NAB Meets Media Democracy

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In September 2000, extraordinary events took place in San Francisco, where the National Association of Broadcasters held its annual Radio Convention. For the first time, people took to the streets to voice their concerns with the state of the media.
As rapid consolidation in the American radio industry drastically reduces the diversity of voices on the dial, listeners are noticing the change. More ads, less information. A booming bottom line, but nary a pipsqueak of real news and issues we need and can use.
It’s a dangerous trend. When the people can’t communicate with each other on a mass scale through a free and democratic media, then just how free and democratic can a society be? Continue reading “NAB Meets Media Democracy”

The Dark Side Regroups

Life has not been kind to the microbroadcaster as of late – it’s almost as if the radio industry is goading free radio fighters into a conflict when the two camps clash head-on next week in San Francisco.
First came word early this month that Micro Kind Radio, a microradio station in San Marcos, Texas – who’s been on the air 24 hours a day seven days a week since 1997 – has been shut down due to a temporary federal court injunction.
This showdown was long in coming: more than two years ago, after unsuccessfully attempting to intimidate one of the founders of Micro Kind with an $11,000 fine, the FCC served Kind with a cease and desist order. The station responded by filing a lawsuit of its own claiming the FCC’s licensing rules ran afoul of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Continue reading “The Dark Side Regroups”

Senate Moves to Kill

Congress is back “at work” in Washington, and the radio broadcast lobby has intensified its effort to kill the FCC’s new low power FM (LPFM) proposal through legislation.
It’s been nearly a half-year since the National Association of Broadcasters, conspiring with National Public Radio and others, convinced the House of Representatives to pass a bill drastically gutting the LPFM plan.
Since then, getting action in the Senate has been less successful. The original bill the NAB’s Senate puppets introduced, S. 2068, lost steam after gathering 36 cosponsors. Continue reading “Senate Moves to Kill”