The Green Majority

The Green Majority - Broader Local Environmental News

As the name implies, The Green Majority radio show aims to bridge the gap between polls that show Canadians want action on environmental issues and the political barriers to that happening. It's the "nation's first and only all-environmental newshour" and it airs live from here in Toronto at CIUT 89.5.

The show is produced and hosted by Jordan Poppenk, a UofT PhD Pyschology student who has been working on it in his spare time since 2005. He thinks his show is unique in that it "de-regionalizes" national environmental news by bringing to light stories from small communities you wouldn't otherwise be exposed to in the mainstream media. While each show covers Canadian and national headlines, there are also two 15-minute segments of "non-condensed" feature content, usually with an expert on an issue.

There's desire for a growing market for environmental coverage that is more comprehensive than the mainstream headlines and does a good job of being a go-to for a weekly roundup of national and international environmental stories. While CBC radio might touch on some green issues and local Canadian stations might cover community news, The Green Majority really is in sync with the new eco-consciousness that requires a more thorough dissection of both local and broader news. Having access in podcast form makes it a no-brainer addition to my RSS feeds.

Volunteer-based efforts can be hit and miss, but after listening to a few of the shows in June, I get the impression that Jordan and the other contributors hit their coverage from a refreshingly intelligent and scientific angle. Being ad-free boosts their credibility but by no means are they shying away from voicing their opinions.

After talking with Jordan and pondering on what I like about the show, I came to the conclusion that I was impressed by his ability to put together such a good show in his spare time. How can he fill a full hour every week without access to all the resources larger, more consolidated media teams have? He says he relies on "news aggregators" which automatically search online for and sort stories that trigger preset searches for specific environmental news. It's the ability to use new technologies like this that makes the show possible.

The Green Majority's popularity is seemingly increasing as partner stations have picked it up around the country. (It now has 9 partners across the country, fairly spread out except for a noticeable gap in Alberta). It airs every Friday from 10-11am but can be downloaded in MP3 form from the show's feed.

Ryan Wiseman, who manages the web presence of the show from Owen Sound, has a videoinside look at the Green Majority.

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