PARDON THE INTERRUPTION
WZBC enlists Democracy Now!
BY DONALD MAHONEY
With the drums of war reaching a deafening pitch, provocative yet sound " alternative " radio news reporting is in shorter supply than duct tape and canned peas. But as the Pacifica RadioĖproduced daily program Democracy Now! begins its second week on WZBC (90.3 FM, Boston College radio), a decidedly radical voice joins the already contentious political fray.
Locally produced, left-side-of-the-dial weeklies like ZBCís Sounds of Dissent and WMBRís No Censorship Radio, along with MBRís Pacifica-produced Nightly News, provide challenging news alternatives to NPR, not to mention everything else on the dial. But Democracy Now! is a fledgling media empire in itself, albeit a grassroots, listener-sponsored one. In its six years on the air, Democracy Now! has blossomed from mere " resistance radio " to, as its Web site puts it, " Americaís largest media collaboration, " utilizing radio, television, and Web outlets to cover issues of both community relevance and global urgency, often probing news big media leave unreported.
And while Democracy Now! isnít exactly new to the Boston airwaves (10-watt Allston-Brighton Free Radio airs it every morning at nine), the half-hour segment ZBC airs every weekday at noon is currently the most accessible on local radio. Over the past few months, the focus of Democracy Now! has centered squarely on the looming war in Iraq. Millionaires may be ponying up to create a liberal talk network, but few outlets are bringing to the war debate voices that are both as diverse and as morally forceful as Democracy Now!
As for WZBC, Democracy Now! seems like the ideal tonic for its daytime " rock " regimen, which boasts some of the most radical sounds on Boston radio.
Democracy Now! airs every weekday afternoon on WZBC 90.3 FM at noon.
Issue Date: February 27 - March 6, 2003
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