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Gavin's Underground

In The Loop:3/19/08. The SCA, Community Radio News, Looking Ahea

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2008-03-19 -

I only got one word to describe this photo… Ping!

That’s the sound the helmet makes when someone gets a headshot on their opponent. Last weekend I took some time to head over and attend the S.C.A. (Society for Creative Anachronism) Defenders Tourney in Taylorsville and snapped some pictures. It’s an art festival/competition event that’s held yearly, along with other events the S.C.A. does throughout the year. I took some pics of the art section, which include a very well done chess set I now wish I owned, as well as shots of the tournament fighters in action. I didn’t have anyone to really interview this time around, so let me do my best to describe a little. These events are very interesting to attend as they try to keep the time period in tact both in costume and presence. This isn’t some cheap renaissance fair run by college kids, these are people who study the material hard and then recreate and reenact both the look and style of, well, everything they can. And that’s just the art. The fighting has skills and endurance that rival any other contact sport. The armor is heavy and the hits are real. And I’m not even mentioning the 600 man wars they have on occasion. Even if you don’t participate, it’s at least worth attending.

Moving onto broadcasting news, Radio Free Utah (the new community radio station I covered last week) has now changed their name. They’re now known as
Utah Free Media. Why? Because KRCL had an attorney issue the small group a Cease & Desist order for use of the words “radio free utah”. A copy of the order can be found here. Apparently KRCL has a copyright of the phrase. A phrase they've rarely used in the past few years, but now have it plastered everywhere on their website that recently got a redesign last week. (Good timing, huh?) I’m sure the station had good reason to fear that people might get confused or be drawn away to another station by use of the phrase, and if they own a copyright then it's within their right to make sure the public doesn't mix the two up.  But when you're done reading the order as a whole... you suddenly get that icky feeling in your stomach that it’s all about ratings and money, and has little to do with recognition.  The order itself starts off with a paragraph reminding us that they've literally slapped that phrase onto as much merchandise as they could, trying to make a buck with everything from coffee mugs to hats.  And by the time you get to the end and see words like “brand name” make their appearance in the order, you can clearly see they view the new station as a threat rather than a partner in community radio.

Now since this is a blog the following is just my opinion.  I’m not anti-KRCL, I've listen to some of the shows on it for years now.  And I know I don’t speak for the “community” that built KRCL… But if it truly is community radio, I hardly think the “community” would really care if someone used the phrase, let alone sic an attorney on a nonprofit organization. The act in itself is appalling and should be taken as a spit in the face to the listeners who have supported the station for years. If this isn’t the final sign that KRCL is no longer the station it once was, it certainly is another nail in the coffin to the beliefs it was founded upon.

I’m going to effort to make it to a show on Thursday, and who knows what else this week. You’ll also notice more art show events have been added to the calendar, as well as the majority of the Gallery Stroll spots for this Friday. More later on.

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