Thursday, 31 January 2008 (original at Rocky Mountain Chronicle)

I have often thought that if Voltaire was reborn in twentieth-century America, Jim Hightower might possibly be his latest incarnation. I was saddened to read that Hightower’s daily commentary is the most recent public-affairs programming to be axed from KRFC’s schedule.Your piece (“KRFC Signs Off on Hightower,” January 17, News) raised a very important point.

With roughly eighty-percent music programming, might KRFC have more time to devote to quality, independent national news and public-affairs programming? In light of other programs that have been removed — David Barsamian’s “Alternative Radio,” Free Speech Radio News, Friday’s edition of “Democracy Now!” and “Counterspin,” along with many other lesser-known segments I’ve heard vanish from the local news coverage, as did the volunteers who championed them — it seems that what KRFC no longer has time for is being a forum for contemporary independent thinkers and humanists.

It is strange that KRFC’s approach to music and news programming could be so diametrically opposed. There is little doubt that 88.9 FM provides the Northern Colorado community with an abundance of diverse and culturally enriching musical genres — and music, I might add, rich with politically diverse, religious and social commentaries. After all, what would KRFC sound like without the likes of such artists and composers as Ludwig Van Beethoven, Bob Dylan, Sufi Zakir Hussain, Leadbelly, Joni Mitchell and many more who were, or may still be, considered controversial figures for the ideas they have expressed? Yet almost all of the nationally syndicated, independent, informational programming has been surgically removed from KRFC’s listening schedule.

Not every individual in the community will be able to identify with each sentiment or opinion KRFC’s musical programming encompasses, nor will it necessarily translate to withdrawn support for the station. This, I believe, would also ring true for KRFC’s news programming. Were the above-mentioned programs restored, KRFC could continue to flourish as a media outlet true to its mission to provide the community with diverse music and a forum for independent ideas. They’d have the continued support of a community that most values not the individual contents but that KRFC remain a lone outpost for the expression of consequential and relevant ideas.

Kristianne Gale
Fort Collins
Former KRFC DJ