Supplement to Newsletter
Edited by Eddie Fernandes,
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Deepa Fernandes


1. Bio

2. WBAI Newsletter

3. Pop + Politics

4. New York Daily News

5. Deepa Fernandes’ book: Targeted


Deepa Fernandes was born in Bombay, the daughter of Syvie & Joe and sister of Sujatha. The family migrated to Australia when she was still a toddler and she grew up in Sydney. She worked there as a news reporter at Sydney Community Station 2SER before moving on to Latin America to travel & report at the age of 20. Her interest in the region was sparked off when she was 18 after her sister gave her a copy of Angela Davis' Autobiography.

Deepa found work in Ecuador and got her first job there at age 21, working as a sound producer and location producer for a 21 part documentary series on the indigenous communities of Ecuador. She says that this was the most incredible experience of her life so far. She ended up staying there and working and not returning to University in Australia where she had been mid-way through a BA.

From there she went to Cuba and worked at Radio Habana and studied at the University of Havana. After that it was on to Mexico where she worked on radio projects on indigenous communities in Chiapas and had begun using NY as her base.

In 2000 Deepa founded a youth radio program called Radio Rootz which today is a program of a larger Media Justice organization she directs, called People's Production House. ( The organization teaches youth and immigrant workers how to be journalists and how to hold the media accountable for its coverage of local communities.

In 2001 Deepa got a job producing the radio show, Democracy Now which was followed by hosting Free Speech Radio News and now Wakeup Call, Mon – Thu (6-9 am EST) online at For archives see

Deepa Fernandes has worked as a freelance producer for ABC & BBC World Service and across the Pacifica Network. Her first book, Targeted: National Security and the Business of Immigration is due out in Jan 2007 – for details click here.

Deepa lives in Harlem and makes frequent trips to India, including Goa. Her parents still live in Sydney, Australia - her mother is a yoga teacher and her father an urban gardener. She has an older sister who is a professor of Political Science at Queens University in New York City. Deepa is attached to and misses very much her grandmother, Teresa, who lives in Perth Australia. Her partner is a music journalist and documentary maker.

Deepa Fernandes’ hobbies include Yoga, Gardening, Cooking and Music. Her ambitions are:
• To grow our media justice organization, people's production house and put the tools of media making into the hands of communities who have been most excluded from it.
• To empower our communities to tell their stories and to have their issues represented the way they want them represented.

There sure is still a lot of fire in that belly!

June 12 2005
Deepa Fernandes Starts Mon. as Wakeup Call Host

For full text, 624 words click here.

Excerpts: A New Day at WBAI/Pacifica Radio: Young South Asian Woman Takes Reins of Drive-Time Radical Radio Starting June 13 - Deepa Fernandes continues WBAI's progressive morning tradition …

Fernandes has a track record of going where few reporters venture, to bring a truly global perspective to listeners. In 2002, she was there when the East Timorese won their independence. In 2003, she spent a month in Venezuela providing up-to-the-minute reporting on the oppositions strike. Last year, she reported from Haiti as President Aristide was forcibly removed from his country. She has reported from the Mexican jungles, the Ecuadorean highlands, the forbidden streets of Havana and the slums of her native India …

The progressive media community is full of praise for Fernandes' shake-'em-up style:

She is a seasoned, unembedded, international journalist who bridges the diverse communities of the WBAI listening area.

Contact: Deepa Fernandes, dfernandes at

July 07, 2005
Wake Up Call. By Christabel Nsiah-Buadi
For full text, 1115 words click here.


"Wake Up Call," which was first broadcast in 1992, is New York City’s longest running independent drive-time radio show …

The (mainly older, male) management of WBAI … made the bold -- and revolutionary -- move of selecting Deepa Fernandes, a young South Asian female journalist who grew up in Australia, to be the new host of its morning flagship show.

This selection made a few people nervous… there were people who were opposed to the idea of having a young foreign-sounding woman hosting "Wake Up Call."

But those people needn’t have worried. There were plenty of listeners who were excited by Fernandes’ return to the WBAI airwaves …

It looks like Deepa Fernandes might have sparked the fire in the belly of progressive radio …

Aug 8 2005
WBAI morning show seeks wider appeal. By David Hinckley

For full text, 567 words, click here.


Cohost Deepa Fernandes says the station is not abandoning its mission as an alternative to most other radio and media.

WBAI is a favorite of progressives and it's admired for its independence, but some listeners see it as a home for tedious left-wing finger-pointing. Fernandes and the "Wake-Up Call" team would love to shed that image, which she calls inaccurate and unfair.

Like much of WBAI, "Wake-Up Call" does focus on the exploding immigrant population and their issues. "Immigrant communities are badly underserved in the media," says Fernandes, who has written a book on the "Immigration Industrial Complex" and reported for Pacifica's Free Speech Radio News from Timor, Haiti, Cuba, her native India and elsewhere.

Fernandes says that just doing "Wake-Up Call" keeps her busy enough right now. "On most days," she says, "Sharan and I are looking to cap it out at 16 hours."

Targeted: National Security and the Business of Immigration. By Deepa Fernandes

Publication Date: January 2007.

Book website:


In Targeted, journalist Deepa Fernandes seamlessly weaves together history, political analysis, and first-person narratives of those caught in the grips of the increasingly Kafkaesque U.S. Homeland Security system. She documents how in post-9/11 America immigrants have come to be deemed a national security threat.

Fernandes—herself an immigrant well-acquainted with U.S. immigration procedures—takes the reader on a harrowing journey inside the new American immigrant experience, a journey marked by militarized border zones, racist profiling, criminalization, detention and deportation. She argues that since 9/11, the Bush administration has been carrying out a series of systematic changes to decades-old immigration policy that constitute a roll back of immigrant rights and a boon for businesses who are helping to enforce the crackdown on immigrants, creating a growing “Immigration Industrial Complex.” She also documents the bullet-to-ballot strategy of white supremacist elements that influence our new immigration legislation.

Published price: $16.95. To pre-order from for $11.53 click here.

For links to more information about Deepa Fernandes click here.

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