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In Historic Victory for Community Radio, FCC Puts 1,000 Low-Power FM Frequencies Up For Grabs

In a major victory for the community radio movement after a 15-year campaign, the Federal Communications Commission has announced it will soon begin accepting applications for hundreds of new low-power FM radio stations in October. This means nonprofits, labor unions and community groups have a one-time-only chance this year to own a bit of the broadcast airwaves. It is being heralded as "the largest expansion of community radio in United States history." We’re joined by two guests: Jeff Rousset, the National Organizer of the Prometheus Radio Project, which has led the campaign to challenge corporate control of the media and open up this space on the dial; and by Ramon Ramirez, the president of PCUN, the largest Latino organization in Oregon. In 2006, Prometheus Radio Project helped PCUN establish the low-power FM station "Movement Radio," which has helped inform farm workers about labor rights, as well as the larger Latino community about immigration reform efforts, health issues, and other community-related topics. The FCC’s short application window for new stations will run from October 15 to October 29. "This is a one-shot opportunity," Rousset says. "The work that we do over the next four months will really help shape the course of this country’s media landscape for the next 40 years."