Started as a project to build compact powerful radio transmitters to be used by under-served communities across the world, it transformed into an open news source, compiling the days news and in depth articles from a variety of partners and open sources.
The finalized idea was simple, compile news from sources that don’t accept corporate donations or underwriting. This would ensure there was no corporate agenda to the news being published and instead it was focused on journalism in the interest of the public. Code was compiled and written to automate all of the basic tasks of a news content publisher. This has been running more or less since 2012 and for the most part has been without fail.
Not only was the website automated, but so was the social media. When a new article was published, the code would parse the article for keywords and create hashtags from what it found most important. The social media network grew organically, without advertising or any earned media.
I designed Radio Free’s logo to be iconic and timeless. It combined the simplicity seen in logos like those of designer Paul Rand’s, combined with contemporary lines and weight that give it a late 80s sensibility, just like me.
A few years ago, I decided to change the branding a bit by adding yellow, specifically #ffdb14, to the website. It brought everything together…
In 2018 I worked to trademark the brand Radio Free with a group of students in a free law clinic. This was done intentionally to protect the brand from being used for any for profit purposes. I fundamentally believe in free speech because I think it is good for a society to be able to express themselves as they see fit, and so I want the brand to be able to be expressed freely forever. The Radio Free brand is owned and controlled by Llacuna, a 501(c)3 non-profit I founded in 2016. My hope is that this will help keep its meaning relevant for generations to come.
WordPress is the backend for everything in the app, including the menu. Every time the user opens the app, it pulls a live copy of the menu structure from the API and then smoothly replaces the live menu. This saves so much time with updating the app.
Radio Free is currently being rebuilt from the ground up, and will (hopefully) be relaunched on February 20, 2020 alongside a new app for People, Not Profits. Until the return, please watch Democracy Now! for the best daily headlines.