Low Power Community Radio: Legislation Draws Bipartisan Support

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Cory Fischer-Hoffman, Prometheus Radio Project (610)-761-5414
Jen Howard, Free Press, (202) 265-1490 x22

Prometheus Radio Project

Low Power Community Radio: Legislation Draws Bipartisan Support

Members of Congress and community organizations call for more Low Power Radio nationwide

WASHINGTON - Members of
Congress, public interest advocates and community organizations will
hold a national conference call tomorrow to discuss the reintroduction
of the bipartisan "Local Community Radio Act" that would create
opportunities for hundreds of low-power, community radio stations in
cities, towns and suburbs across the United States. The sponsors of
this legislation, Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) will join the call to explain the details of this bill.

WHAT: National Conference Call on Community Radio Legislation

WHEN: Wednesday, February 25 12 p.m. ET

WHO:

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.)

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.)

Cory Fischer-Hoffman, Prometheus Radio Project

Shawn Campbell, Chicago Independent Radio Project

Michael Bracy, Future of Music Coalition

Ben Scott, Free Press

 

*** Call this number: (888) 792-8352 Call-in Code- 87422899 ***

 

Low
Power FM stations are community-based, noncommercial radio stations
that broadcast to neighborhoods and small towns. LPFM licenses make
radio station ownership possible for schools, churches, labor unions,
local governments, emergency providers and other nonprofit groups to
directly communicate with their local community.  In
2000, the Federal Communications Commission began to issue LPFM
licenses. However, soon after, Congress passed an unnecessary piece of
legislation that drastically limited the radio spectrum available to
LPFM stations. Since then, thousands of applications submitted to the
FCC have been dismissed because of these limitations.   

"Diverse,
informative, thought-provoking, locally oriented programming has been
dramatically restricted across the country by the current federal laws
governing the separation between broadcast frequencies," said
Congressman Doyle. "Enactment of this legislation would improve the
quality of life in communities across the country by providing new and
different programming --  especially programming addressing local interests and events -- to these communities."

Last
time the "Local Community Radio Act" was introduced, it garnered much
grassroots support -- with nearly 100 cosponsors in the House. The
Senate version of the bill, sponsored last session by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and co-sponsored by then-Senator Barack Obama, unanimously passed out of the Commerce Committee. The Senate is expected to reintroduce the bill this spring.

The Prometheus Radio Project, a group that helps build LPFM stations across the country, is the leading advocate for  community radio. Campaign Director Cory Fischer-Hoffman notes, "As media outlets are  increasingly
consolidated local voices are being forced off the airwaves; it is time
for Congress to remove the unfair restrictions that stand in the way of
community organizations, religious groups, students and senior citizens
from getting their own LPFM stations.  In this time of
economic crisis, it is crucial that communities have access to
important information and educational programming featuring local news,
emergency information and community matters. Expanding LPFM is a
concrete action that will provide this important service to towns and
cities across the country."

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The Prometheus Radio Project is a non-profit organization founded by a small group of radio activists in 1998. Prometheus builds, supports, and advocates for community radio stations which empower participatory community voices and movements for social change. To that end, we demystify technologies, the political process that governs access to our media system, and the effects of media on our lives and our communities.

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