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(en) US, Creating Indpendent Media - Greetings from Free Radio Berkeley

From Stephen Dunifer <frbspd@crl.com>
Date Sat, 26 Feb 2000 04:12:18 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Creating Independent Media
Greetings from Free Radio Berkeley IRATE (International Radio Action 
Training Education)

This email is being sent to a variety of lists and people, some in the 
San Francisco Bay Area, and others who are not.  For those not in the 
area please excuse the inclusion of events specific to the region.  
Consider them to be examples of what we are trying to accomplish in the 
creation of a global, independent media network through developing local 
autonomous media nodes.

Months before the police state and riot during the week of WTO actions in 
Seattle a number of incredibly dedicated folks came together to create 
the Seattle Independent Media Center.  Its mission was to provide direct 
coverage from the street through all available media.  It succeeded well 
beyond anyone's expectations and hopes thanks to the hard work of 
hundreds of media activists and volunteers.  Video and audio feeds were 
streamed from a web site bringing the images and sounds of unfolding 
events in the streets of Seattle to a worldwide audience.  Up to the 
minute written reports and digital still images, some sent directly from 
the street via lap-tops and wireless modems, were available as well.  A 
daily half-hour video was produced and fed via satellite to community 
access TV centers.  And, much more, including a web cast radio station, 
Studio X (Voices of Occupied Seattle), which provided live running 
commentary, reports from the field, etc. to a global audience.  Adding to 
this rich media mix were several micropower broadcast stations, one 
operating in Seattle and one beaming in a signal from the Olympic 
Peninsula.  All of the content created during the Seattle actions is 
available on - www.indymedia.org.
Based on this inspiring accomplishment, many people want to build on this 
model and go forward to create independent media centers for their 
regions, linking them together through the Internet.   With Mayday 2000 
events looming on the horizon folks are organizing to create independent 
media operations to provide the needed coverage.  To that end Free Radio 
Berkeley is offering a series of training workshops on micropower 
broadcasting, internet web casting, digital audio editing, and more.  A 
schedule follows.   Everyone is encouraged to set up micropower 
broadcasting stations for May Day 2000 despite the ruling by the FCC 
creating a low power FM service, a move designed to co-opt people's 
efforts to take back their airwaves from the corporate media 
conglomerates.  Check out - www.radio4all.org and www.freeradio.org.  It 
would be very interesting if all micropower stations were linked together 
for an hour so on May Day 2000 via the internet as a statement of 
opposition to the corporate domination of media resources and our lives 
in general.

Further, it does not take much in the way of equipment to provide content 
to a web site.  A mid range Pentium class computer with a good quality 
sound card and adequate disk storage plus a portable audio recording deck 
and microphone.  Using sound editing software such as Cool Edit 2000, one 
can create radio programs for wide distribution.  See the web site - 
www.radio4all.net - for this.   Information and links are provided on 
this site for creating audio content.  Video requires a bit more in terms 
of system capacity but the principles are similar.  Existing micropower 
and community radio stations are urged to make use of the content 
available on the radio4all site, and to contribute content as well.  
Individuals and groups can download the sound files and transfer the 
audio to cassette for distribution amongst their associates and in their 

As we approach May Day 2000 and beyond it is important that everyone give 
consideration to setting up some type of informational media feed to 
cover events in their area.  For example check out the site set up by 
Radio Lora in Berne, Switzerland to cover demonstrations at the World 
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  That site is: 
www.lora.ch/davos/index.htm.  Internet live audio feeds can be 
implemented with either Shoutcast for Windows or Icecast for Linux.  Real 
audio and video software is also used to stream audio and video content - 
www.realnetworks.com.   The folks who put together the software to run 
the web servers for the Seattle Independent Media Center are making the 
source code available to anyone who wants to replicate that type of 
server operation.  Installation and upkeep of this software requires a 
fair degree of skill in Linux, PERL, Apache, etc.   The site for this 
open source software is: www.active.org.au/sydney/about.  It would be 
great if hundred of centers could be set up and permanently maintained on 
a global basis.   Watch out CNN, here comes ACNN - Anti Corporate News 

An initial meeting of folks interested in creating a SF Bay Area 
Independent Media Network was held on Sunday, February 20th.  At this 
meeting it was tentatively agreed upon to sponsor an Independent Media 
Conference on the weekend of April 21-23 as part of the build-up for May 
Day 2000.  Primary emphasis will be placed on a series of skills building 
workshops along with organizing sessions for the further development of 
independent media operations.  In addition, it was also agreed upon to 
create a web site to help organize our efforts.  This should be 
operational in a few weeks.  Some discussion was held over what the 
nature of this independent media center should be, most agreed it should 
be a coordinating body for the many varied media organizations and people 
in the Bay Area.  The next meeting will be held on Sunday, March 5, see 
attached info for full details.

Finally, a new documentary on micropower broadcasting has just been 
released, it is called "Free Radio".  It was produced by Kevin Keyser.  
There will be two premiere screenings in the SF Bay Area, one in Berkeley 
on Sunday, March 5 and one in San Francisco on Sunday, March 12.  A third 
screening is scheduled for Santa Cruz on Sunday, March 19.  Full details 
are attached below.  The video is available for screening in other 
locations, contact Kevin Keyser - freeradio2@aol.com.

Excuse the length but there is a lot to think about and create.  All the 
best to everyone.

Stephen Dunifer
Free Radio Berkeley IRATE


Free Radio Berkeley IRATE Press Release

For immediate release: Wednesday, February 22
Contact: Stephen Dunifer (510) 549-0732

Premiere Showings of Documentary Video on Micropower Broadcasting - "Free 

Sunday, March 5th - Berkeley, 7 PM, Unitarian Fellowship (Cedar & Bonita)
Sunday, March 12th - San Francisco, 7 PM, Cell Space (2050 Bryant)

"Free Radio" by Kevin Keyser, a full length video documenting the 
Micropower Broadcasting movement, will be shown at two premiere 
screenings.  The first screening will take place in Berkeley on Sunday, 
March 5th at the Unitarian Fellowship (Cedar & Bonita).  It will feature 
a performance by Utah Phillips who will also host the evening event.  
This premiere gala, starting at 7 PM, is a fund raiser for Free Radio 
Berkeley IRATE (International Radio Action Training Education).  A 
sliding scale donation of $10-$25 is requested.

A second screening will take place in San Francisco at Cell Space (2050 
Bryant St.) on Sunday, March 12.  This event, which starts at 7 PM, will 
feature several guest performers.  Proceeds will benefit Free Radio 
Berkeley IRATE, Cell Space, and San Francisco Liberation Radio.  A 
sliding scale donation of $10-$25 is requested.

"Free Radio" by Kevin Keyser, who resides in San Francisco, is the most 
comprehensive documentary to date on the Micropower Broadcasting 
movement.  It chronicles its birth as Black Liberation Radio in the John 
Hays housing project in the late 1980's to the Bay Area microradio 
explosion in the early 90's to its spread across the United States(and 
beyond), and finally to the streets of Seattle at the end of the 20th 
Century.  "Free Radio" is the story of the most important Free Speech 
struggle of the 1990's.  A struggle and movement which has forced the 
Federal Communications Commission to recognize its legitimacy and 
strength by enacting a new low power FM broadcast service within the last 

Review copies of this video are available upon request by established 
publications and media outlets.


Free Radio Berkeley Press Release

For immediate release: February 22, 2000

Broadcasting Skills Workshops
If You Don't Like the News, Go Out & Create Your Own

Free Radio Berkeley IRATE (International Radio Action Training Education) 
is offering the following broadcasting skills workshops.  They will 
repeat on a monthly basis.  All workshops will take place on a Saturday 
beginning at 1 PM and will last 3-4 hours.  Location is FRB's facility in 
West Berkeley - 2547 8th Street, Unit #24 (between Parker and Dwight, 
enter through Bay #3).  A suggested sliding scale donation of $10-$25 is 
requested per workshop.

Introduction to Micropower Broadcasting

Covering all the aspects (technical, legal, political) of setting up a 
low power community FM broadcast station, this workshop will introduce 
you to micropower broadcasting and how you can empower your community 
with its own voice.
Workshop dates:  March 18th 

Internet Audio, MP3, & Webcasting

Offering media activists the means to globally distribute and share 
programming and content, the internet will continue to play an ever 
increasingly important role in the democratization and decentralization 
of news and information.  Learn: how to use the internet to obtain audio 
source material; what file formats and software are used; what audio 
streaming and webcasting are, and how to set up an internet radio 
station; about uploading content to the web in MP3 format; what 
recording, playback, and editing software tools are available and their 
Workshop Dates: February 26th, March 25th

Interviewing and Field Recording Techniques

Getting the story is central to any news gathering operation.  In this 
workshop you will learn: how to conduct interviews; the proper use of 
recording equipment; what is involved in setting up to record events; the 
basic usage of mixers and microphones.
Workshop Dates: March 11th 

Digital Audio Editing & Content Creation

Razor blades and splicing tape used to be the method of putting an audio 
program together.  Now, with a basic PC computer system and the correct 
software, the job of creating an audio documentary or program is much 
easier and faster.  In this workshop you will learn the basics of editing 
audio content on a PC computer.  Covering what hardware is required, how 
to set it up, and the software used, this workshop will give you the 
foundation necessary to digitally create and edit audio content.
Workshop Dates:  March 4th

For further information:  Call 510-549-0732 or email to frbspd@crl.com.  
Web site: www.freeradio.org


Free Radio Berkeley Press Release

For immediate release February 22, 2000

Contact:  Stephen Dunifer - (510) 549-0732

Creating a Bay Area Alternative Independent Media Center

2 PM
Sunday. March 5, 2000
3124 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

Building on the success of the Independent Media Center 
(www.indymedia.org) operations during the WTO actions in Seattle, a 
meeting will be held at the Long Haul/Infoshop to discuss creating an 
independent media center and news gathering operation for the Bay Area.  
This will take place on Sunday, March 5 starting at 2 PM.  The Long 
Haul/Infoshop is located at 3124 Shattuck Avenue (between Prince & 
Woolsey) in Berkeley, a few blocks from Ashby BART.  All varieties of 
media activists (radio, video, print, computer, etc.) and other 
interested persons are encouraged to attend this meeting.

Sponsored by Free Radio Berkeley

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