Immigration Reform and Community Radio

Yesterday several thousand demonstrated in
the streets of Nashville against the immigration reform measures proposed by
Republicans, including Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee. Underneath the larger
story is another, the role of radio stations serving the Hispanic population in
the region.

Yesterday several thousand demonstrators took to the streets of Nashville to protest proposed immigration restrictions favored by Republicans and Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee. Beyond the main story–that this many people are prepared to fight for basic freedoms and human rights on this issue–is a subtext. This is the role played by radio stations serving the Hispanic community, which is among the largest of the population groups voicing concerns about this issue.

The turnout, it seems to me, demonstrates that for some populations, radio is far from dead. In fact, it was used as tool for informing, mobilizing and framing the demonstration. It was radio in the public interest, in so far as it served the interests of the communities most affected by the proposed changes in immigration law.

In the broad definition, this is community radio because it targets a specific community, hears their concerns and responds with relevant information that empowers them to express their voice. This is what radio was before Howard Stern and corporate takeovers. It’s refreshing to know that it is still what radio can be when done as a service to the community.

Join the conversation!

Post a reply in the form below.

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image