Occupy Boston Radio / Activate Radio – activatemedia.org at 10 | Occupy Boston
By Patrick Wilson
Last week was the 10th anniversary of when the radio station began broadcasting. It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since this endeavor began. The idea started a little over 10 years ago in the Dewey Square encampment of Occupy Boston. There were several groups of people working on similar projects joining forces to become Occupy Boston Radio, which began broadcasting over the internet on December 10th, 2011. This is also the morning after Occupy Boston was evicted from Dewey Square. The Radio Working Group met at E5 in Chinatown then by the Orpheum. Activate Radio and Activate Media were created in 2013 to serve a larger audience.
When we started much effort was put into a studio, several in fact. We did not have the funding to support a physical location, and this is where the money allocated to the radio station by Occupy Boston went.
Running everything remotely has proven to be a good move as we’ve all adapted to some form of remoteness during the epidemic. It has also reduced operating costs to a sustainable level. This has allowed us to operate under the ideals of Occupy Boston for 10 years.
We currently broadcast about 20 shows a week. Our listenership varies from 5 to 600+ depending on subject matter and promotion, and comes from all over the planet. The station and the shows are produced by and represent a diverse group of marginalized peoples. We do not charge the shows for airtime.
Of the 20 shows, two of them have been broadcast since the beginnings of the station as Occupy Boston Radio, Veterans For Peace and The Occupied Nation Show. We are always looking for new shows, especially ones produced locally here in Boston.
The radio station plays a mix of submitted and Creative Commons music with the aim of becoming all submitted music. The process for this at the moment is a little clunky and could use some streamlining.
As far as the programming goes, we have 1/2hour and 1hour shows from 6-10p and 12-5a mon-fri and 9-12 Sunday mornings. We have slots at the top of the hour through the broadcasting day with the exception of 6-10p and weekends for locally produced news. Where other radio stations play commercials, we place PSA’s, announcements of local events, announcements of our show schedule, station id’s and information of public interest. We are a non-commercial radio station.
We are not a non-profit organization. As much as we’d like to be, we have never held enough money to be able to become a c3 or c4. We’ve only ever raised the funding needed for direct expenses of the radio station. The web hosting is donated by Left-Click. I cover the stream hosting and all other related expenses currently.
It’s been a lot of work, sometimes overwhelmingly so. The whole thing has been rebuilt several times. We’ve changed hosts for the website once and the radio streaming host several times.
10 years later, I’m all about it. I think it represents its intended purposes and has the ability to do a lot more. The only limitation is really in how many people would like to participate. Happy Birthday Occupy Boston Radio/ Activate Radio Activate Media
You can listen to the radio station at activatemedia.org