Missouri rural radio station stands firm on broadcasting Russian news



LIBERTY, Mo. — A small radio station in Clay County broadcasts news and updates from Russia.

It is actually a public Kremlin radio, directly sponsored by the Russian government. Alpine Broadcasting, which is based in Liberty, has owners who said their signal was a service for Russians living in the United States.

Most of the day, KCXL 1140AM broadcasts religious programs and conservative talk shows. However, for three-hour morning and evening blocks, all three Alpine Broadcasting signals switch to Radio Sputnik. This is the Russian government’s English broadcasting service. The program comes from a studio in Washington DC

Radio station owners say Radio Sputnik is popular with European families living near Kansas City and emphasizes freedom of speech.

It has been nearly a week since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, its neighbor to the west. No reasoning with Russian President Vladimir Putin has softened the aggression. Ukraine has been besieged by Putin’s forces for six days and more.

“With the destruction of a tower in Ukraine, it makes us realize how important radio and television are, not just for broadcasts, but for sharing information,” said Jonne Santoli-Shartel, co-owner from Alpine Broadcasting.

Santoli-Shartel also said that much of Radio Sputnik’s content focuses on tourism.

However, the fact that the information comes directly from Russian leaders seems to worry people around Liberty. Members of the community FOX4 spoke to on Wednesday were unaware that the radio station and its content existed here.

“It’s propaganda,” said Linda Tarwater. “I mean, Russia invaded Ukraine. How can you support this station? »

“We’re at a place right now where we just don’t know what’s going on. I think we have to take a step back and see what’s going on,” said Adam Richards.

The owners of Alpine Broadcasting told FOX4 they oppose the cancellation of unpopular news sources and pray for the people of Russia and Ukraine as the Lenten season begins.

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