A Pulpit for the People

Organizers at the Grand Rapids Community Media Center (GRCMC) in
Grand Rapids, Michigan, say they are providing a blueprint for
tomorrow?s community-based media. This nonprofit institution
provides a forum for people who have an interest in TV, radio, and
the Internet to learn what it takes to turn an idea into a program
fit for broadcast. ?Building Community Through Media,? is the adage
of GRCMC, and they stress that this is media of, for, and by the
people. Community members who want to participate but can?t afford
the fees for classes or studio time can volunteer their sweat
equity to help pay their way. The CMC has minted coins emblazoned
with a wind-blown Thomas Jefferson and the quote ?Information is
the currency of democracy,? which are awarded for every hour
volunteered. Each coin can be redeemed for $5 worth of the CMC?s
services, explains executive director Dirk Konig. By providing
avenues for self-expression, uniting diverse points of view, and
promoting the principles of democracy, the GRCMC is realizing its
mission to provide a pulpit for the people.
?Nick Garafola

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Grand Rapids Community Media
Center

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