Opposition Radio

Clear Channel, Viacom, AOL Time Warner, Disney—the march of corporate titans toward further media consolidation is scarily steady. And, with the Federal Communications Commission's recent decision to loosen its rules regarding how many media outlets companies can own, Big Media is getting bigger. Colossal.

What are the alternative voices? Where are the electronic John the Baptists crying out in the media wilderness?

Pacifica Radio's KPFK, based in Los Angeles, is one small but strong voice. KPFK is the most powerful outlet among the five stations of the Pacifica Radio Foundation, founded in 1949 by pacifist Lewis Hill. The other stations in the Pacifica family include Berkeley's KPFA, the first in the chain, followed by KPFK, then WBAI, New York; KPFT, Houston; and WPFW, Washington, D.C.

As KPFK broadcasts through the crowded airwaves of Southern California—Hollywood is just down the road—it penetrates what is arguably the communication nerve center of the world. So what does KPFK offer listeners who already have so many options? A stark difference from what most corporate media news and entertainment outlets provide, according to KPFK programming director Armando Gudiño. "A venue like ours provides alternative analysis, alternative interpretation, as well as an alternative point of view in general," he said.

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 2003
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