Media Collage Offline; Major Site Updates Suspended for December

Woe is us – the popularity of the collage galleries did them in.
Worry not, though: we are currently scouting a server move and, if all goes well, DIYmedia will make the transition to its very own server with a nice fat pipe before the end of the year. There’s a huge backlog of collage to be added to the galleries (more than 30 new files for the Truthful Translations section alone!), so the re-debut will actually be an expansion.
All other audio/video content remains online, unaffected.
As a part of this process, other regular site updates will be suspended for the month (like the Schnazz, updates to the Enforcement Action Database, etc.). The news, however, will continue to flow in this space as usual.
My apologies for this inconvenience…

Congress Pulls Fast One on Media Reform

All the hoopla and hard work this year in Washington, D.C. on the issue of media reform can now officially be declared futile. In the horsetrading sessions typical at the end of a congressional session, provisions unrelated to federal government spending get attached to spending bills – this allows controversial pieces of legislation to clear Congress with little fanfare and controversy.
Congressional allies of media reform incrementally ceded ground to the GOP majority controlling the horsetrading, settling for a single provision attached to a multi-billion dollar spending bill that would restore the FCC’s original television station ownership cap (prohibiting one network from reaching more than 35% of the national TV audience, down from the 45% limit approved by the FCC in June).
But back in the smoke-filled room this week, a “compromise” was reached – instead of restoring the original 35% cap, the “compromise” will prohibit networks from owning stations that reach more than 39% of the country. Continue reading “Congress Pulls Fast One on Media Reform”

Radio Free Brattleboro Wins Town Support

After rfb collected more than 3,000 signatures in its local and global petition drives, the Brattleboro Selectboard finally approved a resolution in support the station last week. It is a somewhat hollow victory, though, as it took two tries to get the resolution approved – and the version voted through was heavily watered down.
Most notably missing from the “official” town resolution is the fact that one out of four Brattleboro residents are on record in support of the station’s “authority to broadcast,” as demonstrated by its petition drive. A second petition, maintained online for non-Brattleboro residents to show their support, continues to collect signatures.

Miami Cops Run Amok on Protesters: Media Misses Most

So you may have heard there were some “protests” over “free trade negotiations” in Miami this week. Thursday and Friday, to be specific. Feedback from around the country seems to suggest little to no news coverage of what happened.
What happened in Miami involved the worst display of police violence unleashed on a demonstration in recent U.S. history. In fact, there really wasn’t much “demonstrating” taking place: those who were able to get into fortified downtown Miami were simply maneuvered around by phalanxes of riot police until their gatherings were broken up – usually with the use of excessive force, which included various plastic/rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray (both in spray and capsule form, shot from shotguns), taser guns, and the always-useful wooden club.
Snatch squads were in full effect – activists were abducted off the street by police dressed as protesters, whose only sign of true identity were the tasers they pulled out on alarmed bystanders. Continue reading “Miami Cops Run Amok on Protesters: Media Misses Most”

EBB Mobilizes for Miami; DIYmedia to Air on Resonance FM

News bit #1: The Emergency Broadcasters Bloc is again sailing in loose formation as the forces fighting global corporate domination of the world converge in Miami, Florida for two days of street demonstrations against the Free Trade Area of the Americas. FTAA-IMC is the place to turn for real coverage of the action, and its web radio studio is up and running, ready for rebroadcast.
News bit #2: Resonance FM contacted me recently about producing a documentary on the U.S. microradio movement. I’ve committed to fill 90 minutes sometime between now and May (I like deadlines like these). It will probably be a very loose narrative utilizing large chunks of audio from stations that I’ve collected over the years. If you’d like to collaborate/contribute to the project, drop a line. Continue reading “EBB Mobilizes for Miami; DIYmedia to Air on Resonance FM”

Conflicting Signals on LPFM

A week and a half ago FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein hinted that the agency was preparing to move quickly on a report to Congress recommending fast expansion of the LPFM service. However, at the staff level the outlook is apparently much different. Recent correspondence between at least two LPFM applicants and the staff working on the processing of their applications suggests that plans to open up windows for 10-watt station applications have been suspended, perhaps indefinitely.
Another wrinkle in the service’s rollout involves the certification – or lack thereof – of some of the transmitters in use by LPFM stations. It seems that the FCC “gave incorrect information” to transmitter manufacturers about the process they would need to go through to have their LPFM transmitters certified acceptable for use by licensed stations. Just what the FCC’s error(s) was/were isn’t clear, but what it means is that some LPFM transmitters sold as “FCC certified” may not be. Continue reading “Conflicting Signals on LPFM”

Schellhardt & Schnazz Updated

Don Schellhardt’s got a good overview of several other notable proposals and rulemakings taking place at the FCC in November’s Amendment One, and there have been plenty ignored in all the hoopla over media ownership and digital broadcast copyright protection. The Latest Schnazz has 18 links this week, a bit bigger than usual to make up for the missed update.
Another interesting rulemaking just opened is the FCC’s potential overhaul of interference standards. It is looking into adopting an “interference temperature” as a part of any future spectrum management protocol; instead of the FCC’s traditional method of regulating spectrum by limiting power at the transmitter (regardless of band), the “interference temperature” method would assume a tolerable level of interference from the outset. This has the potential to significantly change the way the FCC manages spectrum use in the future.
According to the announcement on the proposed rulemaking, the “interference temperature” idea may get a test run in reality as a factor in spectrum allocations involving the 6525-6700 MHz and portions of the 12.75-13.25 GHz bands.

Behind the Scenes @ Media Reform Webcast Decentral

I’ve never tried to webcast 17 separate events via three servers in two protocols before. In fact, my experience with webcasting previously was close to none. Somehow, though, we pulled off a majority of them, including some magical moments. These were interspersed with crises of panic proportions and the corresponding adrenaline rushes that come with both.
This review @ Be the Media! pretty much sums up the effort. Lessons learned for the future, that’s for sure. In a way I’m disappointed to have missed so much of the conference because of the webcast stuff, but it needed to be done.

Adelstein on Microradio: "Go For It"

It was hectic and filled with pendulum swings of euphoria and panic; there is much to say about the National Conference on Media Reform/Be the Media shadow conference action that took place this past weekend. We’ll get to it all over the course of this week, cross-posting links as the posts flow on the Be the Media! blog.
First up is this one, my surreal encounter with FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein.