Thursday, November 02, 2006

Katrina couldn't take down one radio station

Phillips' voice [is] the one most often heard passing along the news that the survivors of Katrina need to know: Where the distribution points are; when and where the buses will be running; where and how to apply for business loans and emergency blue roof tarps; where to find wireless access; what restaurants and stores and services are back open.

I few weeks ago, I watched a documentary on Brice Phillips and his makeshift radio station, WQRZ. Because major media groups couldn't get into the area, the radio station was the only access to media the city had. For several months (I can't remember the exact number), WQRZ remained the only access to news and information.

Phillips said that he believed in the need for local news teams - people who know the ins and outs of the town and know its people. At the heart of it, I would agree.

But the link above to the MSNBC story, "An endangered beacon," reflects in the title that local news is phasing out. WQRZ is a non-profit station. Does this make it easier or harder for them to win the argument that they have a necessary place in local journalism?

[They] kept WQRZ on the air 24 hours a day as just about the only daily source of information for the folks in the tents, trailers and tattered homes of Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Kiln, Pearlington, Diamondhead and all the unincorporated areas in Hancock County.

Local radio, local paper, local broadcast - don't you think that we do still need them? Or is it just holding on to something for the sake of "nostalgia?"

Posted by AL


At Saturday, November 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We absolutely still need local media--of all kinds. I think people from major metropolitan areas tend to forget that most of the country doesn't live in the same way they do, and that they have separate (and equally important) interests that need to be covered.

In the small town I grew up in, the local news studios were all about two hours away, and the newspaper most people subscribe to is from a city four hours away. So local newspaper and radio are vital. Sure, a lot of the coverage might seem trivial--some kid from the local high school wins an award, the farmers are concerned about an early frost--but they are the things that make a difference in the community.


At Monday, November 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Local news is here to stay and not just because of the small town factor. Keep something in mind. A newscast is one of the cheapest (if not the cheapest) shows a TV station puts on the air. TV stations need the ads sales to make some money.

- LO

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