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PNN strike
Free Speech Radio News: 4th month of daily casts

( listen at to FSRN at: www.savepacifica.net/strike/news/index.html )

August 9, 2001

Pacifica Reporters Against Censorship: Aaron Glantz, (916) 705-7528
Strike Background: www.fsrn.org

Long-Term Funding Expected; Strikers Ask Progressives To Continue Boycott

NEW YORK: Free Speech Radio News (FSRN) said today it has already secured funding for its fourth month of daily programming. Building on the overwhelming success of its half-hour, independent news cast, FSRN will continue to provide close to 40 community radio stations coast to coast with what many describe as a hard-hitting, truly progressive alternative to Pacifica Network News (PNN). A recent FSRN cast carried stories from eight countries, covering every continent save Antarctica. Several new commentaries from death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal will also be featured in the coming weeks.

FSRN, which supporters say features the best of progressive reporting from around the country and around the world, is nineteen months old and was first created by dozens of freelance reporters who struck Pacifica Network News (PNN) last year over the issue of rampant censorship. FSRN's pool of reporters has grown considerably since the strike began, and the group of close to 70 stringers now reports from 20 American states and 6 continents.

With help from The Pacifica Campaign, community radio stations, listeners and foundations, FSRN expects its daily production to continue indefinitely. Since the labor action began, progressives across the country have expressed solidarity with the striking reporters by refusing to give commentary to Pacifica Network News. The striking reporters ask the nation's entire progressive community to continue its effective boycott. The reporters also ask that other journalists around the world continue to honor their strike line.

"Free Speech Radio News is a breath of genuine fresh air in a deteriorating news environment," said economist and media analyst Edward S. Herman. "It's an important part of one of the most urgent political struggles of our time--the ouster of the illegal and regressive management of Pacifica and the attempt to return it to its democratic mission. FSRN deserves the support and commitment of progressives everywhere."

Critics say PNN has long-abandoned its progressive mission in tone and content, often sounding indistinguishable from the corporate press. Most of the stations carrying FSRN are Pacifica affiliates, and most have cancelled PNN to run FSRN. (For a list of those stations, see http://www.savepacifica.net/strike/broadcast.html.)

Former 12-year, PNN news anchor Verna Avery-Brown will continue to host FSRN. During Avery-Brown's summer hiatus, veteran progressive journalist and former PNN news director Laura Flanders will guest host. (Come September, Flanders will also be launching a national, call-in radio talk show, underwritten by Working Assets. The show will be produced out of station KALW in San Francisco and made available to all noncommercial stations via satellite).

FSRN will continue to uplink to a satellite at 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time, at coordinates A72.7M. MP3 files are also posted to the strikers' web site at http://www.fsrn.org. The cast is also broadcast on the Web through the Independent Media Center, and throughout the global short-wave world on Radio for Peace International.

FSRN is produced out of Washington D.C., San Francisco and Tampa. Aaron Glantz produces the cast, Randi Zimmerman is Headlines Editor. FSRN also receives critical production support from the Independent Media Center in New York (http://www.nyc.indymedia.org) and community station WMNF (www.wmnf.org)in Florida.

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