Covering controversial issues for radio is Mike DeRosa's
main mission at WWUH. As the host of New Focus, a weekly public
affairs program airing Fridays at 12 noon, DeRosa regularly interviews
people with opinions on how government and big business affect people's
lives. Preparation is the key to putting on a successful show, according
to DeRosa. "I usually do some research… then I identify someone
who can articulate a point of view, and who has a knowledgebase
about a particular subject."
After conducting an interview, either in studio, or over
the phone, DeRosa edits the interview down to fit in the 30 minutes
reserved for each show. Archived copies of his New Focus programs
are now available on his website at: newfocusradio.org.
Not all interviews go as planned. DeRosa recalled an interview
he conducted with a scientist who was an anti-nuclear activist,
who objected to his line of questioning. The scientist said "This
interview is over..." after hearing a question he didn't like. DeRosa
was able to defuse the situation long enough to get his final question
in, but the scientist "was not a happy camper."
DeRosa, a political activist, himself, ran for the position
of Secretary of State of Connecticut on the Green Party ticket last
year. For the duration of the campaign, DeRosa temporarily removed
himself from his role as WWUH's Director of Community Affairs programming,
a position he has held since 1988, to avoid any appearance of impropriety.
DeRosa says "...radio is the most democratic medium that
exists in the country" because it allows programming to be created
inexpensively, without a big staff or crew. He laments, though that
"commercial interests have taken over this industry and turned it
into their money cow". Alternative radio is important, he says,
because for most of commercial radio, "ratings are king and crap
is king" which limits the number of alternative viewpoints on the