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PEP May 2006
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Public Employee Press

Labor is on the air as Roberts hosts DC 37 TV show


Taping union TV show March 28 are
DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts,
state AFL-CIO Pres. Denis Hughes and
DC 37 Secretary Cliff Koppelman.

Television is now a key component of DC 37’s communications arsenal for promoting its agenda in Manhattan. Executive Director Lillian Roberts hosts the union’s public access cable TV program, “State of the Union.”

The show keeps viewers updated on union activities such as contract negotiations and political campaigns and informs the public about labor’s role in improving the lot of working people.

“Our TV show gives labor a voice in the media, which are increasingly dominated by right-wing, corporate interests,” Roberts said. “Much of the success of the conservative movement comes from its control of the print and broadcast media.”

The show is available to Time Warner cable subscribers on Manhattan Neighborhood Network’s public access channels, and the union hopes to expand the show to other boroughs. MNN doesn’t follow a set schedule, so viewers should check its Web site (www.mnn.org) for times. The show will be on channel 57 at 8:30 p.m. on May 11 and on channel 54 at 2:30 p.m. on May 15.

DC 37 Secretary Cliff Koppelman, who is president of Court, County and Probation Dept. Employees Local 1070, co-hosts the half-hour show. Assistant Director Donna Silberberg and Professional Assistant Rudy Orozco of the DC 37 Communications Dept. are the producers.

On a typical show, Roberts gives introductory remarks and then she and Koppelman launch into a dialog with guests such as state AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes, City Council member Robert Jackson, and Professor Immanuel Ness of Brooklyn College and Richard Greenwald of Drew University.

“Our point of view”
The show often features union leaders and highlights members’ activities and achievements. Roberts sometimes introduces videos on events such as DC 37’s celebration of Black History Month, and the April 10 immigration rally.

“With our own TV show, we have a unique opportunity to get out our view without having our perspective watered down or distorted,” Roberts said. “The TV show — and our newspaper, Web page, and radio program — are important weapons in the war of ideas over the direction of our society.”

— Gregory N. Heires


 
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