International Media Activist Serves as Five College Policy Resident

September 17, 2013

Longtime media activist Pete Tridish will serve as a Social Justice Practitioner-in-Residence from Sept. 23 through Oct. 4 as part of the Five College Public Policy Initiative.

“Pete Tridish has a well-established trajectory as a public interest advocate and community media practitioner with national and international projection,” said Mari Castañeda, associate professor of communication, who along with Martha Fuentes-Bautista, assistant professor of communication and public policy, will serve as Tridish’s hosts. “This residency gives area students, faculty and media activists a rare opportunity to work directly with a leader in the realm of media justice and democracy.”

Tridish was a member of the founding collective of Radio Mutiny, 91.3 FM Pirate Radio in Philadelphia, and a founder of the social justice media advocacy organization the Prometheus Radio Project. He has helped to build dozens of radio stations around the United States, including Florence-based Valley Free Radio. By serving as a leader in major lawsuits, helping to rewrite federal regulations and working to pass federal laws re-allocating the radio spectrum, Tridish has been instrumental in creating opportunities for thousands of new stations.

In addition to the events listed below, Tridish will speak at several Five College classes and participate in some informal workshops during his residency.

“A Radio Voice for the Voiceless,”Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m., 903 Campus Center.  In much of the world, radio remains the most powerful medium. Tridish discusses radio stations and media activism trainings he has conducted with social movement groups in Nepal, Colombia, Jordan, Tunisia, Egypt, Nicaragua and Honduras.

“Media Justice Network Community Meeting,” Monday, Sept. 30 at 5:30 p.m., Free Press, 40 Main St. #301, Florence.  An open meeting of a new Pioneer Valley coalition dedicated to developing a diverse local media landscape.

“Law Breakers to Lawmakers: How Pirate Radio Activists Changed the Laws to Open up the Airwaves,” Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 5 p.m., Media Education Foundation Community Room, 60 Masonic St., Northampton. This lecture examines what the low-power FM struggle communicates about social change, through political and technological action.

“Radio Barnraisings: How we Gather a Community to Build a New Radio Station in Three Days,”Thursday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m., WGBY Partyka Room, 44 Hampden St., Springfield. This workshop demonstrates how an entire community can come together to create accessible media spaces. Drawing from the Amish rural tradition, radio barnraisings combine work, skill sharing, political spectacle and celebration to make a dramatic change in the empowerment of a community. This workshop demonstrates how an entire community can come together to create accessible media spaces. Drawing from the Amish rural tradition, radio barnraisings combine work, skill sharing, political spectacle and celebration to make a dramatic change in the empowerment of a community.

The Five College Public Policy Initiative aims to enhance collaboration among Five College faculty and students who are interested in curricula, research and outreach related to public policy. The residency program was made possible by a generous grant from Five Colleges, Inc. A grant from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences helped make the events during the Tridish residency possible.

 

 

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