October 16, 2007

Native radio = information highway

Tribal stations:  the great radio hope“On some Navajo land, they still don’t have telephone lines and sometimes people can’t afford cell phones--and even if they can, reservations are often black holes for cell phone service. A lot of reservations are nowhere near connecting to the Internet,” Taylor says. “In this landscape, the radio is their information highway.”

That’s why Taylor--dubbed the “Gospel Woman of Radio”--has been working to ensure that there is a radio station in each tribal community. She says that mainstream America is unaware of how important locally produced radio is to the health and safety of Native communities.

On the weekly radio program “House Calls,” for example, which airs on a Hopi radio station in Arizona, a local doctor answers questions from listeners and discusses Native health issues. “This show is so important because it is connecting the community with a local health care specialist,” Taylor says. “It’s not a program that’s designed for them somewhere else.”

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