Understanding how powerful radio is, especially during elections, a group of progressives who say their voices are not being heard on local radio are hoping to purchase their own radio station. At the same time they plan to monitor conservative talkers who they say are dividing their community. According to The Journal-Sentinel in Milwaukee, the effort is led by a group called Citizen Action of Wisconsin and they are not happy that conservatives rule the Milwaukee airwaves.
Citizen Action Executive Director Robert Kraig says, “In Milwaukee, five conservative radio hosts have unfettered access to use the public airwaves to shill for Gov. Scott Walker. Milwaukee has one progressive radio station right now, WNOV-AM (860). And while talk-show hosts Sherwin Hughes and Eric Von help keep minorities informed, we need more balance.”
The group started a campaign called Radio-Active that takes direct aim at conservative talkers. A fundraising page on the group’s website says conservative talk show hosts are damaging their community. “Their radio monopoly is responsible for splitting cities and suburbs, shifting public opinion to the far-right, and is largely setting the extreme agenda at the state Capitol. Radio-Active’s mission is to break the grip of the right-wing media monopoly in Milwaukee.”
According to the Journal‘s James Causey, the group will monitor right-wing radio programming, and document its rhetoric and use of offensive words. Then it will demand accountability from the advertisers and corporations that own these stations. Citizen Action has been raising money to hire a full-time organizer, and eventually will begin exploring ways to purchase a radio station or buy time on one.