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24 APRIL 2015

Radio La Colifata: radio broadcast from inside a mental hospital

"More than 20 years ago, a psychology student doing his training at one of Argentina's oldest psychiatric wards kept being asked by his family and friends what it was like to work in there. So he came up with an idea: to let the patients explain in their own words.

The first radio station to broadcast from inside a mental hospital was born. Radio La Colifata - slang for loon, crazy person, has been on air from Hospital Jose Borda in Buenos Aires every Saturday afternoon for 23 years - to confront the stigma around mental illness, breaking through the wall in AM, FM and now online."



1991access and engagementagency of access and engagementAl Jazeera • Alfredo Olivera • alternative voices • ArgentinaBuenos Airescurrent affairs • current affairs programme • empowerment • Hospital Jose Borda • Marcela Pizarro • mental health • mental hospital • mental illness • psychiatric hospital • radio • Radio La Colifata • radio station • radio station broadcasting • Spanish language • The Listening Post (Al Jazeera)


Simon Perkins
04 APRIL 2012

Marshall McLuhan debates his ideas on Australian TV in 1977

"In June 1977 Marshall McLuhan visited Australia and was a guest on Monday Conference, a popular live ABC television show hosted by Robert Moore. McLuhan debated his ideas with Moore and took questions from a feisty studio audience made up of members of the media and advertising industry, including TV boss Bruce Gyngell (see Part One at 14 mins), and young, funky Derryn Hinch (see Part Two from 3 mins).

McLuhan had been brought to Australia to address a broadcasting conference organised by Sydney radio station 2SM, and the Monday Conference was broadcast from the ballroom of the Sydney Hilton Hotel.

Many in the audience clearly admired McLuhan who has well into his prime and at ease with the live television situation. The discussion covered an eclectic range of topics, from television, privacy and Richard Nixon to holograms, transcendental meditation, Jane Austen, Euclidean geometry, denim jeans and nude streaking.

Towards the end of the program the always unpredictable McLuhan can be heard just off–mic, saying to Moore, 'I'm terribly sorry, but I'm going to have to sneak off and have a pee!'."

(ABC Radio National, Australia)

Fig.1,2&3 Marshall Mcluhan, lecture recorded by ABC Radio National Network on 27 June 1977 in Australia.



1977 • 2SM • ABC Radio National (Australia) • ABC Radio National Network • advertising industry • age of anxiety • age of electronic media • anxietyAustraliaAustralian Broadcasting CorporationBionic Woman • broadcasting conference • Bruce Gyngell • Canadiancommunicationcool mediumdebate • denim jeans • Derryn Hinchdigital eraelectronic mediaEuclidean geometryfolk artglobal villagehologram • hot medium • information anxietyinformation revolution • interconnectivity • InternetJane Austenlecture • live television • loss of privacy • Marshall McLuhanmass media age • McLuhan Project • media • media industry • media theory • media visionary • mediummedium is the messagemessage • Monday Conference (show) • networked societynostalgic yearning • nude streaking • privacyradio stationRichard Nixon • Robert Moore • studio audienceSydney • Sydney Hilton Hotel • television • The McLuhan Project • thinker • transcendental meditation


Simon Perkins
17 JUNE 2006

Mini-FM: Toward Polymorphous Radio

Tetsuo Kogawa
The birth of mini–FM is related to the peculiar situation of radio in Japan. ...

Article 4 in the Radio Regulations Book. It permits transmitting without a license if the power is very weak and is intended to accommodate wireless microphones and remote–control toys. ...

At the beginning, I was dubious about the power of this level of transmission. During several tests of small ready–made FM transmitters, however, we found that some of them could cover a half–mile radius. Presumably, the sensitivity of radio receivers had increased beyond the Ministry's estimation when they established the regulation in the 1950s.

The boom was fantastic, in a sense, but it puzzled us. We had intended to establish a free radio station, not to transmit a one–way performance that disregarded listeners as most stations did. During the boom, most mini–FM stations were able to communicate to a handful of people only. Many of these stations seemed to us be naively copying professional radio studio work. To the contrary, we paid attention to constant and serious listeners. We wanted to provide a community of people with alternative information on politics and social change.

The radio station that my students and I had started on the campus re–established itself in the centre of Tokyo when the students finished school in 1983. The new station was called Radio Home Run. Every day, from 8 PM to midnight, one or two groups aired talk or music programmes. Themes depended on who was host and who were guests. The members always invited new guests who were involved in political or cultural activism. Also, listeners who lived close to the station hesitantly began to visit. To repeat the telephone number during each programme was our basic policy. Guests sometimes recorded cassette tapes of our programmes and let their friends listen. Radio Home Run quickly became a meeting place for students, activists, artists, workers, owners of small shops, local politicians, men, women and the elderly.

Theoretically, I had argued that mini–FM stations might be linked together to extend the transmission/reception area. Since the cost of each unit is cheap, one could have a number of radio sets and transmitters to relay to each other quite inexpensively. Radio Home Run was not so eager to do this but some stations succeeded in establishing a very sophisticated network to link together and extend their service areas.[5] Through a number of experiments to remodel the transmitting system, create programmes and pursue a new way of getting together, we came to the conclusion at Radio Home Run that we must work within a half–mile service area. Tokyo is densely populated so even a half–mile area has at least ten thousand inhabitants. This meant that mini–FM could function as community radio. Moreover, we realised that in the process of transmitting we were more conscious of our members than (possible) listeners. The action of transmitting together changed our relationships and feelings in a way that seemed distinct from the effects of other collective actions that did not involve transmitting. Further, we surmised that relationships differed because we were narrowcasting rather than broadcasting. We decided it had something to do with the limited area of our transmission signal.


activismbroadcastFMfreeJapan • Kogawa • mini-FM • narrowcastingnetwork • polymorphy • radio • Radio Home Run • radio stationTokyotransmitter

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