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Low-Power FM Radio

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    Put Your Hands On the Radio --- Free Webinar Thurs April 26 on How To Obtain Low Power FM Radio Station Licenses!

    The FCC is about to grant low power FM radio station licenses in hundreds of communities across the country. Low power FM radio binds communities together and can further the mission of your arts group or community group, union, neighborhood association or other civic body like nothing else. To find out more, join Black Agenda Report for a Thursday April 26 webinar at 9PM Eastern Time. Click the link at the end of the article below to register.

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    Time to Grab the Mic: Low Power FM Radio Licensing Window Looms

    Without control over some form of mass media, without the ability to speak with and to hear its own voice, no community can long exist.  Commercial media in the hands of for-profit broadcasters can only build markets, not communities.  This year, the FCC will accept license applications for hundreds or thousands of new local low-power FM radio stations in cities and towns across the U.S.  It's an unparalelled chance, and the last chance for local organizers for peace and justice to grab the mics.

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    Call Your US Senator – Last Chance for Low Power Community Radio, S- 592

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The answer to monotony and monopoly on your radio dial is not for profit low power FM community radio. Wealthy and powerful corporate interests have bought judges, regulators and legislators by the bag, and used them to block the people's will for more choice and more power over how the people's airwaves are used. In the last days of the current Senate, S-592, which will authorize the FCC to grant licenses to thousands of community broadcasters hangs by a thread.

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    The Black Stake, and All Our Stakes, in the Media Justice Movement, Part 1 of 2

    by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

    Mass media determine public consciousness. But in the US, where mass media are owned and operated almost entirely by and in the interest of a greedy and irresponsible corporate elite, who keep the issues of control and governance of the internet, cable, broadcast and other media off the table. Potential growth of the media justice movement into an arm of a broad and popular social movement is a clear and imminent threat to the nation's bipartisan elite. And it's the only hope for many millions of Americans currently unable to speak with or hear their own voices, or to realize their own power.

    The Other Black Radio, Part One of a Series: North Carolina Voices for Justice

    When, for the first time in decades, the FCC opened up a licensing window for new full-power FM community radio stations, mostly in rural areas around the country, the  Pacifica Foundation, Prometheus Radio and several other outfits made a specific attempt to raise the number of African American owned and run community radio stations in the South.  Out of their efforts, more than a hundred grassroots organizations, quite a few of them black, applied for new station licenses, especially in the South.  This is not your daddy's black radio, or your momma's, or Radio One's discredited, conscienceless and commercial radio.  This is the dawn of a new paradigm in black radio --- the other black radio

    Black Evil Television, Low-Power FM Neighborhood Radio, and the Congressional Black Caucus

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce Dixon. 
    Even when corporate black radio does not ape the content of “Black Evil Television” it consistently fails the legal tests of serving local needs with local content and broadcasting in the public interest. Legislation is now in the Congress to open up licensing for hundreds of new low-power FM neighborhood radio stations in cities and towns across the nation. Though all three presidential candidates, along with Democrats and Republicans in both houses of Congress are co-sponsoring n to the the Low-Power FM Neighborhood Radio bill (HB 2802 & SB ) relatively few members of the Congressional Black Caucus are among them.

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    Banning Saggy Pants is the Wrong Conversation. Low Power Community Radio is the Right Conversation

    by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
    Local lawmakers in Atlanta, Dallas and other cities pretend to address crime and destructive aspects of corporate-delivered youth culture by targeting the appearance of black youth --- with local ordinances to file or jail the wearers of sagging pants and exposed thong straps.  But the public airwaves over which commercial youth culture is delivered are owned by the people and regulated by their elected representatives.  If regulators and legislators did their jobs, would the odious fare of BET, MTV and their commercial radio clones be the only messages permitted to reach the ears of young people?
    The Low Power Community Radio Act in Congress right now is a real solution to the problem of getting more positive choices and voices on the radio.  So why aren't black leaders rallying people around it? 

    Which Way On Low-Power Urban FM Radio - The Next Test for the Congressional Black Caucus


    by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

    Any day now, the U.S. Congress will decide if the corporate media stranglehold on radio will be loosened by allowing community groups to operate low-power FM (LP-FM) radio stations at hundreds of locations. Black grassroots politics has been crippled over the last several decades by the near-extinction of local news, but many African American lawmakers appear to have adjusted nicely to corporate dominion over the airwaves. Huge blocks of the Black Caucus vote in synch with Big Media’s demands, in return for campaign contributions. Corporate media is out to scuttle low-power FM. Will the Black Caucus capitulate, again?

    The Black Stake in Low Power Community Radio

    Last weekend more than seventy activists took part in a low-power FM radio station barnraising in Greenville SC. WMXP-LP Greenville, operated by the Malcolm X Grassroots Organization is an example of what citizens across the country may soon be able to do. In a matter of days bills will be introduced in both houses of Congress opening this opportunity up to community groups across the country.

    All photos by Will Jones 

    A Black Agenda Radio audio commentary by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

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