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The following article by Kendall Lovett was published in Boston's Gay Community News"
The following article was written by Kendall Lovett in 1992 and GRINS was wound up at the end of 1993 .
The “Reuters” of gay radio?
It comes as a surprise to a lot of people to learn that there are currently at least eleven lesbian and gay radio programmes in eastern Australia and three in New Zealand. All fourteen broadcast national and international gay and lesbian news bulletins during their programme.
How do these programmes . . . . from Cairns in North Queensland to Hobart in Tasmania . . . maintain regular news bulletins about lesbians and gays?
Almost eight years ago, a small group of gay people offered a 5-minute pilot tape of news to the Gay Waves radio programme in Sydney for consideration as a free weekly service. The programme collective decided to trial the service for one month commencing on Thursday, 25 August 1983. It was a hit and within weeks had been heard and taken up by the gay programmes in Melbourne and Canberra.
That service is the Gay Radio Information New Service or GRINS as it is called more often than not.
Recently, a commercial publication referred to GRINS as “gay Australia’s answer to Associated Press, Reuters and other internationally famous news gathering services.” It sounded very impressive but the GRINS team had to smile because we saw ourselves so far from being such high fliers.
As news researcher and script editor of the half-a-dozen or so stories which are put down on tape by the GRINS news readers each week, I find it all extremely challenging. For national news stories we depend on interstate lesbian/gay groups’ newsletters and press releases and GRINS own local news reportage. We have three main sources for international news stories, two of which are weekly gay newspapers in the United States and in England, while the third is the International Lesbian and Gay Association Bulletin. We also maintain regular contact with a similar gay people’s radio service in Los Angeles. We receive this overseas source material by airmail so news stories in our recorded bulletins each week are generally pretty current.
There is one big difference between GRINS and other news gathering services. GRINS has no paid staff and we raise our own funds with, occasionally, a surprise donation from another lesbian/gay organisation. We are either students or in paid employment during the day. We still manage to provide a free service to the radio programmes provided they undertake to return GRINS cassettes for reuse. Two news readers are required for the weekly bulletin. Currently, there are five of these teams. After a read, the necessary dubbings are made and mailed to the respective radio programmes.
In the words of Mother Inferior of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, GRINS has dedicated itself to “the promulgation of airborne enlightenment, the exorcism of radio demons and the manifestation of lesbian and gay freedom in the electronic news media.”
On occasion, we use the B-side ourselves to record edited versions of newsworthy events, such as the media conference in San Francisco on the release from custody in 1989 of the Dutch delegate, a person living with AIDS, to the Health Workers and AIDS Conference. Another was an interview with an Aboriginal health worker in Brisbane speaking about his AIDS awareness work in the Aboriginal communities.
We also used the B-side for an archival series over our birthday month a bit over a year ago – news items lifted from tapes of our very early bulletins.
One of the off-shoots has been the GRINS Parish Limelighter’s scripting of a weekly lesbian/gay prisoner’s news segment on Sydney’s Wild G.A.L.S. (Gay and Lesbian Show). These INSIDE OUT segments are not only of interest to prisoners whose personal radios are able to pick-up the broadcasts in local jails, but they give gays and lesbians outside an inkling of the far less sensational stories behind those the mass media and the politicians retail about prisons in NSW.
These days in Sydney GRINS bulletins may be heard on Thursday nights after 8 on Gay Waves (2SER-FM 107.3) or on Saturday nights after 7.30 on Wild G.A.L.S. (2RSR-FM 88.9)**********************************************************
The above photo was taken near Mrs. Macquarie's Chair outside the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney, in December 1993. The occasion was the end-of-year party held each year to thank the volunteers who had given their time and assistance for the smooth running of GRINS. This was the last such party because, as the update below states, GRINS ceased production in December 1993.
Photo shows from left to right -Michael Schembri from Gay Waves, Eugene Hoh, Mannie De Saxe and Kendall Lovett who produced GRINS for most for its 10 years of operation single-handedly.
In June 1994 there were celebrations marking the 25th anniversary since the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots in New York, looked upon by many in our communities as the beginning of the modern gay liberation movements.
Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, together with other Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and HIV/AIDS organisations in Sydney collaborated in putting together an exhibition of representative items at an art gallery in King Street Newtown, Sydney.
Amongst the items on display were many t-shirts, and the GRINS t-shirt shown was one such item.
Currently, GRINS news bulletins are no longer heard on any lesbian or gay radio programme in Australia or elsewhere because, after 10 years of news gathering and dissemination, GRINS ceased production in December 1993.
BEGINNING THE WEEK OF 25 AUGUST 1983:
BEGINNING WEEK 4, DECEMBER 1983:
BEGINNING WEEK 4, DECEMBER 1983:
BEGINNING WEEK 2, FEBRUARY 1984:
BEGINNING WEEK 5, MARCH 1984:
BEGINNING WEEK 4, MAY 1984:
BEGINNING WEEK 2, JULY 1984:
BEGINNING WEEK 1, SEPTEMBER 1984:
BEGINNING WEEK 4, OCTOBER 1984:
Mannie has a personal web site: RED JOS: HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISM
Mannie's blogs may be accessed by clicking on to the following links:
MannieBlog (from 1 August 2003 to 31 December 2005)
Activist Kicks Backs - Blognow archive re-housed - 2005-2009
RED JOS BLOGSPOT (from January 2009 onwards)
This page created 26 AUGUST 2013 and updated on 9 MARCH 2017