A few years ago I wrote a piece for This Magazine on the important role campus/community radio stations have played in the lives and activism of feminists. The piece isn’t available online, so I’ll just cut and paste my general point.
Campus/community radio has long been welcoming to women and their views, especially considering the limited access feminists have historically had to mainstream media. Campus/community radio has been an important platform for feminists to engage in discussions rarely heard on mainstream airwaves, tackle important women’s issues and give underrepresented female musicians a presence. It’s a vital outlet in the face of mass media that is becoming increasingly hostile to feminist ideas and generally perpetuates narrow, stereotypical ideas about gender.
That said, I’d like to draw your attention to the horrible situation over at CKLN, the campus/community based at Ryerson University in Toronto. Over the past few months, many programmers and hosts that have been at the station for years have been shut out by illegitimate station management in an effort to make the station commercial.
Among the lists of cancelled shows is Radio Cliteracy, an important and bold feminist talk show, as well as Frequency Feminisms and Honour The Earth, which have been removed from the Sunday grid. So far, over 30 volunteers have been dismissed from CLKN without warning and without cause, including many LGTB, First Nations, psychiatric survivor programmers, women of colour and a trans person.
Luckily, people have been fighting to get back into the station and onto the airwaves with pickets, and by organizing meetings and a website. They need our support, so please do what you can to spread the word about keeping campus/community radio open for all.