On October 6, 2011, Portland joined the wave of occupations of public parks and plazas across the United States following Occupy Wall Street's takeover of Zucotti Park in New York the month before. Immediately, KBOO evening news director Jenka Soderberg and chief engineer Tom Hood sprung into action, setting up what became "Occupy Radio" for the duration of the encampment.
As Zoe Carpenter, then a KBOO volunteer herself, put it in an article in The Nation, "Revolution on the Radio":
With a table, chairs, a small mixer, headsets, microphones, a modem and two laptops, evening news director Jenka Soderberg and KBOO’s chief engineer set up a field-recording studio in the heart of the occupation. They established a twenty-four-hour webstream with live coverage to supplement coverage on KBOO’s FM frequencies. Volunteers served as hosts and stayed overnight to watch the equipment. The station documented the Occupy social experiment as it unfolded, and relayed the movements’ voices back through a PA, becoming a hub of information. “It was a great spot for engaging democracy,” Soderberg says. “A lot of people who came into the camp with the preconceived notion that ‘these people don’t have a message’ came by our booth and were surprised by the level of discourse there.” A sign in the camp warned protestors: “Don’t talk to the media—except the mighty ’BOO.”
As we celebrate and support KBOO during our Fall Membership Drive, we also look back after 10 years on that bold and innovative experiment in "embedded" journalism, with Jenka, now KBOO's Web/New Media Coordinator.
Check out the archives of KBOO's coverage of Occupy Portland at kboo.fm/occupyportland
As always, the number to call in and join the conversation is 503-231-8187.
More importantly, we ask you to please consider supporting the station by going to kboo.fm and making a financial contribution.