Homelessness Radio-Thon


Radio as a medium has a history of mobilizing its listeners for a variety of causes. This is something that holds true today as much as in days gone by.

Ryan Underwood of The Tennessean brings us the story of one such project that is hitting the airwaves for its eleventh year:

While it may not be the latest Amy Winehouse hit — though with a little marketing magic it certainly could be — organizers hope a 14-hour national radio marathon featuring the voices and the stories of homeless people from across the U.S. will help raise awareness of the issue.

Program directors said they chose Nashville as the site of their 11th annual broadcast, “partly because it is a city at the crossroads in terms of its treatment of homeless people, and in this respect, it is like many other cities across the United States.” (In other words, be prepared to hear plenty about the Metro Council’s panhandling ban.)

Actual radio broadcasts of the event will be found in various cities, usually at the low-power, low end of the radio dial. But the marathon will be simulcast online — from 6 p.m. CST today until 8 a.m. Thursday — in its entirety at homelessnessmarathon.org. In Nashville, the broadcast will be available on Radio Free Nashville, 98.9 FM.

Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis know that I am a big proponent of radio as an emergency tool. Stories like this one allow me to stress the other side of the coin. Radio is often pro-active as well as responsive.

For most Americans, the best high-profile examples of this came in the wake of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. While the emergency aspects of radio were saving lives, there were countless fundraisers and community efforts saturating the airwaves in anticipation of the needs yet to come. These are, as I stated, the high profile examples. There are many more stories out there of people and communities aided by radio in times of need.

Radio: it gives as well as receives!

Photo courtesy of pedrosimoes7 and used according to this Creative Commons license


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