Responding to our call for “Radio Raves,” readers eager to extol the virtues of their favorite radio stations overwhelmed our in-box. Air America Radio (although it’s not actually a station) was extremely popular (a “life raft” to one reader), as was any station that carried Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!, the most often cited program. Many readers rely on NPR for insuring their sanity in these trying times, but others find it “too mainstream.” College stations and independent volunteer-staffed stations were high on many lists. –The Editors
The best station is Bridgeport’s WPKN, of course. It’s truly independent–no college affiliation, no NPR or PRI, no corporate underwriting, just community support. The free spirit of college radio but with mature production values. Eclectic music selection that’s both broad and deep. A strong social conscience. Oh, yes, they carry RadioNation.
I live on the border between Vermont and New Hampshire. My favorite is split between NHPR (more talk-radio like Diane Rehm and more BBC) and VPR (Vermont news interspersed with All Things Considered, etc., some BBC and great jazz).
WEOS, Geneva, New York. In retirement, I find the NPR talk shows are a way to keep on learning and stave off Alzheimer’s. WEOS brings me Democracy Now!, Fresh Air, Alternative Radio, Free Speech Radio, RadioNation, Talk of the Nation and Plato’s Cave (local show).
KXCI (91.3) in Tucson broadcasts Democracy Now! every day at 3, followed by Jim Hightower. It’s nice to hear such humor after Amy’s broadcast. If I had to listen to NPR drivel all day long, I’d just lay down and die.
WFMT (98.7) in Chicago, with its classical/orchestral programming and live-read advertising, is a calm sea of tranquillity in an insane world. Have you ever “needed” a string quartet like some “need” a drink after a long day at the office? I’ll take the quartet!
KALW, the public station of the San Francisco Unified School District, is not afraid to air programs that may provoke the community; it has not succumbed to “commercializing” public radio; it remains accountable to and committed to serving the community. It airs Laura Flanders, Tavis Smiley, Philosophy Talks, As It Happens from the CBC and monthly feedback from listeners. It doesn’t run from controversy. This is what public radio was and should be.
I’m a listener, member and volunteer at KFAI-FM (90.3 and 106.7), Fresh Air Radio, Minneapolis and St. Paul. It engages more than 300 volunteers, held together by a paid staff of only six! It is available seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day on the dial, online or via satellite. For International Women’s Day it broadcast twenty-four hours of programs of, for and by women.