A test for any true democracy is whether or not people can hear, and be heard on, a diverse range of views. Paradoxically, while the Rich World wages war to bring its concept of democracy to the Middle East, it does nothing as its own minorities are marginalized by a shrinking base of media owners. While the United States media had some fifty major conglomerates in the 1980s, by the year 2000 just six corporations dominated. Presenter and executive producer of internationally respected news broadcaster Democracy Now! – Amy Goodman – joins the Radio New Internationalist team to examine some of the effects of media concentration. With guests from Latin America, Africa and the United Kingdom, we explore the ever-increasing boundaries of independent media created by and for a wide range of people.
- Journalist Tom Phillips reports on new programs being broadcast about slaves; for slaves. They may not be rating in the rest of the Brazil, but the programs are helping unemployed workers stay clear of the slave-owners’ clutches;
- Jane Duncan, Executive Director Freedom of eXpression Institute in South Africa, explores the causes and effects of media consolidation across Africa and tells us how some dictators and despots are closing down community radio voices; and
- While community-based radio has been building solid foundations across countries like Australia for over 30 years, allowing people to broadcast their perspectives at a local level is only just starting to blossom in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom. Alan Fransman, the Deputy Director of the Community Media Association in the United Kingdom, celebrates this new community broadcasting landscape, and explains why it’s taken so long to take root.
As our guests today have been chatting about how important a range of voices it is to democracy, the music threading its way through this program dips into a diverse range of countries and artists – Spanish singer-songwriter Javier Ruibal performing from his Sahara CD; Sally Nyolo on the CD Studio Cameroon; and Rene Lacaille and Bob Brozman’s fabulous CD DigDig.