Low Power to the People: Chicago and National Updates

Posted by Mitchell - July 18, 2009 (entry 627)

Corporate radio is in the middle of some dismal days, with talk that even the proverbial big media poster child Clear Channel may soon face bankruptcy. Meanwhile, efforts to help expand the radio spectrum to a wider range of independent and local voices are in the ascendancy and have won a number of recent gains. For example:

* In June 2009, LPFM advocates successfully fought off a legal challenge by the National Association of Bastards Broadcasters to have the LPFM service destroyed entirely.

* There was a recent House hearing voicing support for the Local Community Radio Act of 2009 (HR 1147 / S 592), legislation which would expand the number of low-power radio stations in Chicago.

* There is movement and organizing afoot to help galvanize support for the Act. Both Free Press and the Chicago Independent Radio Project are highlighting a national call-in day on July 20 to advocate for passage. The current "Conventional Wisdom" says that this will probably sail through the House, but face a more uphill climb in the Senate. But the more popular actions, the better the odds for popular decisions -- it's quite literally in your hands.

Meanwhile, in related Chicago TV, CAN TV Cable channel 21 on Saturday, July 18, at 8pm CT, will present "Community Media and You: Low Power Radio" with "Silvia Rivera, of Radio Arte, and Mitchell Szczepanczyk, of Chicago Media Action, discuss the use of low power FM radio as a media option available to community organizations."

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