You’re Invited! DMA’s Annual Holiday Open House

It’s a party! Each year, the board and staff of Davis Media Access (DMA) throw open the doors for a festive to-do. Whatever our individual traditions this time of year, it’s great to come together and have some fun, DMA style.

This year’s open house takes place on Monday, Dec. 7, from 6-8:30 p.m. Enjoy hands-on equipment demos, a “Feedback Booth,” and as always, copious amounts of food & beverage. At 7 p.m., Team Davis’s chorus will regale us with a short set of songs. During the rest of the evening. KDRT’s DJs will spin a variety of holiday tunes.

This is our treat to you – skip dinner, bring a friend or your family, enjoy some good company, and kick off the festive season. Hope to see you there! An Evite and Facebook invitations will be launched soon. 


Say it Again: Community Media is About Community

Victims of disasters often turn to social media for updates and comfort, but what happens when Internet service is interrupted (or in poor and rural communities, where it’s inaccessible to start with)? And while those fleeing may have lost access to computers, tablets or phones, one medium that tends to stay available is terrestrial radio.

In my newspaper column published August 27th in the Davis Enterprise, I referenced the important role of local media outlets in communities when disaster strikes. Since then, two more stories have come to my attention. Over Memorial Day weekend, Wimberley, a small community located in the hill country of central Texas, was the epicenter of a record-setting flood. Homes and people were literally swept away with the floodwaters.

Wimberley Valley Radio had only recently been granted a construction permit for a low-power FM station, and wasn’t yet on air to help convey the scope of the flood and provide life-saving information. Acting Station Manager Susan Raybuck writes, “We were just preparing to launch a fundraising campaign for our capital campaign to get on the air by July 2016. In the aftermath of the flood, we worked to get accurate, reliable
information out on Facebook and on our website…but it hurt to know so many might not find [the information] and would feel alone and desperate.”

One of Raybuck’s board members suggested they “just go on the air.” With the help of community radio friends from Austin they borrowed an antenna and transmitter, tested the equipment, and applied for an emergency permit, which they were granted. The station immediately began connecting the displaced with needed information and resources.

Closer to home, those fleeing the massive Valley Fire around Clear Lake, CA this summer found information and solace via KPFZ-FM, 88.1 FM. Founded in 1995 as a low-frequency pirate station, KPFZ earned renown fighting a proposed prison in Lake County.  It’s now a legal entity with an appreciative local audience. The station took on-air calls for weeks during and after the fire, from people wanting to hear updates, to those inquiring about missing pets, or offering services for evacuees.

This is not a role that community-based media hope to play, ever. But communities fortunate to have local media should know that aid during crisis is but one of the many roles their grassroots media fulfill—along with serving as hubs for digital literacy and education, hands-on skills building, collaborative planning, low-cost production services, local content, and more.

Our staff has spent the summer-into-early fall evaluating our public access services and planning for some changes, which we’ll be rolling out in the next month. Excited to share some new things. One of those changes is In the Studio. The show’s been reformatted to shorter segments and gotten a “facelift.” Thanks to Diane Dedoshka and Alex Silva-Sadder for that work.

On a personal note, I’d like to say thanks to the DMA community for the support and caring this last month as my mom passed away. I’m very grateful to be surrounded by such kind folks. Hoping you find much to be grateful for in this season of thanks.

--Autumn Labbe-Renault, Executive Director

Save the Date - Annual Holiday Open House

Each year DMA’s board & staff kick off the festive season with an open house. Please save the date and plan to drop by any time between 6 and 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7. We’ll have food and libations, equipment to play with, some volunteer recognition, and more. Bring your friends and family, and hope to see you then!


November Orientation Offered

Davis Media Access (DMA) offers a free orientation to its programs and services each month. This next general orientation will take place Wed., Nov. 4 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the media center, 1623 Fifth Street in Davis. DMA Studio Manager Diane Dedoshka will teach the orientation. Topics covered will include: 

 an overview of DMA’s services; information about internships, and training and volunteer opportunities available through DMA. A reservation is appreciated but drop-ins are welcome.

News & Notes

Professor Jesse Drew is back at DMA with this UC Davis Techocultural Studies students, producing another quarter’s worth of Technocult Radio. Hear their stories and stylings live on KDRT Tuesdays at 11 a.m. This is the 4th year of this particular internship.

Chris Mussen recently wrapped the 300th segment of A Constant Grin, his indie-rock show that airs live on Fridays at 2 p.m. on KDRT 95.7 FM.

Our community is incredibly fortunate to have a firsthand glimpse into the Egyptian Revolution via "United," a short citizen journalism documentary produced by community member Amr Hussein. Amr interviewed a number of people who travelled to Tahrir Square in solidarity for Egypt's future. This kind of footage and insight is rare in mainstream media. 

Lin Weaver has remained a stalwart part of In the Studio, hosting and producing many episodes. 

Artist’s Connection is going strong. The latest episode focuses on the collaboration and features Steve Seskin. Episodes air on DCTV Channel 15 on Comcast and are available online.

Former DMA staffer Eunah Cho was hired as Communications Coordinator for Safety Center in Roseville. We miss her tremendously but are happy for her career opportunity. You can still catch her live on KDRT with Civilization Phaze IV live on Sundays at 10 a.m.

Eunah shares the following message:

“I first came to DMA as a volunteer, a recent college grad with no valuable work skills whatsoever who just needed some structure in her life to try and figure real life out.  It turned out to be the best decision I'd ever made in my life.  Each person on staff is unique in their temperament and expertise, but they are all the same in the generosity and kindness they have always shown me.  The people at DMA gave me everything: valuable work skills, countless opportunities for growth and learning, and so much love and support.  I leave DMA for my first full-time job--all thanks to the chance DMA took on me when no one else did--with a heart full of gratitude and love for the wonderful extended family that is Davis Media Access.  Thank you to the staff and volunteers who have made my experience there so unforgettable and wonderful.”


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