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Prometheus Radio Broadcast - September 2012
We have had a busy summer working with groups all over the country at various conferences and community meetings and the excitement around starting stations is palpable. People are ready for community radio! We believe that by the end of this year, the FCC will announce the dates when groups can apply for low power radio licenses. Our best prediction right now is Summer 2013, so stay tuned.
So far we are working closely with 230 groups that promise to change the media landscape with new community radio stations. We will soon launch a multi-state tour to reach deeper into communities that need their voices amplified, now more than ever. Passage of the Local Community Radio Act was a great victory, but it was only the first step. The true victory will be realized when thousands of new stations - like the ones we profile below - flip on the switch and begin broadcasting local news, local music, local culture. We are working to make the promise of the LCRA a reality and we need your support to do it. Join us today.
Inside this issue:
Webinar: Finding an Available Channel with RFree. September 13, 2012 - 2:00pm -3:00pm.
Smiley and West Poverty Tour: Live Webcast Friday September 14, 10 am - noon and Saturday, September 15, noon - 3 PM.
Prometheus is proud to partner with Smiley & West, the weekly program from Public Radio International, for their Philadelphia stop of "The Poverty Tour 2.0". Prometheus' Community Radio Director, Vanessa Maria Graber, along with Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org, a Pometheus partner group, will be talking with Dr. Cornel West and broadcaster Tavis Smiley about the national expansion of community radio. As Smiley and Dr. West tour the country to shine a light on growing poverty, community radio offers a powerful tool to empower people fighting for economic and social justice. Tune In!
Save the Date: On Thursday October 11, from 6 -8 PM, Pometheus will host an open house. Come see our space and learn about our plans for the future of community radio. To find out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
FCC Update: New rules and proposals to expand community radio
How much room remains for community radio in crowded radio markets? We won't know for sure until the FCC releases the final rules for new low power FM (LPFM) radio, but we can make some informed guesses.
Keep in mind that the radio markets below are very big, so the available channels are often far outside city limits (where radio spectrum is less crowded). Not all channels are usable in real-world conditions, and not all channels are be in locations with actual demand for community radio, so the numbers here may be somewhat inflated. Read more . . .
We are very excited to announce the public launch of the beta version of RFree a free and open source software developed by Prometheus Radio Project with support from the Media ideation Fund of ITF and Coast FM. This web-based software offers technical support for low power FM (LPFM) applicants.
In order to be eligible to apply for a LPFM license, there must be an available channel in your proposed area of transmission. RFree will allow you to do a preliminary study of the availability of frequencies in your community and give you further information on the coverage area, interference levels, and spacing to other channels. In other words, you’ll be able to see clearly what’s available on the radio dial and what the possibilities are for potential frequencies in your city or town. Read more . . .
Prometheus has been on the road for most of the summer, spreading the word about the chance to start new community rado stations at various conferences around the country.
A big highlight of the summer was receiving the Dirk Koning - George Stoney award for humanistc excellence in communication. Read more about this award and our work at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, Allied Media Conference, Alliance for Community Media, and Grassroots Radio Conference, see archived video from our presentations and listen to our radio stream.
Ever wonder what voices you might hear on the radio when new stations are licensed? Here are a few groups we are working with.
The Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) began in early 1990’s as an initiative to document the abuses that were happening on the border and provide legal aid to those whose rights were being violated. The BNHR imagines using a community radio station to sustain an ongoing dialogue with their community about the state of human rights on the boarder. They also believe that community radio brings the promise of a forum in which ideas can be exchanged and new understandings of the Borderland can be generated. Read more
For residents of the town of Troy in upstate New York, the Sanctuary for Independent Media is the only place they can go to hear an anti-consumerist gospel choir, a lecture on race and media from a celebrated journalist, or a free jazz and electronica duet. But if the New York Media Alliance can get their low power station on the air, all of these events and more will be available to any of Troy's residents with a radio and an interest in community arts. Founded in 1977, the Media Alliance is an advocacy group for media arts and artists, though its primary project is its community arts center, known as the Sanctuary. With the power and reach of radio amplifying their efforts to build a movement through community arts, they are confident that getting on the air would be transformational in building their infrastructure for community organizing.
Though Gullah culture was developed by West African slaves on the rice fields of the southeastern U.S. coast, it still exists today in the food, medicine, folk stories, spiritual practices, and speech of many African-Americans on the coastal plains and Sea Islands of South Carolina. By celebrating this distinct culture over the airwaves, Low Country Community Radio hopes to enhance education about the Gullah community, as well as within it. As a result, public affairs programming will not only be designed to educate members of the Gullah community on issues concerning health, culture, and economics, but will also serve to promote tourism and encourage government officials to engage with their Gullah constituents.
Maggie started as an intern with Prometheus in 2006 and joined the staff in 2009. As a licensed extra class ham operator and SBE Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer, as well as a patient teacher to non-techies, her contributions to the organization and to community radio stations were enormous. She has helped numerous stations improve their signal coverage and respond to encroachment from full power stations, and she is the brains and driving force behind Key to Internet Radio and RFree, our new open source allocations software. While no longer on staff, Maggier is still nearby and will still be involved with Prometheus and with community radio. Maggie got her start with community radio at the age of 5, helping her father with his show on WERU in mid-coast Maine. In high school, she became a program host and all-around volunteer with WERU.
For the past year and half, Paul "Pablito" Bame has been working as a consultant and programmer along side of Maggie Avener on projects like the Key to Internet Radio and RFree. He assumed Maggies responsibilities in mid-August and will complete the design and testing phases of RFree and help applicants with engineering studies. Pablito has a degree in electrical engineering, helped to found KRFC in Fort Collins and worked at Hewlett Packer for 25 years. He is a consensus facilitator, trainer, activist, and computer and radio engineer.
Thank You Donors!
The following people contributed to Prometheus between 1/1/12 and 9/12/12.
C H BrownerCarroll McKenney Foundation for Public Media, Inc
Media and Democracy Foundation
Media Ideation Fund
Port Washington Community Broadcasting, Inc.
Radio Independance Internationale
Vietnamese Community Of Houston and Vicinities
Please tell us if we have inadvertently overlooked your donation.