People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Remind broadcasters that they work for you

Posted by schroeder915 on January 13, 2007

It’s gotten to the point where you think something must be wrong with you to believe that you deserve better broadcast media, right?

Michael Copps doesn’t think so:

We, the American people have given broadcasters free use of the nation’s most valuable spectrum, and we expect something in return. We expect this.

First, a right to media that strengthens our democracy;

Second, a right to local stations that are actually local;

Third, a right to media that looks and sounds like America;

Fourth, a right to news that isn’t canned and radio playlists that aren’t for sale; and

Fifth, a right to programming that isn’t so damned bad so damned often

Neither does the other liberal FCC commissioner, Jonathan Adelstein:

If a bad Order comes out of the FCC, let’s not just bury it. Let’s bury it six feet deep! When the FCC goes too far in rolling back media ownership limits, if you demand it, Congress can send it right to the dumpster of history where it belongs!

Even better, let’s keep bad rules from coming out in the first place. We have a new Commission, one that has seen the damage you can do to policies that neglect the people we’re supposed to serve. You need to send the message loud and clear: if the FCC dramatically rolls back the media ownership protections, it will get vetoed by Congress. So don’t even bother trying.

I’ve been pounding on the issue of media democracy over and over again, because it really matters to well-being of our communities. It especially matters to our communities here in New Orleans where media owners don’t just control the content, they control the space, and the tone of the dialog (if there’s any dialog at all).

Here’s what I wrote in a post on the Free Press Conference for Media Reform:

Help New Orleans rebuild by helping our community acquire an independent, community-run radio station that serves as the authentic voice of our community’s needs.

New Orleanians are straining under the burden of having to master so much information in a constantly shifting policy environment. As a practical matter, autocratic, corporate institutions could never provide the array of perspectives that a large community can offer. But more importantly, everyone knows how contemptuously uninformed talk radio hosts can be, vilifying anyone who disagrees with their right-wing perspectives. I’m not just talking about the syndicated usual characters — I’m talking about partisan local hosts across the spectrum who are completely unqualified for their jobs. Of course, in a place like New Orleans, threatened as it is by the possibility of sea level rises as the globe warms up, it’s a complete insult to be subjugated to reactionary comments of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity attacking the consensus of scientific understanding and empirical evidence supporting global warming. How could any corporate radio owner justify those views as serving our community?

We need community radio to rebuild our lives, our homes, and our neighborhoods. It isn’t just a luxury. It’s indispensable to the recovery. Join us in the cause. There is no better place than post-Katrina New Orleans to create a model for a truly community-run radio station.

Laissez la révolution rouler


3 Responses to “Remind broadcasters that they work for you”

  1. Erleichda! said

    Hi — I’ve been reading your blog off & on because I have a vested interest in New Orleans — one of my oldest and most beloved friends grew up there and is living there now (he even stayed during Katrina) and I might be moving there myself sometime soon. I’ve been following some of the post-Katrina fiascos and blogging about them myself (though I admit I’ve been lax in my blogging the past couple of weeks).

    I’ve seen several posts where you talk about the need for a true community radio station in New Orleans — we’ve got one here in Austin called KOOP. I don’t know all that much about how it’s run, but it is a tremendous asset to the community here. I do know it’s a cooperative & I believe all the employees are volunteers. Anyway, I thought the nice folks there might be willing to give some hints to anyone wanting to start up something similar in New Orleans — their Web site is; contact information is listed there.


  2. F p said

    Thats awesome, the first item on the Koop’s site is listing for the showing of the documentary Jesus Camp. I want to see that Documentary!

    Lots of different groups are all putting together little clips from this documentary and the trailer, Each with their own interests and spin attached of course. For the most part, they are all in agreement about how alarming this movement is. Aside from eye opening alarm, these videos are actually pretty darn funny and I can’t wait to see the actual documentary.

    Here is the trailer with a commentary in the background towards the end mentioning how many people are actualy involved in this movement:

    This one about Ted Haggard is the most Interesting, it from another documentary film by Richard Dawkins. Her is the Root of All Evil extract:…&q=ted+haggard&hl=en

    This clip pretty scarry. It is called Jesus Camp Bush worship…4&q=jesus+camp&hl=en

    Here are some scenes with somebody’s commentary inserted. The commentary may be as far fetched as what we are seeing. This one has a segment where the kids are being schooled astroturf style that Global Warming is a Myth.…7&q=jesus+camp&hl=en

  3. FP said

    Want Your Own Educational Radio Station? Here’s Your Chance
    Topics: activism | education | media | U.S. government
    Source: Lasar’s Letter, January 17, 2007

    “The Federal Communications Commission will accept applications for new full power non-commercial educational (NCE) FM radio station licenses sometime this year, perhaps in late spring,” writes Carmen Ausserer. “Typically, the FCC gives between one and three months notice before opening the filing window, which will likely last only five days.” The process will end a six-year FCC freeze on new full-power licenses. “The window is a rare opportunity for non-profits and educational institutions,” notes Ausserer. Organizations including Prometheus Radio Project, Native Public Media, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and Radio for People Coalition are raising awareness about the opportunity and providing information to interested groups. But “the FCC can only accept applications for frequencies that do not conflict with existing stations, which, for the most part, no longer exist within 30 miles of the largest 100 cities in the U.S.”

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