Thursday, March 26, 2009

Radio Things

Over the weekend, I wrote the acquittal for Women On The Line's grant from the Community Broadcasting Foundation. Then on Tuesday I finished off the Stick Together grant acquittal. It's an annual task.

3CR Tuesday Breakfast Show
Tuesday March 24

  • played part 1 of my recording of the talk last Tuesday night by Rachel Johnson, a member of the International Solidarity Movement, reporting back on the 5 weeks she spent in Gaza gathering civilian testimonies and providing international accompaniment to those still under attack. In this section she spoke about the destruction in Gaza and the impacts of Israel's use of white phosphorus. Huge amounts of awfulness. She spoke at the Unitarian Church at an event organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
  • Rachel spoke to Matt McCollough from Bicycles For Humanity - an organisation focused on making a difference through the re-distribution of dis-used bikes - about their KNOG bicycle roundup for 2009. Their bike collection last Sunday amassed hundreds of bikes to ship to Namibia, and if you want to donate a dis-used (sturdy/mountain) bike this coming Sunday 29 March, their shipping container will be open for donations from 1pm-5pm at 170 Edward Street, East Brunswick.
  • I spoke to Dean Mighell, ETU Victorian State Secretary and spokesperson for the Fair Work campaign, about the passage of Labor's Fair Work Bill on Friday and how it doesn't signal the death of WorkChoices.
  • played part 2 of my recording of the talk by Rachel Johnson. She spoke about the continuing targeting of civilians in Gaza, and Israeli attacks on agriculture, livestock and tunnel supply lines.
Mobius Band - Say You Will - Empire Of Love
Phosphorescent - Be Dark Night - Pride
Antsy Pants - The Mission - Antsy Pants
The Strange Boys - Most Things - And Boys Club
Vera November - Our Last Night Together - Four Songs By Arthur Russell

This week was my week to produce Stick Together, and I spent yesterday doing that, finishing the show at 4.45pm, in time to FTP it to the Community Radio Network for the 6pm broadcast. The show was this:

On today's program we ask if Labor’s Fair Work Bill means WorkChoices is finished, and look at worker protection campaigns in 2009.

On March 20, Labor’s Fair Work Bill was passed by the Federal Parliament. Some have marked the passage of the bill as ‘the death of WorkChoices’. Indeed, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard called it “mission accomplished”. “The job is done,” she said. But is it? I spoke to Dean Mighell, Victorian State Secretary of the Electrical Trades Union and spokesperson for the Fair Work Campaign, which has been fighting for the complete abolition of WorkChoices.

In the current global financial crisis, what happens to workers and their entitlements if companies fail, and what protections do Australian workers have? The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has a longstanding campaign for a national scheme to protect worker entitlements, and 3CR’s Helen Gwilliam spoke to Assistant National Secretary Glenn Thompson.

In late February the Federal Government announced it had signed a Free Trade Agreement with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and with New Zealand. Around the same time, Pacific Brands announced its plan to move its operations overseas, with massive job cuts in its Australian clothing manufacturing businesses. Both issues dovetail with particular impact on textile, clothing and footwear workers, and 3CR’s Jenny Denton spoke to TCFUA National Secretary Michele O’Neil.

As Australia opens up to free trade markets with weakened worker protections at home, the demand for cheap labour intensifies, contributing to an environment that allows slavery, human trafficking and exploitation in many industries to flourish. Globally, more than 27 million people are living in slavery today. In early March, the University of Technology in Sydney’s Anti-Slavery Project launched new guidelines for NGOs working with trafficked people. 3CR’s Lucy De Kretser spoke to Jennifer Burn, a senior lecturer in Law at the University of Technology in Sydney, and director of the Anti-Slavery Project.
The podcast won't be available until next week, after the show airs on 3CR on Sunday at 10am.

Then I went to the Trades Hall to record Catherine Deveny. She spoke about a variety of things, including women's representation in the media, internal politics at The Age including the recent baleful decision to get rid of the reader feedback unit, and being on strike from her opinion column.

The reader feedback thing maybe doesn't sound all that nefarious, but Deveny described it as a 'terrifying' development. Here's why: until very recently there were apparently three Age staff whose job it was to receive feedback from Age readers and each week collate that feedback into a report of what people liked and didn't like etc, which was disseminated throughout all staff at The Age. An open, responsive process. In this way, reader's rejections of things like the changes to the Green Guide format, the scrapping of the form guide etc, were taken on board and the decisions reversed. But then, at the same time that they announced that they were getting rid of the Education Age, they also got rid of that reader feedback process, so they could be deaf to readers' responses. I mean, I liked the changes to the Green Guide and I don't give a stuff about the form guide, but to shut down feedback when introducing a change that they know is going to be unpopular is kind of a dick move.

Still and all, I don't really see why Catherine Deveny is beloved by people. You can't always rely on what she says being true. I've only ever read her TV column, but I stopped doing that because she'd reach for a point and end up inaccurate. She's a bit slap dash, in my view. I prefer my heroines of public letters to be people whose thoroughness and perspective I can trust implicitly, eg. Chloe Hooper.

After Deveny, when I went back to 3CR to return some gear, Nicole informed me that she will be on Alan Brough's 774 show this Sunday talking about the Carlton Housing Estate Radio Training Project we delivered together last year, and the People's Tours we made. She'll be joined by Ruth, whose tour I found particularly fun to put together. Listen in for the promised shout out to me. Also, do you like my mad photographic skills, here capturing an early work by Ruth's daughter-->?

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