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The Indy is the Ultimate Megaphone

Olivia Riggio Jan 8

I am a recent journalism graduate from Ithaca College. I wrote for my college paper and also worked at both my campus and community radio station and came to deeply appreciate independent, non-corporate media. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in it with The Indypendent

Journalism and activism are not mutually exclusive. They go hand-in-hand.

The first story I wrote for The Indy last fall was about an unorthodox Brooklyn record label that collaborates with a special group of artists. It was a story The Indy backed my doing from the moment I pitched it and the paper’s editors provided valuable feedback and edits along the way 

I quite literally walked into this story when I was wandering around Bushwick and saw a warehouse space open with a sign outside that read, “Art and free beer.” 

It’s rare to get free beer; even rarer to get to look at art while you drink it. I obviously was intrigued and went to go check it out. There I met Fury Young, whose music project Die Jim Crow aimed to record and promote the music of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. We had a casual chat and I went home thinking this conversation was a story I had to write. 

It is now my favorite story of anything I’ve written so far in my young career.

This is the kind of journalism The Indy supports: A casual conversation over beer in a small community space became a story that not only helped me grow as a writer and reporter but exposed me to experiences and accounts I may not have otherwise had or been aware of. Most importantly, I hope it exposed our readers to the stories of people who are often silenced and erased. I believe it’s journalism’s job to be a megaphone for people whose voices are drowned out. The Indy is the ultimate megaphone. 

In addition to writing for The Indy, I also guest host its weekly evening newscast on WBAI-99.5, which airs Mondays at 6 p.m. I had radio experience in the past but hosting a live show in New York City was not an opportunity I expected to have — or succeed at. But after my first two shows, I can’t wait for my next. 

Two of the most rewarding feelings in the world to me are seeing my stories in print and getting to speak on the radio, knowing my voice, but more importantly, the voices of others telling their stories, are being heard. 

The Indy has served as a place for me to be challenged and where  I have realized I’m capable of pursuing what I’m passionate about. Journalism and activism are not mutually exclusive. They go hand-in-hand. 

What makes The Indy great is that it doesn’t pander to large companies or organizations to receive funds. It relies on people like you. Your support is what allows it to bolster journalists of all ages and help us reveal inconvenient truths. Please consider donating so more reporters like me have the privilege of honing our craft and more activists and community members have the opportunity to tell their stories. 

Please support independent media today! Now in its 20th year, The Indypendent is still standing but it’s not easy. Make a recurring or one-time donation or subscribe to our monthly print edition and get every copy sent straight to your home.

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