BY JASON CAHILL
BRISBANE — It's a unique and precious thing to find an alternative voice among the plethora of reactionary forces that dominate the Australian media. In the print media, there is Green Left Weekly. And shining like a beacon is another voice is radio's 4ZZZ FM.
Launched in 1975, 4ZZZ was the first FM rock station in Australia. It was based at the University of Queensland and its philosophy from the outset was not to be party to the conventional game of only playing the top 40. 4ZZZ remains totally independent, relying almost entirely on the efforts of a small group of dedicated and loyal volunteers.
Sam Kretschmann from 4ZZZ describes the station as "an alternative voice for politics, music and minority groups". The station helps build campaigns and actions, which has put them at odds with the government on many occasions.
The station received absolutely no government funding for its entire history until last year, which came in the form of a one-off grant. It has since been given a grant to employ 10 long-term unemployed people for four months.
The only reliable source of funds 4ZZZ has for its survival is the generosity of its listeners.
As with GLW, subscribers are the life-blood of 4ZZZ and on July 30, the station will launch its annual subscriptions drive and radioathon. It will continue until midnight on August 4.
GLW readers are asked to phone in and subscribe. There are great prizes available, which the 4ZZZ team has "scoured the world to find". Everyone will receive a CD pack and go into the draw for major prizes.
Subscribers are entitled to special discounts around town, but best of all they will know that they have given the alternative media another lease on life.
4ZZZ broadcasts on 102.1 FM in Brisbane and surrounding areas.
From Green Left Weekly, July 31, 2002.
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