We know that truly local community media is essential to a thriving and just community. It’s resilient, accessible, and created by and for local communities. That’s why this season of Rural Roots Rising we’re highlighting locally-created rural media from around the state and exploring the deeper community building and organizing strategies behind rural community radio stations!
This month’s episode continues the series with a behind the scenes interview with Bruce Morris, ROP Board member and Station Manager of KPOV 88.9 FM, High Desert Community Radio.
Listen to “Behind the Scenes with KPOV & The Point” on your local station, your favorite podcasting platform, or at ruralrootsrising.org!
In case you missed part one in this two-parter, be sure and check out the March episode, “Community Media Spotlight: KPOV & The Point!” Bruce discusses KPOV’s early history, the role of community radio stations in community organizing, as well as sharing firsthand insight into the future of radio and some specific ways community organizers can partner with their local stations! That episode really demonstrates the power of KPOV’s programs and their work in creating space for the community to strategize live on air both before and during the pandemic. If your group has been looking for ways to get your message out, Bruce’s suggestions can help you get started!
We’ve heard people say that radio can seem like an antiquated form of communication. But Bruce calls radio “the original podcast,” and believes it’s only going to get stronger in the coming years.Rural communities know that radio is one of the few ways to stay connected during snow storms, fires, and other natural disasters. Bruce shares his own perspective on radio as a form of resistance and resilience. He explains how radio waves are almost impossible to break or malfunction, and how their simplicity and decades-old technology makes radio less susceptible to censorship or other attacks. This longevity and strength means that radio can and must be a driving force in the future of equitable, community-based information sharing. Bruce concludes the episode with giving some behind-the-scenes advice on how you and your community can effectively partner with local radio.
Many of ROP’s long-time member groups may already know this, but Bruce’s first time on KPOV’s daily show, The Point, was actually as a guest, talking about his organizing in the community. Now he hosts The Point on Tuesdays, in addition to managing the station as a whole! The Point is a powerful example of what locally-based media has to offer. Playing every weekday morning, The Point provides space for local organizers to get the word out about their work and gives listeners across central Oregon access to analysis of local issues. They have a wide range of guests on the show, from dog trainers, to food historians, to unhoused folks and much much more! You can listen to full episodes of The Point at kpov.org. To learn more about Bruce’s organizing work in Deschutes County historically, be sure to also check out “Building Community Power,” from Season 1 of Rural Roots Rising.
Are you interested in getting involved with your local station? Are you a media maker who wants to connect with other organizers? Do you have a favorite local radio show you think we should spotlight? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know!