So friends, our dear ENC Eddie James Ronks The Fourth ((Ed Ronco)) is doing his darndest to save a radio station out here in the Emerald City. They’ve crossed the halfway point, but there’s still a long way to go to hit $7 million by June.
If you’re a longtime Puget Sound resident, you might not have had the opportunity to live in a community without a thriving public radio news outlet. Trust me as someone who makes cross-country drives listening to NPR: it’s rare. Verrrrrrrrrrry rare. We need to preserve this valuable asset we are fortunate to have taken for granted.
If you know Ed from school, maybe you’re thinking, “Ed gets things done, I’m sure he’s doing just fine with this ENORMOUS UNDERTAKING because he’s kind of a force of nature. A gentle, druid-like force.” And you’re not wrong, but I really think that for this project, we need to summon the â€ª#â€Žcitydeskâ€¬ â€ª#â€Žcampusdeskâ€¬ â€ª#â€ŽUdown2die4thisâ€¬ crew. Because â€ª#â€ŽSpartansWillâ€¬Â and I’m sure you’ll agree that this â€ª#â€ŽMarchMadnessâ€¬ was a bit of a bust.
Do you know that KPLU hasn’t been able to hire an education reporter because of this crazy buyout situation? And, in a brief tangent, I need to point out that the Seattle Times is also hiring an editorial person with expertise in education? Good things, scary things, and crazy things related to education are happening in this region, and I’m desperate for those stories to be told. We don’t have the capacity right now to tell even a fraction of them.
A few months ago I snarkily told Ed over Hawaiian pancakes at Kona Kitchen (I dragged the poor guy all through my first neighborhood) that if they didn’t save the news station, the jazz station that will allegedly replace it wouldn’t matter because jazz only happens when we cover news and build that community connection. My tone could have used adjusting, but I think there’s still truth in that statement.
I left journalism because it got too broken for me to be a healthy contributor.Ed Ronco and the other folks working to tell stories all across the nation and the world are still fighting that battle every single day. I want us all to be in that room where it happens, so I hope you’ll join me.
This piece was originally posted on my Facebook page.