Sylvia Thomas spent a year touring and researching community radio stations in South America, Asia and Africa. She learned community radio history that might be surprising to many in the United States, and witnessed first-hand different ways of organizing stations and creating radio that are instructive to stations everywhere. Sylvia explains how growing up listening to the radio in rural Minnesota and taking an actual college course in community radio inspired her to get involved and take her journey. Starting with her time in Bolivia, she provides perspective on why and how radio is central to that country’s culture, where the roots of community radio, in particular, run deep. Then, considering the threats that a Trump presidency poses for many people and communities in the U.S., Sylvia offers some advice based upon her experiences with these stations abroad.
Only a week after the presidential election, Paul and Eric offer some initial observations about why the president-elect serves as a stark reminder of the importance of community radio. There is much more work to do in order to begin making sense of what impact the Trump administration will have on community radio, and communication freedoms in general. We promise to dig in to these issues in the weeks ahead.
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