, community-based radio.  I wanted to share it here to underscore what it is we are doing.

We have opened our classroom to community participants here in Camrose.  We have opened our classroom to digital community participants from around the world!  Just to let you know, last night we had Joyce tuned in from Pincher Creek, Corey from McBride, Grant from Vancouver, Cathleen from Haiku, Bridget from Texas, Rowan from Australia… and others who I don’t even know.  They all shared in Colin’s passionate talk on the threats to Family Farms.

If I could be so bold to claim a manifesto for #ds106radio, it would be this:

“You and I are being falsely discouraged; being discouraged from thinking that the aether is our own.

This is so evil.  A radio station should be the place in the community for concerned and talented and plain-home-folk individuals to have a chance to express themselves.  In the place you live right now, there are hundreds of secret talents: there is someone who collects (and loves) old jazz, there are politically aware people — who can speak to reality, and raise so many consciousnesses in the process.  There are readers — who can do fine 30 or 40 minute readings from novels or plays or poetry or children’s books.

There are individuals, walking down the street right now, right there:  live, loving people who can play the guitar or the kazoo or the harp — people who would be delighted to know that there is one door to the aether which is open and free to them: a door to all the hungry minds and souls of so many people who will, at last, know (through your station) that they are not alone.

You can end that mystique.  The forbidding wall that American commercial broadcasters — and their in-school counterparts — have built against the rest of the world.  You have the chance to destroy the cruel walls built by the media barons to keep out the dispossessed, the thoughtful, the wondering.  Your frequency can be the one place in your community of men [and women] where the angry, and the frustrated, and the knowing and the creative and the perceptive and the hopeless and the lost: the one place that they can know that they are free to speak their piece — without censorship, without fear, without cost.

You will then give them the secret — which is really no secret at all: that is: the radio station owners and the schools and colleges are not the priests and magicians who control the voices of 10,000 American transmitters, but rather, just a frail ghost which we are programmed to think has the right and the duty to keep us out.

And you and I know, trust, that the door can and should be opened to all who care and who want to be heard.  This is the secret — this is our secret.  The one I am trying to share, to share with you.  Please let us share it with all the others.”


SO!!! Now I’m saying… tune into #ds106radio when you can.  Learn to broadcast (I’ll totally help you out, as would others in the #ds106radio community).  Tune into a station that makes sense. And share!


Sex and Broadcasting: A Handbook on how to start Community Radio Stations by L. Millam The Whole Earth Truck Store and Bookpeople of Berkley. Los Gatos, California. 1971.