Prometheus Radio Project national organizer talks about LPFM on WHYY

24 Mar

The community radio movement is building momentum. Check out this recent media coverage, where Prometheus Radio Project national organizer Jeff Rousett talks about LPFM on WHYY.

The full story is at that link, or just listen to the audio here:

Digging through some legislative history…

7 Feb

Nearly 20 years ago, Bill Clinton signed into law an obscure, but incredibly important piece of legislation called the Telecommunications Act of 1996. It was the first major piece of legislation governing telecommunications since the 30s.

This massive bill completely deregulated the phone, cable, and radio industries and loosened restrictions on ownership. Prior to the Act, a single company was limited to owning 40 radio licenses. Under the guise of promoting “more competition,” the Act did away with these restrictions.

Did we really see more competition? No. In fact, this legislation ushered in an era of incredible consolidation. Today, Clear Channel alone owns over 850 radio licenses.

I did a little digging through the legislative history of the Telecommunications Act. While this bill was being debated on the floor, Senator Paul Simon (D-IL) (yes, that is really his name) introduced an amendment that would limit the number of licenses a single entity could hold. Senator Byron Dorgan’s remarks on this amendment (D-ND) are prescient and worth reading.

Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I stand in support of the amendment offered by the Senator from Illinois.

As I listen to some of the debate on this amendment, as well as the debate on the amendment I offered previously which tried to restore the restrictions on television station ownership , it occurred to me that we ought to really remove some desks in the Senate and provide a stretching area. When you go to a baseball game, you see these folks stretch out before the game, getting all limber. I do not know of anyone who can stretch quite so well as those who stand in this Chamber and preach the virtues of competition and then decide to advocate concentration of economic ownership by lifting the restrictions on ownership of television stations and radio stations.

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Video

A musical interlude…

2 Feb

Hello, radio enthusiasts!

The semester has kicked off, and thus this blog has gone a little bit quiet.

Behind the scenes, we are building momentum, educating individuals and organizations, and planning our first meeting.

In the mean time, I present you with a short musical interlude, selected and mixed by yours truly, DJ Swanky!


Check out the playlist on my Mixcloud Page if you like it!

Stay tuned for more in the coming months and please reach out to let us know how you’d like to get involved!

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Electromagnetic Spectrum

20 Jan

Electromagnetic Spectrum

How Radio Waves Become Sound

An Open Letter to Tallahassee: Carnage on Miami Streets

17 Jan

A functioning media holds democratic institutions accountable. That is why I feel compellled to post my open letter to Tallahassee in the wake of this week’s development in the tragic hit-and-run death of bicyclist Aaron Cohen, just one of many such incidents in South Florida. The dangerous and deadly status quo on our streets is unacceptable.

Check out the Miami Bike Scene’s piece, “Business As Usual in South Florida” to read more on the Aaron Cohen tragedy. If you feel moved to do something about our deadly driving culture, consider joining Emerge Miami¬†on Monday in Brickell for a Pedestrian Safety Walk.¬†Please feel free to share this letter.

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Dear Tallahassee,

There is a culture of violence on our streets.

No, I am not talking about guns. I am talking about cars.

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Media Literacy: Deconstructing the Headlines

14 Jan

One of my goals of starting a community radio station is to promote media literacy. In an age where “anyone” can be a “journalist,” it is important to look at our sources with a critical eye. On the other hand, the availability of more diverse sources should make us skeptical of the old, centralized models of media.

Take the following headline on today’s web edition of The Miami Herald, for example.

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If you have not been living under a rock, you are probably aware of the fact that taxpayers bankrolled a stadium for the Marlins just a few years before the owners sold off the team and made a pretty penny (again). You might also know that the lousy deal caught the eye of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was investigating the City of Miami for civil fraud in relation to bonds sold to finance the park.

So when I read a headline like the one above, I immediately probe a little deeper: what does it ask and why is it written that way? The Dolphins are worried that taxpayers are not as willing to be duped again. Wait a second… why WOULD taxpayers want to pay for a stadium again? What if the headline were re-written as Taxpayers Unwilling to Line Pockets of Sports Team Owners?

Perhaps that is a bit heavy-handed–but the point still stands: we need to be more skeptical of the media we consume.

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