Drop the “Press”

Dear Friends,

How many of us still use the word “press” when referring to the media? Even among media professionals, how many continue to use the word?

Well, the times they are a changin’, and the ways in which we receive and share information these days have very little to do with printing presses. The Internet has become the powerful grassroots, democratic alternative to television, radio and print – most of which are increasingly owned by a smaller and smaller oligarchy of powerful corporations.

Clear Channel and Cumulus control most of your so-called “publicly-owned” radio signals. Local entrepreneurs and community groups are left fighting over the scraps – low-watt signals that are heavily regulated by the FCC and forced to comply with restrictions and guidelines that don’t burden the big stations.

While the Internet remains critical to the survival of free speech in America, the renaissance of small stations plays an increasingly important role in our democracy. One such station is KHOI 89.1 FM in Ames. For many years, a committed group of Ames-area residents have fought to raise the funds and technical expertise necessary to make KHOI a reality. The signal is now up and running, and I’m thrilled that KHOI is now carrying the Fallon Forum on Wednesdays at 4:00 PM. If you’re in Story County (or nearby), please check out the station’s diverse and evolving program selection.

Monday, we dig into climate change with State Sen. Rob Hogg. Also, Wally Taylor, an attorney with the Iowa Sierra Club, discusses the recent Mid-American Energy settlement over coal-fired power plants. And we talk with Drake professor David Courard-Hauri, who is helping to lead an effort by Iowa scientists to provide a stronger scientific voice to the climate change discussion here in Iowa.

Tuesday, we talk with Des Moines attorney Joseph Glazebrook about a troubling case involving a woman accused of prostitution, and the various legal questions that case raises. We also discuss the trials and tribulations of the Boy Scouts, an organization continuing to struggle against the rising tide of full acceptance of homosexuals. We also talk about the conflict over city authority versus state authority when it comes to regulating where bicycles are allowed to travel.

(Note: Tuesday’s program will be rebroadcast Wednesday at 4:00 pm on KHOI 89.1 FM.)

Wednesday, we talk with Bill Aulet of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology about how current US immigration policy is killing business entrepreneurship. We also talk with Darlena McElroy and her attorney, Sandra Quilty, about an almost unfathomable injustice stemming from government over-reach by the Iowa Department of Human Services. Finally, we discuss a growing problem with Iowa’s landfills, and how our collective commitment to recycling is on the decline, despite a need that is greater than ever.

Thursday, we talk about the emerging bipartisan consensus to address federal immigration policy. Also, State Rep. Dan Kelley joins us for his weekly look at the Iowa Statehouse. And David Osterberg with the Iowa Policy Project reviews a recent report on taxation, which challenges many of the assumptions the Branstad administration makes as the Governor advances his business property tax proposal. Finally, for something new, we start a weekly feature with Nakisha Phillips, a young first-time mom who shares her reflections on the adventure of pregnancy, her work with a midwife, and her occasional run-ins with the medical community.

Friday, we talk about the corporate media (see above). We also talk about guns, and ask whether the gun lobby is using the same nefarious strategy the tobacco lobby once used. Finally, Heather Ryan joins us for “Ryan’s Rants” – one none-too-shy woman’s analysis of the top political stories of the week.

So, every Monday through Friday, live from Des Moines – the Cultural and Culinary Cross-roads of the Continent – join the conversation online from 12:00-1:00 pm on the Fallon Forum website. Call-in at 244-0077 or toll free (855) 244-0077 and add your voice to the dialogue. And tune-in to Bradshaw, Monday-Friday from 1:30-2:30, also on the Fallon Forum website. If you miss a show, video and audio-only podcasts are available later in the day. Thanks!


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