jonathan's blog

Community radio inches closer to reality

In cities and towns in every US state, community radio advocates are (figuratively) holding their breath as the Local Community Radio Act inches slowly towards passage in the Senate. The bill, which will allow a dramatic expansion of the Low Power FM (LPFM) community radio service, was approved by the House of Representatives last fall. Under the dedicated leadership of Senator Maria Cantwell, the Senate Commerce Committee has also passed the bill, leaving a final Senate vote as the final hurdle to clear.

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From the CD to DC: taking Seattle's broadband concerns to Congress

After last month's FCC Open Internet community meetings in Seattle, Reclaim the Media and other members of the Seattle Digital Justice Coalition have been working overtime to ensure that community concerns about the future of the Internet reach the ears of our elected officials in the nation's capital.

Within days of FCC Chairman Genachowski's announcement that the FCC would reassert its authority to police net neutrality and online privacy abuses, RTM met with the offices of Sen. Maria Cantwell, Rep. Jay Inslee, and Rep. Dave Reichert, in order to share what we heard from the folks from Seattle, Olympia, Bellingham and Mt.Vernon who attended our April 27 community meeting on protecting a fair and open Internet.

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Listen Up! Northwest: Waste!

RTM note: Yuko Kodama is out sick this week, so we're presenting an encore presentation of a program originally aired in 2009. New episodes of Listen Up! Northwest will return next week!

Taking out the trash is nothing like it was fifty years ago. Hear Heather Rogers, who's made a study of it, tell it like it is today. (Mind Over Matters, KEXP Seattle)

The Re-Store puts a new spin on the old practice of demolition to restoration in Bellingham and Seattle, Washington. (Seein' Green, KSER Everett)

Flushing expired medications down the toilet is bad for the environment. Find out why and how to dispose of them safely. (Seein' Green, KSER Everett)

Oil is dripping into our oceans and having a negative effect on the food we eat. And it's not just from oil tankers. (Green Acre Radio, KBCS Bellevue/Seattle)

Music by DJ B-Girl, No Luck Club and Aja West and the Mackrosoft.

* download program 58
* general Listen Up! NW promo

Listen Up! NW is produced by Yuko Kodama at KBCS for Reclaim the Media, and distributed by the Northwest Community Radio Network.

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RTM joins Hispanic Media Coalition to urge official review of media hate speech

This week, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) filed comments (pdf) in the FCC's proceeding on the Future of Media and Information Needs of Communities in the Digital Age. Joined by 32 national and regional organizations from throughout the country, the comments ask the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to examine hate speech in media.

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Understanding the FCC's broadband debate

Harold Feld from Public Knowledge provides a great summary of the FCC's proposed broadband reclassification, the positives and negatives from a public interest perspective, and the likely fight that likes ahead.

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A win for an open Internet: Genachowski lays out new plan to protect broadband rights

Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced his intention to reassert the FCC's authority to protect broadband consumers' rights, including net neutrality. The Chairman's full statement is here (pdf).

The move comes two weeks after a federal appeals court decision (Comcast vs.FCC) undermined the legal basis under which the FCC had sought to prevent Internet companies from blocking access to websites; and one week after a room full of folks in Seattle resoundingly told FCC that net neutrality oversight was needed to preserve an open Internet.

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An open Internet is vital for community organizing: Joe Mirabella

"I volunteered for the Approve Ref. 71 campaign, which approved domestic partnerships in Washington State. We used social media, Facebook and Twitter extensively, to communicate with families and communities about our campaign-—unfettered access to these technologies was essential to this effort. I cannot imagine how he would have communicated if there had been a tiered system of who could get access to Facebook or other sites by paying a premium. We need to continue open access. This is very important for the LGBT community and every group fighting for access."

-- Joe Mirabella, blogger and community organizer, speaking to the FCC on preserving a fair and open Internet, Seattle, 27 April 2010.

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Local communities need an open Internet: Dennis Lane

"We are rapidly approaching a second dark age. The first was brought about in the 14th century when monasteries sequestered information. Internet companies are now doing the same. As communities, we need to have our voices. A voiceless community can become a violent one, when people feel they're not being heard. As a former bar owner, I know! As it stand now in most places, the industry is coming together with only a couple of broadband players--not enough diversity. We need community broadcasting, we need policies that encourage new last mile entities at the local level. With such policies, we will see innovation increasing, and local communications. We know that the big guys will always have their share of the marketplace. But without diversity, innovation will be wasted. There will remain a lot of hopelessness within local communities. So don't put us on that path."

-- Dennis Lane, Whatcom Community Television, speaking to the FCC on preserving a fair and open Internet, Seattle, 27 April 2010.

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Young people need a fair and open Internet: Nickey Robare

"Reel Grrls is a Seattle nonprofit that teaches video production to girls. A few years ago there was an FCC media ownership hearing in Seattle, attended by a ton of people, including many Reel Grrls participants; in fact, one produced an award-winning film about the issue . This time around, many girls couldn’t make it to these open Internet events. Several were interested but busy. One girl, however, said that she had been to the ownership hearing a few years ago, and that nothing had changed as a result—so why
bother? That girl is 17 years old and she’s already that cynical. That’s not okay. So that’s my challenge to the FCC: make this change."

-- Nickey Robare, Reel Grrls, speaking to the FCC on preserving a fair and open Internet, Seattle 27 April 2010

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Low-income and homeless people need an open Internet: Jennifer Brandon

"I've been watching digital divide issues as they relate to extremely low income and homeless people, who are not protected by USF. Our company is trying to get basic voice service to these populations. We've all been hearing a lot about net neutrality. My comments are simple: the FCC has the opportunity to reclassify broadband Internet as a Title II telecommunications service, not an information service. The FCC should boldly take that move. There is broad support for that happening – and it will be extremely difficult to get done what we are talking about if that doesn't occur. In this community you have support for that. It’s extremely difficult to purchase services that no one else will provide, and if these basic regulations didn’t exist, it would be impossible."

--Jennifer Brandon, Executive Director, Community Voicemail National, speaking to the FCC about preserving a fair and open Internet, Seattle 27 April 2010

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey