Sources of Information

design: Hank Schmidt                                 photo: James Pagliasotti

Radical Radio: FREEFORM Radio Archive was launched as promised (whew!) late on Thanksgiving Day. The response to this Version 1.0 of the archive has been great so far. More than 300 people have checked it out to date. The December 5 edition of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame (CMHOF) newsletter featured the site and my book in an article HERE by noted music historian and archivist Paul Epstein, who is co-chair of the organization and the longtime proprietor of Twist&Shout Records in Denver, the place to be for music cognoscenti in the Rockies. 

Like many newsletters, the CMHOF missive caters to an audience with specific interests. It was nice to reach those people through Paul’s good efforts, and it got me thinking about sources of information in my life. Where I get news and who gets it to me. The variety of sources is greater than I thought before I began adding them up.

There are the usual suspects: the New York Times, Washington Post, Apple News and its relentless feed of sometimes interesting articles and huge amounts of click bait. There are any number of magazines I read occasionally and a few pretty regularly. Then there is my local paper – NOT!

Ashland, Oregon like so many communities across the country has seen the printed version of its “paper” gobbled up by the media titans who like scavengers with road kill slice it, dice it, and then shut it down once it’s picked clean. Some local interests including the paper’s former editor have kickstarted an online version HERE that thus far leaves a whole lot to be desired. Better than nothing, it can be said, but not much.

credit: Jonny Thompson – Big Think

Then there are the numerous newsletters I subscribe to, or at least allow access to my inbox, like you do with Three Quick Things, my twice monthly outreach that references this blog and various other things I find interesting – and hope you will, as well.

Two of them, The Well by Jonny Thompson and Alex Berezov’s Big Think both issue from the same think tank HERE and HERE that send me their thoughts gratis. Anand Giridharadas of runs with the big kids, writes for the Times and the New Yorker, and charges $50 annually for his nifty writings HERE. One that I really enjoy is Corey Hutchins HERE of the Colorado Media Project, who takes a hard look at the state of media in my old stomping grounds. It ain’t pretty.

My friend Carol Putnam drops her Thrive Don’t Strive newsletter in my lap every Thursday, which not only reminds me that it’s trash day in my ‘hood but nearly always captures my attention with her look at how our neurocircuitry works and how we might better use it HERE. Eddie Ellegood sends out his comprehensive insider look at our spacefaring efforts Sunday in Florida SPACErePORT HERE.

Carol Putnam – Thrive Don’t Strive

Then there are all the museums, theatres, various other non-profits, and the literally dozens of other organizations whose newsletters I scan or even read at times. These are just a few of the many. All of them link me to information I care about to a greater or lesser degree. And I am thankful for them.

What they don’t give me for the most part is that sense of place, of my town, not comprehensively. What we’ve lost when our newspapers went south, when radio stations became propaganda mills, and when local television news became little more than novice reporters and national weather service bulletins, is the sense of place, of our community, of our place in it. The Internet does not replace it.

Like so much else in this age of late-stage capitalism, we’ve sacrificed critical infrastructure to avarice. What we’ve lost is far greater than what we’ve gained. Rupert Murdoch may disagree.



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