In response to their efforts to bring community radio to the area, some local residents took part in a special interview last week.
Directors of Real Community Radio were interviewed for an oral history project. Pacifica radio network set up the interview, which took place in Cabool at what is hoped to be the future main studio for a new community radio station. Doug George of Pacifica Radio in New York hosted the interview.
Gene Colliflower of Huggins, Kazie Perkins of Willow Springs and Myron Jackson of Cabool were the local participants. They discussed the needs for local programming to deal with the issues affecting area residents.
“We have so much of our own Ozark history to listen to, to talk about and record and so much local talent to showcase here in the Ozarks. A true community radio station is great opportunity for everyone to be heard,” said Kazie Perkins, president of the non-profit corporation.
Gene Colliflower spoke of the need for more radio news.
“There needs to be more radio news that covers what is going on and how it affects listeners,” Colliflower said. “Most newscasts are just a few minutes long and only cover a few stories. Local stories are often overlooked on radio.”
Real Community Radio plans several extended newscasts daily.
Colliflower asked Jackson what has been the easiest and most difficult parts of trying to establish a new local community radio station.
“The biggest hurdle has been finances,” Jackson said. “When you’re trying to raise money and you’re in an area where 21 percent of the people are below the poverty level money is tight. The easiest part has been getting people interested in the project. We’re getting volunteers for various jobs and pledges of support. Support has come from some surprising sources.”
“People want local community radio,” said Perkins. “Everywhere we go there are people who want to get involved with making their own programs. This is going to be a lot of fun.”
Pacifica’s Oral History Project is documenting the stories of groups across the country trying to establish new community radio stations.