R.O.C. ON THE AIR! - CALIFORNIA STUDENT RADIO BLASTS FCC, CENSORSHIP!
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
-The First Amendment of the United States Constitution
Censorship. Everyone has encountered that looming, dark presence. But do we always recognize it?
Two hundred years after the Bill of Rights were enacted to protect people from the evils of absolute government (from another King George), we live, in a time when those sacred protections are being whittled away by the knife of fear. Change happens-new ideas surface-and many who cannot comprehend existence outside of the traditional lash back from a fear of the unknown, from a truly understandable fear that everything you have ever learned may be invalid. The recent explosion in information exchange has also unleashed its regulation, i.e. censorship, against those very same new ideas contradicting traditional norms. No longer can we assume what we were told as children to possess: the freedom of speech, press, religion, and the right to peaceably assemble.
Censorship blossomed in 1990. Note the major highlights:
*Congress nearly denied funding to the National Endowment for the Arts, debating what consists appropriate artistic content.
*The voice of inner city, rap music was under fire for daring to challenge, and redress, history.
*The FCC imposed a 24-hour ban on indecency, removing the midnight until 6am "safe harbor," as if the children they were trying to protect would be listening to the radio at those times.
*The photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe were pulled from a Ohio art exhibit, creating much flak.
*And very quietly, major record labels began to institute "listening boards" to determine what is suitable for distribution, and what is not.
As a result, censorship as an issue in itself grew considerably. The lines are being drawn. Community voices on both sides grew stronger. Were the issues blown out of proportion? Hyped up by the media? Or was this the start of a greater awareness?
The flipside to censorship is education. THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA RADIO NETWORK (UCRN), recognizing its responsibility as a public university radio network, some time ago decided to tackle this issue by providing a forum for education on censorship. Here is the result.
On March 4, UCRN will present a Day of Decency. The political, cultural, and social elements of censorship will be discussed and explored both on and off the airwaves. Information about how the community can become involved will be distributed.
Originally planned by the UCRN in response to the FCC's 24 hour ban on "obscenity, profanity, and indecency" on radio and TV, Day of Decency now hopes to deal with the topic of censorship on a greater scale.
Censorship in the arts, music, media-self censorship, book banning, attacks on the nation's public schools, and much more.
On-air UCRN will feature a special day of programming, starting at 6 a.m. A large portion of this programming will be syndicated by all UCRN stations. Also many local members of the community will be involved. In conjunction with this large event, numerous musical corporations have donated many albums and related promotional material to help increase interest. Please help stamp out apathy by staying tuned and telling friends about the programs.
Many UC campuses will feature a Day of Decency Fair. Information booths staffed by student advocacy groups will take a part. Speakers and entertainment are part of the program as well.
UCRN STATIONS PARTICIPATING IN A DAY OF DECENCY ARE:
KUCI, IRVINE KALX, BERKELEY KCSB, SANTA BARBARA KDVS, DAVIS KLA, LOS ANGELES KSDT, SAN DIEGO KUCR, RIVERSIDE KZSC, SANTA CRUZ
If you live near one of these stations, we urge our California readers to tune in this special programming. Listen for announcements for an interview with ROC editor John Woods to be aired as part of Day of Decency.