Free Speech Radio News Gets Reprieve

In less than three weeks, Free Speech Radio News has raised more than $75,000, saving itself from the brink of silence…for now.
This is enough to keep the newscast operation floating until the end of January, but nowhere near the amount necessary to offset existing incurred costs and secure the future of this vital decade-old journalistic endeavor. Continue reading “Free Speech Radio News Gets Reprieve”

LPFM's Second Wave

Congratulations to everyone who worked tirelessly – both over the last 10 years and the last two weeks – to convince Congress to finally approve the Local Community Radio Act. Given the recent changes in the political winds of D.C., this was most likely the very last chance to fundamentally expand the LPFM radio service.
Things literally came down to the wire: after locking the bill in stasis for months with secret holds from industry-friendly Senators, last-minute negotiations between LPFM proponents and the National Association of Broadcasters, combined with a multi-faceted grassroots lobbying blitz, ended up in a hasty rewrite of the actual legislation, which the House quickly approved on Friday and the Senate blessed on Saturday. President Obama’s signature is a given. Continue reading “LPFM's Second Wave”

FCC Enforcement Plateau Ahoy?

The FCC’s trend of hunting unlicensed broadcasters may be slowing down.
The number of enforcement actions against unlicensed broadcasters fell off dramatically during 2010 – from a record single-month high of 75 in April to just 9 (known so far) in November. May and June represented pivotal months in this decline.
Barring a massive run of enforcement actions over the next two weeks, 2010 will represent the first cumulative decrease in the FCC’s pirate-hunting efforts after four consecutive record-breaking years. Continue reading “FCC Enforcement Plateau Ahoy?”

The Unfortunate Death Watch of FSRN

Barring significant divine fiscal intervention, the United States’ only collectively-produced progressive daily radio news program, Free Speech Radio News, will suspend production on December 20.
FSRN has been an amazing accomplishment of independent journalism. Founded in the ashes of the Pacifica Radio network’s self-immolation of the late 1990s (which also led to the independence of Pacifica’s primary nationally-syndicated show, Democracy Now!), FSRN runs on the efforts of community radio stations and grassroots journalists from around the world, and airs on more than 100 stations domestically. Continue reading “The Unfortunate Death Watch of FSRN”

"Persona Radio": FASTROAD to Nowhere

This is rich: the latest “feature” under development for the HD Radio protocol. Called “Persona Radio,” the scheme utilizes radical changes to the broadcast and reception infrastructure to allow for the conceptual distribution of “personalized” radio content. In theory, a listener “registers” with a station, inputting information like age, gender, location, and “mood,” and then the HD station offers them a menu of “personalized” content, including time-shifted audio, still images, text information, and (oh boy!) personalized coupons.
Some important qualifications have to be made about the “Persona Radio” project and its documentation so far: Continue reading “"Persona Radio": FASTROAD to Nowhere”