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Radio Free Berkshires

Did you miss this week’s Radio Free Berkshires panel? Listen now!

Radio Free Berkshires; September 14, 2020

You may know that Radio Free Europe was founded as an anti-communist propaganda source. Though much has changed since 1949, this sprawling media propaganda network is still in operation. We are, happily, IN NO WAY associated with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Those organizations claim to “provide what many people cannot get where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate. RFE/RL strives to meet the highest standards of objective journalism and report the facts, undaunted by pressure or attempted influence​.”

How much of that is true is anyone’s guess, given that Radio Free Europe’s and Radio Liberty’s programming was, for decades, controlled by the U.S. State Department and C.I.A.

We have purloined the prefix, “Radio Free,” because we know that our own local “free press” is controlled by powerful interests. We know that what appears in the pages of newspapers and what is carried over cables and radio waves is the product of corporate influence — every bit as toxic to a free society as censorship, and far more subtle and insidious. The Berkshires, like most of America, is like a region under occupation, except that the checkpoints are implied; the concrete walls, political; the guard towers, economic; the razor wire, social.

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Just like the rest of the reporting at the Greylock Glass, Radio Free Berkshires will maintain a journalistic posture that is fiercely skeptical — at times savagely critical — of the status quo. While we aim to be fair, both the Glass and Radio Free Berkshires are unabashedly newsrooms that follow the tenets of advocacy journalism. You will absolutely know where we stand.

We’ll also have some kick-ass music shows and special-topics shows, like food, arts, recreation, etc. And, we’ll provide homes for shows produced by content partners out of house, like Economic Update with Richard Wolfe, by [email protected] as well as CounterSpin, by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting. Get in touch with us if you’re interested in finding out how to get your show on Radio Free Berkshires!

Our Panel

Our panel is a lovable rogue’s gallery of folks with a shared love of activism and communications, inspired to come together to offer a more diverse range of thought than you’re going to find on other panel discussion shows. We all hail from Leftistan, but we each have our quirks, too, so even we don’t know when we’ll encounter some conversational friction where we imagined the topic at hand would be smooth sailing. And ain’t that what makes people so fascinatin’?

Sonya Bykofsky

Activist, Humorist, Humanist. 

Upon her arrival home the day Sonya was born, her brother counted her fingers and toes, and announced: “pig!” […. thereby cementing her somewhat cynical attitude in life].   

Her formative years were greatly influenced by her fraternal grandparents, who used to take her out shopping for clothes – and always look for a “Made in the U.S.A.” label.  They presented lists of companies to boycott – and why (usually having to do with poor treatment of workers).  And they instilled in her the idea that the government should help lift people up – everyone, not just a few.  She would later learn they identified as something called: Socialists. 

She worked in radio in the 80’s, and left it when computers squashed any creativity in the industry. After almost 10 years working her way up the corporate ladder, she had more cash, but less feeling of meaningful reward. In 1992 she began work as a massage therapist, which she still enjoys from her office in Lenox [while she can, in a Covid world]. She emcees events (www.comedywithapurpose.com ), enjoys public speaking and is a certified trainer in the massage and bodywork field. 

She is an activist, joining movements that she hopes will make the world a better place. This is her hope for Radio Free Berkshires…. 

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Amillie Delphina Costa

TK.

Steve Dew

Steve Dew is an attorney in private practice in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Practice areas include intellectual property litigation, consumer protection and Chapter 93A cases, employment disputes, and criminal matters. Steve received a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and a J.D. from Cornell Law School. Steve is licensed to practice in California and Massachusetts. 

Prior to practicing law, Steve worked as an independent consultant engaged in research, writing, and editing for clients in the global financial services and healthcare sectors. His clients include private equity firms, registered investment advisers, Fortune 500 life sciences and pharmaceutical companies, healthcare startups and non-profits, and emerging and frontier market drug manufacturers and healthcare providers. In addition, Steve has consulted with the Columbia Business School and Harvard Business School as a case researcher and writer.

He lives and works in Williamstown.

Jason Velázquez

Reimagining and retooling “local news” by unleashing the potential of digital, next-gen publishing platforms, Jay (known in an alternate zip code as “the mongrel”) started the Greylock Glass in January, 2015. Originally conceived as a text-based news site, the Glass spun out of control almost immediately, adopting podcasting to become one of the first local newsrooms in the U.S. to feature significant content in that format.

Having studied speech communications in college, Jay’s love of hearing himself talk should come as no surprise. Wait…what? No. Jay’s love of interviewing people from all walks of life should come as no surprise. First entering journalism as a staff writer, then bureau chief, for the Sentinel & Enterprise, he later founded Massachusetts first fully bilingual print newspaper and online news site August 28, 2001. That turned out to be kinda crappy timing, and, though extremely popular up and down Worcester County, Mass., shuttered about a year later after batting perpetual revenue woes.

Now, with the launch of the internet radio station, Radio Free Berkshires, Jay hopes to create an oasis of creative, progressive, sometimes pugilistic audio journalism and entertainment.

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