(An email from Gabriel Piemonte from RadioforPeople.org)
Dear Colleagues -
The moment of truth is at hand for the community radio movement that has been building over the past year. The FCC is going to open a five-day window this October for full power FM public education radio license applications. This is an historic moment - the completion of the community radio map.
For Chicagoans, there is no direct impact in this announcement - despite our achingly arid airwaves, we do not have any available bandwidth. But for independent media producers and other active citizens, there is a critical networking opportunity - literally - in this window. The so-called collar counties of Chicago - including Dekalb, Will, Kendall - all have available bandwidth. A network of community radio stations could be developed and linked together - a Chicagoland Independent Radio Network.
Those stations would be a tremendous asset and provide independent media and other social justice organizations in the Chicagoland area a brand new means of accessing hundreds of thousands of potential supporters. Also, future opportunities for broadcast within the Chicago city limits do exist - this network could lay the groundwork for taking advantage of those.
For the past nine months, in cooperation with the Pacifica Radio Network, I have been organizing a regional network of license applicants in the Midwest. We have learned a lot and I would like to apply that experience to Chicago and the surrounding area. Now is the time to concentrate on the needs of our community.
If this opportunity is of interest to you, if you would like to participate or learn more, please contact me via phone or email. I will be announcing an informational meeting in the near future and would like a sense of the level of interest in this project.
As information technology has exploded, the quantity of independent voices broadcasting has increased dramatically, but we continue to struggle with the ability of high quality independent media to garner support for our operations. Working together, we could create a brand new model for development, production and distribution of our individual products. This licensing opportunity could very well be the moment that creates the momentum for that model.
I look forward to hearing from you.
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