Why Radio Matters!

From "Voices From The Community" in Charlotte, NC...  ...to the Concerned Citizens for Justice group in Chattanooga, TN -- Everyone wants community radio!

 

On Tuesday, February 13, 2013, the second annual observance of World Radio Day will take place. It's a global party, and Prometheus has lots to celebrate! With the latest low power FM application window announced, we're poised to help hundreds of communities prepare for this historic opportunity.  All across the country, in both urban and rural areas, people will be able to connect and turn the spotlight onto their communities. 

Everyone here at Prometheus knows the unique power that radio has to unite, inform and entertain communities... but what does radio mean to you?

"Being a new immigrant in MN Radio will be a back bone that connects to out community. A simple weather report in a state that Snows 4 months is hard for the community to get. Local news and events are non heard of. A word of mouth is still used by the community to alert and to inform. Radio will change that and this community of about 50 to 60 thousand in mostly the twin cities will be able to be informed and will take part of a lot of activities. into the main stream America and be a well informed citizens of this great country. Radio is very familiar to this East African community, now new Americans. Radio was the only form and earliest media of this community.I remember my parents listening football(soccer) on the radio and following every move. Enjoying and getting all their information on radio. Still many in this community are supporters and listeners of public radio." - Said, Twin Cities Minnesota

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When I was a teen and passionately opposed to nuclear weapons. I was able to work with KRAB-FM Seattle. It created reverence for activism and the importance of maintaining that voice. Now I've spent 35 years in organized labor and within the last 5 years have testified at FCC hearing in Seattle, about the need to keep community radio viable, as a powerful aspect of U.S. Civil Defense. The self respect inherent in organizing for working conditions, is being challenged around the country and the world. I think a small station housed in downtown Seattle might lead the way down a different path than we're currently traveling. Like I think KRAB-FM did in the late 1900's. - Betsy, Seattle, WA

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Having worked in radio for a number of years, I know how easy it is to massage numbers to make your story. For example, Arbitron ratings give you the opportunity to make your station, any station, number 1 in a very narrowed segment of the community by limiting zip codes, age cells and time frames. Fact is, every radio station, AM, FM, LPFM or internet station is number 1 to those listeners who prefer what you have to offer. Point is, the proponents of Internet radio, social media, Pandora, I (heart) Radio and all of the knock-offs have the same ability to make their story by selectively taking data, which can always be questioned, and building their case. I've seen firsthand how Nielsen ratings were thrown off significantly by one family falsifying the information in their diary. (The book had to be redone in this case.) Sure, the kids are all into the new technology and they go to I-Tunes, but the fact of the matter is, radio is not dead...they still rely on all of us first to get to the new music. In the case of Community radio, we provide what listeners cannot get anywhere else. This was especially evident during the major storms of the last couple of years that knocked out power, cable, internet and cell phone usage in many areas. This is when the services provided by LPFM's and AM talk became more apparent. Yes, low powers have a very limited reach, but there is a limit to every broadcast signal. If signal reach were the most important aspect of communications, wouldn't the shortwave bands be much more popular? As the technical advances and social media proliferate, as we see happening right now, there will be a diffusion that results in eventual selectivity of a favorite medium. How much talk is there today about Myspace? Chat rooms? We've already seen how these have lost the popularity they once enjoyed. What will happen to Facebook in the future? But, through it all, radio is still a dominant part of the lives of 92% of Americans. People who claim that they don't listen to radio or watch TV often lack veracity. Radio has been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember, and that goes back into the early 50's. And, it will continue to be a part of my life. - Ted, Bennington, VT

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In a word, Democracy.
Nothing would be better for democracy then a wide range of opinion and viewpoints, information and interests. 
- Andy, Seattle, WA
 

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"Radio is the best democratizing tool available in modern society.  I have hosted a call-in talk show for twenty years in Hawaii, Hawaiian Potpourri.  The show has become an opportunity for people of every walk of life, of every economic status, of every political persuasion, of every religious belief system, to participate in public discussions of importance, and to be heard by a broad audience.  The cost for such public participation is nil.  Such opportunity can only be achieved through radio.  Such discussions form the root of a democratic society." - Poka, Wai`anae, Hawaii

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"Radio has been the background music of my 70 some years. Heard the first FM station - Zenith I think - from Chicago.... Best years of Bob and Ray... Arbogas... classic and hurtin' country music. Went to studio broadcast of Don MacNeil Breakfast hour in Chicago. Classics in Los Angeles and Denver. Pacifica Radio in Pasadena CA. And now our very own LPFM - KREV-LP 104.7 in Estes Park, Colorado. Dealing with the FCC to move to the center of town but (we're) 850 feet too close to a translator application. Waiting for that to go away. Until then listen at krevlp.org. Radio is not dead because it has personality!" - Paul, Estes Park, CO

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"Radio is now! Radio is what's happening at the moment, and in the moment. It is as natural as sitting down with your best friend and chatting over coffee while at the same time getting things accomplished and triggering positive change.

It is, quite literally, the voice of the people. Radio is also a vital link to important news and information during an emergency and provides companionship and a window to the outside world for those who otherwise would have no one.

Sometimes, radio is the one and only place where you can hear and also be heard." - Joe, Quincy, MA

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"Terrestrial radio meant a great deal while I was growing up in Philly. Here we are, many years later - and I'm in Baltimore doing an online Jazz show. I appreciate it wholeheartedly and it's successful - but my dream is that the three hour show can be recognized as viable via a full-time, commercial radio station.

Many of my friends and acquaintances have given up on "regular" radio - I have not. There is something that is intimate about having a radio in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and car that "online" cannot replace. We need to be creative as to what is on the air at this present moment in time - and we need to be articulate and sure that what we want is able to be enjoyed by a wide spectrum of people - otherwise, nobody will invest in it.

That's my dream - because I love terrestrial radio and want to save it - I see a "Hybrid Jazz" radio station that becomes beloved and results in many more stations across the country. It's my mission to make that happen, so that Jazz can thrive anew. And those playing it can be rewarded. With the desired effect being that many listeners would turn their attention to "on the air" radio all over again. That just may cause a pleasant landslide of attention and support to a much-missed forum. There is nothing as wonderful as going forward - by going BACK." -  Trish, Baltimore MD

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It's intimate!

"Radio is personal and intimate. Real voices, personalities and emotions are passed on through radio... Warmth, compassion, anger, pain and laughter are conveyed more adequately in an audio medium.  With accent, inflection, hesitation, pause, emphasis and speed - the voice is able to convey far more than the printed word. The fact that radio often reaches the listener during their moment of solitude and privacy adds to the intimate character of radio." - Beth, Philadelphia PA

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It's reliable!

"It is always there. With the click of a dial, I can find out what is happening in the world while I make my morning coffee, the evening meal or wash the dishes. Radio got me through my teenage years and introduced me to all sorts of music that was not being played in my home. Today, it can still take me back to that place and time in an instant. It has kept me alert in the car as I traveled thousands of miles to and from work, errands or while on vacation. No matter where I am, I can turn the knob and find someone speaking the patois of the area... or learn about local happenings." - Stephanie, Philadelphia PA

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It's ours!

"The airwaves are ours! Like fresh water from rivers, light from the sun, and parks for everyone to enjoy and respect... the airwaves are ours like any other natural resource and they should be used for the public good, not corporate profits!" - Ian, Philadelphia PA