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Reclaiming Public Broadcasting Across Oregon

David Barsamian, prominent critic and author of the recent book, "The Decline and Fall of Public Broadcasting," headlines a program sponsored by Friends of Public Boroadcasting to get Oregonians involved in shaping the future of public broadcasting in their communities. The program is being co-sponsored by local action groups in four Oregon cities this month - in Portland on Tuesday 4/30
David Barsamian Headlines Program Urging Citizen Action

"Public Broadcasting increasingly reflects the mentality of corporate America," says David Barsamian, journalist and producer of the public radio series, Alternative Radio, "Political interference and corporate money have undermined the original mission."

"If the public doesn't act to reclaim this important democratic resource, we will lose it altogether," adds Loren Sears, spokesman for Friends of Public Broadcasting (FOPB), a statewide public advocacy group.

Barsamian, prominent critic and author of the recent book, "The Decline and Fall of Public Broadcasting," headlines a program sponsored by FOPB to get Oregonians involved in shaping the future of public broadcasting in their communities. The touring program is being co-sponsored by local action groups in four Oregon cities this month - in Portland on Tuesday April 30.

Portland appearance is on Tuesday, April 30th at the First Unitarian Church, SW 12th and Main; in Eugene on Thursday, May 2nd at the First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive Street; and in Bend on Friday, May 3 at the Pilot Butte Middle School, 1501 NE Neff St. Doors open at 7:00PM with the main program at 7:30PM. Admission is on a sliding scale from $ 5 -15.


Following Barsamian's talk, FOPB will lead a discussion on what citizens can do to reclaim the public system, with local representatives telling what their groups are doing and how to get involved. Information tables by local public interest groups, videos, door prizes and book signing by Barsamian will complete the program. Anyone with an interest in public radio or television is urged to attend. Proceeds will benefit the work of the sponsoring groups.

David Barsamian has been producing programming for public radio since 1978, and is co-author of the books, "Confronting Empire" and "Propaganda and the Public Mind." He writes regularly for The Nation, Z Magazine, The Progressive and other publications. Alternative Radio is broadcast on 125 stations in the US and Canada, and more than 100 other countries. AR features lectures and interviews with prominent thinkers and commentators such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Jeff Cohen and Barbara Ehrenreich, on points of view often skirted by mainstream press. It has been praised as "an essential service for the communication needs of a democratic society." Ralph Nader calls Alternative Radio "a ray of light in the media darkness featuring voices of proposals to strengthen our democracy." In Oregon, AR is heard on public radio stations KBOO, KOAC, KOPB, and KLCC.

Friends of Public Broadcasting is a coalition of Oregon community groups and activists assisting citizen involvement in local broadcast issues since 1997, and is a project of Eugene Media Action. Noting that programming by, for and about Oregonians is declining while social need for it is growing, spokesperson Loren Sears says "True public broadcasting is essential for a democratic society. We need to work together to guide this valuable resource back to its public mission. We are all stakeholders in its future and call for public broadcasters to reaffirm their contract with community." FOPB makes presentations to legislators, governing boards and to the public on these issues, and is affiliated with the national organization, Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting. FOPB's website is www.efn.org/~fopb

Sponsors for the Portland event are Laughing Horse Bookstore, a volunteer-run, non-profit collective; KBOO 90.7 FM, a public radio station carrying Alternative Radio and other community-relevant programming to Portland and the Willamette Valley; and Alliance for Democracy. Advanced tickets are available at Laughing Horse Bookstore, 3652 SE Division, Portland, 503-236-2893.

Contact Tim Calvert at 503-230-0488 for more information.

Information on the overall tour is available from Loren Sears, FOPB, at (541)685-9517 or fopb@efn.

phone: phone: 503-230-0488