Hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Charter High School and Bookworks, the Amy Goodman event brought in $5,000 toward funding and launching an FM radio station for Quote Unquote, Inc., and will also benefit RFK students through a program on producing media on topics that affect New Mexico citizens.
Former Public Access TV Contractor to Launch Low-Power FM Station
BY RENE THOMPSON
Host of “Democracy Now” Amy Goodman spoke at a fundraiser Monday night about her new book “Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America.” The event, hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Charter High School and Bookworks, will help to fund and launch a low-power FM radio station for Quote Unquote Inc.
The event brought in $3,995 toward funds for QUQ’s expenses, but will also benefit students at RFK through a program where they will learn how to produce media on real topics that affect New Mexico citizens.
RFK is a tuition-free charter high school, which has 275 students, who are considered at-risk teens. The school offers night classes, and has support services on campus, such as childcare and a health clinic, as well as classes that are designed to give these kids real skills they can potentially turn into careers.
RFK Instructor Robert Day said they were pleased with the turnout and that the radio station should be up and running within the next few weeks thanks to everyone who came out to see Amy Goodman.
“The value is that there will be a studio here for the students to make a program, edit it, and have it be aired,” Day said. “The partnership with Quote Unquote is that they have the experience and expertise to work with the students.”
QUQ previously ran channels 26 and 27, public access stations, for more than 30 years until 2012, when their facilities were seized by Albuquerque city officials before their contract ended. QUQ has been dealing with a legal battle with the city since, but QUQ Director Steve Ranieri said the organization has managed to rise from the ashes to once again bring a genuinely publicly accessible forum and media outlet for local citizens, who want to voice their opinions about whatever topics they choose.
“We’re also looking forward to being able to get up and running on the Internet soon as well, so anyone is able to do productions and have a local audience just like before,” Ranieri said.
RFK Instructor and former QUQ Producer Collen Gorman said QUQ has been helping the school and students with training in media production services for the last three years, and that this event was the culmination of bringing everyone’s efforts to life within the community.
“At RFK we definitely want our students to be able to access the tools learned in radio, but also so the youth can learn to represent themselves and have something they can take with them into the real world,” Gorman said.
Former QUQ Producer David Cooper said public spaces and forums are shrinking with the consolidation of media outlets, and that the average citizen’s voices and opinions are no longer being heard in New Mexico or throughout the country.
“It’s important to realize that hundreds of people helped to bring this all together, because public access served to increase connections and for communities to be able come together — people really want that kind of connection again,” Cooper said.
(Photo Credit: Burque Media)