Frank Emspak, Producer
Weekdays at 8:00 AM (CST) on WORT (89.9), Madison, Wisconsin
“Workers Independent News” (WIN) is a weekday three-minute headline newscast focused on workers and working family issues. Frank Emspak, the program’s producer, says, “Our intent is to bring the voices of workers, their families, communities, organizations to as broad an audience as possible. Our mission is to encourage others to see that it is possible to achieve change through collective action.”
The program, Frank says, “seeks to find stories that have a local hook and what we call national legs. So, for example, if we discuss a health and safety issue we try to put it in a national context. Overall, I and our staff are appalled at the destruction of jobs, standard of living, the communities and the culture of working people/working class communities. We are also encouraged by the continuing ability of people to find ways to organize and fight back.”
Frank finds the show’s significance in “that we are still on the air–and slowly but surely growing in distribution and quality. No nationally syndicated, 5 day a week, news program focused on the issues and concerns of working people and framed from a working person’s perspective has been on the air as long as we have–and that is due to a commitment of our production and support staff.” His approach is direct: “We are in favor of working people. Middle class is an income aggregate not an expression of one’s role in society. We think that recognition of where one stands is the first step towards moving forward. We note that there are all kinds of business shows that seem to be accepted at face value rather than as the purveyor of a pro-business, pro market and anti-union message.”
Recent broadcasts have addressed topics as varied as a contract vote by Teamster Costco workers in stores located in California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland; the NYC school bus drivers strike, the struggles of Detroit autoworkers, and a Korean union petition again Hyundai.
WIN began broadcasting on WORT in 2002, growing from the station’s support, and is now syndicated as part of a nation-wide network of labor programming supported by local unions and labor councils working with community-owned, public and commercial radio stations.