Grassroots Media

Ecuador to grant radio frequencies to indigenous nations

Ingrid Bachmann, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

Ecuador's 14 indigenous nationalities will be able to present proposals that will help them get low-frequency radio permits for at least one citizen-based, "community radio" station in each nation, El Telégrafo newspaper reports. Guidelines should be available in two weeks.

The government-published "official" newspaper, El Ciudadano (The Citizen), says the measure is part of the Correa administration's strategy to democratize access to media and to ensure balance in the radio spectrum.

The president of Ecuarunari, the largest indigenous organization in Ecuador's Andes, says he hoped the new radio move does not form part of a political campaign to diffuse everything about the ideology of the ruling party, the AP adds.

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People have the radio power at CHIRP

Jessica Reaves, New York Times

Commercial radio, like many other media, is in serious trouble. The prevailing view at the Chicago Independent Radio Project is that traditional radio has created its own problems: beholden to advertisers, disconnected from the community and increasingly out of reach for all but a few, well-connected artists.

Chirp — a fledgling, non-commercial, online radio station set to begin next month — will try to be everything Big Radio is not: independent, intensely local and musically adventurous.

“I’m a true believer,” Shawn Campbell, Chirp’s president, said in a recent tour of the project’s brightly lighted but crowded and poorly insulated studios, located above a photo album factory in an industrial stretch of the North Center neighborhood in Chicago. “I really love radio,” she added.

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Church organizations praise House decision to expand low-power radio

United Church of Christ Office of Communication, Inc.

The United Church of Christ's media-justice advocacy arm and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are celebrating a significant victory in one of its most important and longest standing legislative efforts in the area of media reform. On Wednesday evening, legislation that will expand low-power radio to 140 million people who are currently unable to receive it has been passed on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, poising the legislation for final approval in the Senate.

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House votes to expand local community radio

Reclaim the Media

On Dec. 16, the House of Representatives passed the Local Community Radio Act (HR 1147) by voice vote. The bill would allow for the creation of hundreds, possibly thousands, of new, low power FM (LPFM) radio stations dedicated to broadcasting community news and local perspectives to neighborhoods across the country.

In the Senate, the companion bill has been approved by the Commerce Committee, championed by Senator Maria Cantwell. A full-Senate vote has not yet been scheduled, but is the next and final step for the expansion of LPFM to become law.

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Turmoil at radio KDNA, La Voz del Campesino


Turmoil at Spanish-language radio station KDNA continues long after the end of an employee strike, with employees staging a sit-in Wednesday night that carried into Thursday.

Protesting and picket signs, led by teamsters, fired KDNA employees and other members of the local Hispanic community. It's an all too familiar site in Granger.

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Yes We Can: It's Time to Expand Community Radio

Reclaim the Media

Low-power community radio has been unfairly constricted for eight years, mainly because big radio doesn't want competition from small-scale local, noncommercial stations - stations which broadcast local community voices and local music choices.

This is it! Both the House and Senate could vote on the Local Community Radio Act as soon as this week (as supporters work to get it onto a crowded legislative agenda). The bill will expand low-power FM community radio across the country, dramatically increasing the public's access to the airwaves.

That means that now--Today--is the time for you to express your support for community radio. Call your Representative's office and ask to speak to the staff person who covers telecom issues. The LPFM Action Page will tell you where they stand on the bill. Then call your Senators too! 

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Unlicensed broadcasters in Oregon get a nasty wedding present from the FCC

Katy Muldoon, The Oregonian

The headline read: "Next up on KENC radio, a wedding." It might have gone off without a hitch, too, if a Federal Communications Commission agent hadn't read it, investigated and found Stayton's nonprofit, low-power community radio station and the fellow who operates it -- the groom -- allegedly violating government code.

Faced with the possibility of a $10,000 fine and forfeiture of his broadcasting gear, Ken Cartwright announced Thursday that at 5 p.m.

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Indymedia turns 10

Reclaim the Media

On Nov 24, 1999--days before the Seattle meeting of the World Trade Organization--Matthew Arnison and Mansour Jacobi posted the first message to the brand-new, launching a creative grassroots media project that would grow into an international movement.

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This is independent media's moment

Marie Elliott and Steve Anderson, The Tyee

Today, Vancouver hosts Media Democracy Day 2009 at the Vancouver Public Library, Saturday, Nov. 7, 11am to 6pm. The event is one of several public forums being held in cities across Canada, marking the tenth consecutive year of Media Democracy Day (MDD). The conversation in MDD's interactive workshops and panels can help provide a path to a reinvigorated independent media sector in Canada.

According to SFU professor Robert Hackett, the initial drive of MDD was to "build a greater sense of community for those fighting for media democracy." In the past, these events have led to key collaborations between allied media projects. This year, we hope to see more collaboration and more pragmatic discussions focused on elevating, expanding and multiplying independent media in this country. There is a window of opportunity right now, and that window can and will close if we don't take this challenge seriously.

Considering the current crisis in big media, now is the time to take independent media to the next level.

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Community radio federation joins international press freedom mission to Honduras


The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) announced today on its active participation on the International mission of observation of press freedom in Honduras from 2-7 November 2009. The mission, organized by International Media Support (IMS), Article 19, Reporters without Borders, the International Federation of Journalists, Free-Voice and other international organizations will verify the conditions and difficulties being confronted by press freedom, journalists, the media and community radios, following the coup d’etat of June 28th, 2009.

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