We here at The Nation have long been fans of writer and broadcast host Laura Flanders. We’ve been publishing her writing for decades; she spent six years hosting our erstwhile community radio and later Air America program, RadioNation; she’s expertly moderated countless Nation public events and, most recently, we’ve been streaming highlights from her TV program GRITtv at TheNation.com.
We’re also extremely excited about a new venture, starting in June, in which The Nation will begin underwriting and producing a thirty-minute program of GRITtv each Monday featuring Laura in conversation with Nation editors and writers.
Launched in May, 2008, GRITtv reaches millions of homes every week day on Free Speech TV on Dish network (9415), on cable and public television stations nationwide, and anytime, anywhere online. Distributed in multiple platforms, the show offers a daily, 30-minute discussion for people who want to make a difference. Incorporating viewer feedback, grassroots perspectives, and a positive, progressive message that goes beyond the top-down format of traditional media, GRITtv gives voice to the people commercial media routinely ignore.
One example of GRITtv’s value came last year in the wake of Dr. George Tiller’s murder when the program was among the first (if not the first) broadcast outlet to connect the doctor’s execution to a decades-long history of domestic anti-abortion terrorism.
A more recent episode also underscored the importance of GRITtv’s perspective with an incisive segment unpacking the mass media’s perhaps unintentional complicity in the rightwing witch-hunt against ACORN.
As Janine Jackson of FAIR rightly noted: "Some shows claim they’d like to, plan to, or hope to someday feature a diverse group of voices; GRITtv does it every day. With people, perspectives and priorities we aren’t used to seeing on TV, GRITtv is new media that is truly new."
But, like most all worthy causes, GRITtv needs serious help. The good news is that the program just received a $100,000 challenge grant from the Lannan Foundation. So every dollar raised by June 30 will be matched. But the full total of $100,000 must be raised by the end of June or the money will be forfeited. Now is the time to help. Watch a few recent episodes to see for yourself how good the show is. Then, visit www.grittv.org/donate and be as generous as you can.
And watch TheNation.com for info on the June 13 debut of The Nation on GRITtv!