From RadioArte in Chicago, a view from the bottom and a call for more diverse/independent media!
Hello my name is Martin Macias Jr from Radio Arte, a Latino public radio station that offers media training and opportunities for members of the community to report on issues important to them. Its located in Pilsen, a historically working class/immigrant community. I will speak about the southwest Chicago region as a whole. Coming from a community media station has allowed me to view the changing media landscape with the voices and ideas of our listeners/neighbors in mind.
This region of the city has many media options for its residents which, collectively has one of the largest concentrations of latino/hispanic people in the country. Print publications include: Hoy, which is a free Spanish-language newspaper which is published by the Tribune media company. You can pick it up almost anywhere. La Raza, is similar to Hoy and is part of Impre.com a latino media web group. Contratiempo is a volunteer run publication which features articles from local writers, editorials, poems, and analysis of local issues.
Online: Pilsen Portal is a place where residents can post content relevant to the neighborhood, plug into local resources and share the Pilsen experience. Chicago Indy media is a site where anyone can post multimedia news.
Training: Can-TV offers training to individuals and gives them a public access channel to broadcast on.
Pilsen is fortunate enough to be part of the city's "Smart Communities" program which aims to improve access to technology tools and helping to create a 21st century digital infrastructure citywide. It also addresses the challenges of the digital divide head on.
I'm not in a position to offer critiques of the larger media market or even an observation on what is/isn't working. I can only push for progressive changes that the media justice community feels would benefit people, and are vital building/sustaining democracy. Some of them include: diversity of people who own media outlets (women, people of color), minimize conglomeration of markets in the same city, diversity of voices/opinions on airwaves (youth, women, people of color, people with disabilities), more community media outlets.
Overall, I'm trying to find ways to bring more people into the conversation. Some people don't even think this is a major issue for their communities which is understandable in this economy. But how can we get people to invest themselves in making media work better for them? Solve that one and the next round is on me!
" Some of them include: diversity of people who own media outlets (women, people of color), minimize conglomeration of markets in the same city, diversity of voices/opinions on airwaves (youth, women, people of color, people with disabilities), more community media outlets. Overall, I'm trying to find ways to bring more people into the conversation."
-Well said!! Amen to that!