Home > All Posts > Individual Post
Post #1331

Re: [videoblogging] FCC raids a micro (pirate) radio station in Santa Cruz…

By akb@demandmedia.net | akb@... | akbakb2000
September 30, 2004 | Post #1331 | Topic #1321

> Most of the people that were in the crowd viewed it (solely) as a free > speech issue, but if everyone could just set up a transmitter and > start broadcasting, and there were no restrictions regulations, what > would stop some Clear Channel classic rock station from blowing them > off the airwaves? To characterize the position of low power radio advocates like this is wrong and dangerously so, as it is often used by the broadcast industry to scare people into opposing licensing low power broadcasters. If a community station has been running a station for 10 years, why on earth would they want to interfere with anyone, especially a full power station that is 1000 times as powerful? No one would be able to hear them. There are of course some people that have the extreme position of no regulation on philosophical grounds, but there are people that take extreme positions on any issue. > I don't know the details of the technology and law for FM > broadcasting, but I think the reasonable solution would be to change > the law (or regulations) to allow micro-broadcasting under reasonable > conditions. There has been a movement doing this for nearly 2 decades. Some have chosen civil disobiedience (like Free Radio Santa Cruz), some have chosen to take on one of the most powerful lobby's in DC. I think they work together pretty well. Laws protecting civil rights don't get passed unless there are people civilly disobey restrictions of them. In 2000 the FCC finally agreed that there were no technical reasons not to license low power community stations, however the broadcast industry purchased a vote of Congress to overrule the FCC on technical grounds and limit the number of stations to a few hundred instead of thousands, with none in major metro areas. Following another study that confirmed the FCC's originally findings, there is a bill in Congress to allow groups like Free Radio Santa Cruz to become licensed. There of course is a lot more to say on this issue, but I'll just suggest that people visit Prometheus Radio (http://prometheusradio.org/) the premier grassroots lobbying group on this issue, to find out more and especially to find out how to let your Congress people know how you feel on the issue. > One interesting thing about FRSC is that they call themselves a > "collective" and as I was hanging around asking questions, it truly > seemed like no one was "in charge". This is an important difference between community media activists and bloggers. Most community media activists have a sense that they are doing their work to empower others, particularly those that are excluded from mainstream media, and that that is best achieved by working collectively. Bloggers (even "citizen journalists") tend to represent themselves much more and more prominently. I've heard the term "people's media" applied to blogging. I think it cannot achieve that if the "people" represented through it do not match the larger demographics of society. Thus community media activists recognize the need to actively train people to be able to participate and seek to include those that economics and education exclude. alan http://demandmedia.net/