Broadcast: May 2011

You know that community radio is a powerful tool for social justice. It can be used to register voters, fight toxic waste, give voice to emerging artists, expand our communities. Thanks to your efforts the reach of community radio has the potential to grow exponentially. WE FOUGHT for passage of the Local Community Radio Act.  WE WON – in the next several months the FCC will begin accepting applications for new low power FM licenses. IT IS NOT OVER.  We have an historic opportunity to shape the future of radio. This summer Prometheus Radio Project is organizing groups to apply for these licenses and we need your help to make this happen. DONATE: Become a sustaining donor and fund the future. It will take several years to get these new stations up and running and we will be leading the effort to see them succeed. ORGANIZE: sign up on the Radio Summer page to host an event, or someone else who is traveling on your area. MAKE MORE RADIO! Together we can put the power of media in the hands of the people.

PS. Become a monthly Sustaining Donor at the $25 level and receive a free T-shirt!

Radio Summer heats up!

Media justice advocates are tuning into the largest expansion of community radio stations in U.S. history. Prometheus and our allies in the People-Powered Radio Coalition are positioning social justice groups to apply for and win those licenses soon to be issued by the F.C.C. Hundreds of Radio Summer volunteers have committed to supporting our widespread outreach efforts, and events are already being organized nationally to promote the expansion of community radio.

This summer Prometheus will do targeted outreach at several key conferences, starting with the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, June 23 – 26. Our participatory workshop at the AMC will use popular education tools to train community media leaders as Radio Summer volunteers. They will go on to organize events about community radio, uniting community groups around issues that affect them, and empowering them with the blazing flame of locally produced media.

We will also be presenting at the Allied Media Conference, the National Federation of Community Broadcaster’s Annual Community Radio Conference, the Grassroots Radio Conference and more.

Since we can’t be everywhere at once, we really depend on YOU to help us spread the word about community radio expansion in your community! If you haven’t done so already, please visit Radio Summer and sign up to be a volunteer!

Low power economic study = low impact exercise for FCC

This month, we’d like to offer our condolences to the FCC. The Local Community Radio Act started out as a simple mandate for the FCC to expand low power radio. But during its journey to becoming law, various lawmakers added stipulations to please their state broadcast lobbies, each one exacting a toll before allowing the bill to progress. Most of these additions were harmless, a few were burdensome for low power stations, and some just waste the FCC's time. The upcoming economic impact study is in this last category.

Thanks to the messy business of legislative compromise, the Local Community Radio Act requires the FCC to “conduct an economic study to evaluate the impact that low power FM stations will have on full-service commercial stations.” The FCC must complete the study by the end of the year, so they are seeking comments by June 24 on how they should conduct the study.

Read on...

FCC Reminders: Broadcast license renewals and new Emergency Alert System (EAS) requirements

There are two important FCC requirements coming up that all stations should know about.

Every station must renew their FCC broadcast license within the next 4 years.  Your specific deadline is determined by your state. See the FCC's page about the process for more information, and to find out your state's deadline. Also, check out our guide to license renewal process for LPFMs for tips.

Our new Field Director has arrived!

We are thrilled to welcome Belinda Rawlins as Field Director at the Prometheus Radio Project. Belinda will lead our campaign to expand low power radio, coordinating Prometheus staff and the People Powered Radio Coalition to organize and support applicants for new low power radio stations. 

Belinda's strengths in strategic planning, coalition building, organizational development, and technical geekery are a perfect fit for Prometheus as we grow our organization and our movement on the heels of the Local Community Radio Act. She brings 25 years of experience in community radio, proven success in grassroots campaigns for community media, and over a decade of executive leadership in public media organizations.

Read on...

Station Profile: WRFR-LP 93.3 FM Rockland, Maine

What do hoola hooping sessions, poetry readings, and a social worker have in common?

Low power radio, of course.

Meet WRFR-LP 93.3 FM in Rockland, Maine.  Representing an entry in the station’s weekly events calendar, a program broadcast on Thursday mornings, and a woman whose promotion airs on the station, this eclectic mix is par for the course at WRFR. (And for the record, the hoola hooping sessions, held on the second and fourth Friday of each month, are not a joke.)

This self-described “on-air voice of the community” in Rockland puts its microphone where its mouth is.  The station features 54 programs from 50 volunteers, and it has some 85 sponsors, nearly all of them local.

Read on...

Come build a transmitter

Who: Maggie, Roger, and Ana of the Prometheus Radio Project and The Hacktory

What: A transmitter building workshop that involves soldering parts and tuning up your very own mini FM radio transmitter.

Where: The Hacktory, above Nonprofit Technology Resources. 1524 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia PA 19130.

When: Saturday, June 18th from 1-4 pm.

Why: Building a radio transmitter is a great way to learn some basic theory about electronics and radio while getting your hands dirty. At the end you’ll have a simple low-power transmitter that you can use to broadcast across a room. Mini-transmitters are perfect for sending music from an mp3 player to a car stereo, for broadcasting simultaneous interpretation of bilingual events, or any other application you can dream up.

Beginner friendly: No experience with radio or electronics is required!

Spanish friendly: While the primary language for this workshop is English, all documentation will be available in both English and Spanish, and there will be multiple bilingual instructors available to answer questions in Spanish.

Important note: The workshop costs $15. Space is limited, so register in advance by buying a ticket here.



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