community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
After years of grassroots reporting including over 300 episodes, coverage of major events like the 2009 G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, presentations to national audiences at the annual Allied Media Conference and more, Rustbelt Radio and the Pittsburgh IMC are facing a gap in volunteer capacity that is preventing the show from airing new episodes for the first time in nine years.
Pittsburgh's Independent Media Center (IMC) was created in 2003, during a time when many communities were excited about a new model of independent media publishing and the possibilities of amplifying our own stories without reliance on the corporate media. In May of 2004, Rustbelt Radio was initiated as a new project of the Pittsburgh IMC. Inspired by programs such as Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News, Rustbelt Radio was created as a one hour bi-weekly show of "news from the grassroots, news overlooked by the corporate media." From its inception, Rustbelt Radio has sought to cover marginalized voices and stories, highlight local struggles while connecting them to larger global justice movements, and serve as an outlet for local activists, projects, and organizers to bring their issues to the airwaves.
Over the past nine years, Rustbelt Radio has operated as a low-budget all-volunteer collective. This has allowed us great flexibility in our organizing model, as we are not obligated to spend exorbitant amounts of time fundraising, nor are we tied down by the constraints of funders or foundations. We have been able to focus on our reporting without any restrictions on the political content of our show. We have built media skills among many community members through our collaborative production process. As with any all-volunteer collective, we face the challenges of maintaining an active core of dedicated volunteers as well as engaging new volunteers with the project to support its growth and vision... Full Statement