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Best Radio Station For News 

KNST-AM 790

READERS' PICK: Hey the N-S-T part stands for "news, sports, talk." We looked that up, because a recent ASU grad swore the "N" stood for "nowledge." This is the Big Momma of news in these here parts, starting with Mike Rapp's news-based talk show in the morning drive-time period. ABC News updates on the hour and local news and weather on the half-hour keeps listeners informed throughout the day. Of course, they have their listeners suspend disbelief for three hours each morning for the inconsequential tub of intellectual goo Rush Limbaugh, followed by gay-basher Dr. Laura. But in between those two (at noon) is Paul Harvey with...the REST of the story. At 3 p.m. each weekday, The Radio Men give us three hours of riffs on the news in which one guy reads a news item and then makes a joke, whereupon the other guy laughs hysterically. We would have loved to have seen the second guy's audition. At 6 is Ryan Radtke with the only local sports talk show in Tucson. G. Gordon Liddy is next with three hours of wasted time, followed by Art Bell and his heady mix of supernatural crapola. None of us has ever been crazy enough to listen to KNST after midnight, but we assume it's more talk. The station's biggest redeeming feature (besides Rapp) is that it's the flagship station for University of Arizona Wildcat sports. Football, basketball, and baseball, but oddly, not women's softball. Oh well, pretty soon. Point of information: The name of the woman who, until a few weeks ago, did the local news for KNST is Debbie R-u-e-l-a-s. It was disconcerting hearing the news from someone who couldn't pronounce her own last name.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: KXCI-FM 91.3. Our community radio station KXCI brings the citizens of Tucson two great weekday news programs from Pacifica Radio--"Democracy Now!" and "Pacifica Network News." "Democracy Now!," an hour-long show hosted by Amy Goodman, begins at 9 a.m. "Pacifica Network News" airs for a half hour, beginning at 5 p.m. Both programs focus on a range of issues and how those issues affect people's lives. Topics include politics, economics, technology, society and science. For those of you tired of mainstream journalism, these programs bring you the voices of activists, muckrakers and other such folk who are not normally entertained by the 30-second sound bite media. You can truly understand the agenda of these programs by the Pacifica Foundation's mission statement: "To promote cultural diversity and pluralistic community expression; to contribute to a lasting understanding between individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors; to promote freedom of the press and serve as a forum for various viewpoints; to maintain an independent funding base." If you care about the world you live in and crave an alternative to the talking heads, spoon-feeding you gibberish, check out "Democracy Now!" and "Pacifica Network News."

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