Prometheus Radio Broadcast: February 2010

Here in Philadelphia over a yard of snow has been dumped on us this winter, but Prometheus has been plowing ahead in the fight to free the airwaves. What keeps us going are our Sustaining Funders. Please become a monthly donor so we can continue our work! 

Prometheus launches the People Powered Radio Project

Whether they’re organizing their community, spinning records, or fighting big media, all over the country people love community radio. To find out who loves community radio, where they love it, and why they love it, Prometheus is launching the People Powered Radio Project. Please submit a short video clip about you and radio, and send it our way. The videos will be uploaded on to an interactive Google map, showcasing a growing network of community organizers and media activists. 

Because participatory radio is driven by the needs of each community, no two radio stations are exactly alike. The People Powered Radio Project will use personal testimonials to show how radio is individually, communally, and politically relevant. This is your time to tell each other what radio means to you! Please add your voice to the growing network of stories.

For more info, and how to submit, CLICK HERE.

Media Bureau Rules for a Foolhardy Increase in Digital Power


You may not have heard much about it, but a technology is being tested that claims it can make FM radio sound better. "HD Radio," also known as IBOC, gives FM stations the ability to transmit a lower power digital version of their channel in the empty space on the dial next to their station. Thus far, the trials of the technology have not worked so well and the Ibiquity Corporation (IBOC) asked to raise the allowable digital power dramatically. A series of tests at higher power showed that this could cause quite a bit of interference to existing radio stations, but the FCC ruled to go ahead with allowing all IBOC stations using IBOC to quadruple their power anyway. Prometheus asked the FCC Media Bureau to take a slower approach to digital power increases and make sure LPFMs were protected, but they just plowed ahead. We'll be asking the for reconsideration by the Commissioners themselves.


For more background, see our recent articles:

Top Ten Problems With IBOC

HD Radio: The Next Wave of Same Old Monopoly?

Got Capacity?

The Transmission Project in now accepting applications from organizations to host Digital Arts Service Corps members for 2010-2011. Members provide capacity and organizational development to organizations supporting public media and technology that impacts undeserved communities. Digital Arts Service Corps members are funded through AmeriCorps*VISTA and have supported capacity-building projects at organizations like KDHX Community Media in Saint Louis, Missouri and < /span>KNON Radio in Dallas, Texas. Two Digital Arts Service Corps members currently serve here at the Prometheus Radio Project. This is a great way to for organization and low power radio stations to access needed support and to bring new and talented people into the participatory media movement! 


CLICK HERE to find out if your organization or radio station is eligible.


The final deadline to submit an application is March 15, 2010

FCC goes to South Carolina

This week, Prometheus participated in a workshop in Columbia, South Carolina as part of the FCC's 2010 review of the media ownership rules. The FCC is required to review its rules every four years, and this workshop was the first in the series of field hearings for the FCC's 2010 review.

Representatives from Prometheus visited South Carolina to connect with low power FM stations in the region, and those who want to apply for licenses in a future LPFM window. South Carolinian supporters of low power radio flooded the public comment sessions calling for an expansion of the low power FM (LPFM) service.

“Any discussion of broadcasting and media ownership in South Carolina should include the need to expand and strengthen low power radio,” said Stephen Varholy, general manager of Columbia, South Carolina’s low power WXRY-LP.

Read the full press release here.

Digital Inclusion: Support Broadband Access and an Open Internet

On February 15th, the Media Action Grassroots Network held a National Day of Action for Digital Inclusion in support of full broadband access and in defense of an open Internet. Across the Unites States, organizations of, and working with, people of color, poor communities, and other marginalized groups are raising their voices in defense of an open Internet that is fast, affordable, and fair.

This week Prometheus had a chance to visit Recovery Radio, an Internet streaming radio station that broadcasts from an outpatient facility in North Philadelphia. A few years back, Prometheus helped them build their station which is now used by their clients, who host and produce radio programs as part of their mental health and substance abuse treatment and therapy.

Applying the national statistics on Internet use to Philadelphia, a Pew Reaserch study found that 30% of Philadelphians with a yearly income below $35,000 do not regularly use the Internet. Inadequate Internet access means that many people in the Philadelphia area who might listen to programs hosted on Recovery Radio are unable to connect. A truly open Internet would go a long way to close this digital divide.  

To learn more about Digital Inclusion and how you and your organization can support it, visit the Center for Media Justice.

Click here to learn more about Recovery Radio.