You’re Invited: Community Radio Volunteer Fair in Seattle

Seattle radio voluneer fairCalling all radio fans in the Emerald City: on August 20, in honor of National Radio Day, we’re co-hosting a volunteer recruitment fair with KEXP. Discover what LPFM stations are near you, what ones are coming soon, and how they could use your help.

WHEN: Sunday, August 20 | 1-4PM

WHERE: The Gathering Space at KEXP | 472 1st Ave N, Seattle

Participating Seattle Radio Stations

Rainier Valley Radio KVRU-LP 105.7 FM*
RainierAvenueRadio.World (online)
KBCS 91.3 FM Bellevue/Seattle (full power)
KBFG-LP 107.3 FM NW Seattle*
Hollow Earth Radio KHUH-LP 100.3 FM*
SPACE 101.1 FM KMGP-LP Magnuson Park*
OneAmerica Radio KQWZ-LP 106.5 FM SeaTac*
Earth On-the-Air Independent Media KODX-LP 96.9 FM*
Valley KAPY-LP 103.1 FM Duvall/Carnation/Redmond Ridge

Please note: * radio stations soon to be on air

This fair is free, just RSVP here.

Read more about our Doer, Sabrina Roach’s efforts working with LPFM community radio and find out about how KEXP plans to celebrate National Radio Week.

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Community Radio Brainstorm: We Are Not Alone

Brainstorm1Post by Sabrina Roach, Brown Paper Tickets Public Media Doer

As director of Brown Paper Tickets’ National Make Radio Challenge, I helped as many nonprofit organizations as possible learn about the opportunity to apply for a free low-power FM radio license in 2013. This year, I’m assisting applicants in building capacity so they can successfully get on the air and start broadcasting to local communities.

I’m co-facilitating a public community brainstorm tonight, April 17, 2014, at Historic Takoma in Takoma Park, MD. We’ll talk about what’s going on nationally with low-power FM radio and Historic Takoma’s local effort to create low-power FM community radio. Even if they don’t get the radio frequency, they will have a great foundation for any kind of community media project. At the very least, they will have more of a focus on telling their own stories by making their own media.

If your organization was one of the 2,780 nonprofits, colleges and faith organizations that applied for a low-power FM (LPFM) frequency through the Federal Communications Commission last November—and especially if you are one of the 1,137 who’ve already had your application accepted by the FCC—there are many community radio stations already on the air that are happy to share their knowledge and experience with you. One of the best ways to find roughly 250 of them is to join the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. They have a listserve where people trade technical assistance and thoughts on community radio. All questions get answered either by peers or Federation staff. They also have group buys on music royalties and equipment.
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Five Ways Low Power FM Will Power Up Public Radio

ds106-world-radio-dayWorld Radio Day is this Thursday, February 13. It’s the perfect time to talk about how Low Power FM Radio could change the public and community radio landscape in the United States. For the past three years, I’ve been putting a shoulder into low power FM (LPFM) infrastructure development. I have helped to get the word out about the opportunity nationally, assisted nonprofits with their applications, fostered relationships between applicants and identified resources to help them build. I’ve never seen so much enthusiasm for community radio, and my little public radio nerd heart is gleeful about the potential. Maybe some of the ideas are a stretch. I’m certainly showing my enthusiastic idealist colors, but World Radio Day encourages expansive thinking and big ideas. One thing’s for sure, LPFM will have an impact.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) created World Radio Day in 2011 to annually prompt us to think about the transformative power of radio. This year their focus is gender equality. People from around the world are contributing audio and video clips in which they further the discussion about gender in radio and other ongoing structural issues like race and class.

We know we have structural issues in public media. We talk about them at our conferences and participate in trainings at our stations, but the conversation doesn’t get much past working on individual racism and an introduction to white privilege. These inequities require multipronged solutions. One small way to chip away at them is the current LPFM radio infrastructure build out.

Some numbers that illustrate how we’re doing:

Women hold less than 7% of all TV and radio station licenses.
People of color hold just over 7% of radio licenses and 3% of TV licenses.
[source: Free Press]

92.7% of journalists at commercial radio stations are white.
81.5% of journalists at non-commercial radio stations are white.
91.3% of radio news directors (commercial & non) are white.
67.3% of the work force in local radio news are male.
[source: Radio Television Digital News Association 2012 survey]

For reference, the US population is 51% female and 49% male / 72.4% white and 27.6% people of color [source: US 2010 census]
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Seattle! Celebrate the Sound of Tomorrow at the Pike Place Market!

SoundOfTom_FBNext Tuesday, October 15, two very important things are happening:

1. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will open an application window for thousands of low power FM radio frequencies (LPFM) across the United States.

2. Sabrina Roach, Brown Paper Tickets Doer, specializing in Public Media, will be producing a lunch to celebrate Puget Sound applicants!

We here at Brown Paper Tickets have been working for two and a half years to get the word out to non-profits around the country about the possibilities that LPFM offers — we see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shift our media landscape on both a local and national level. That’s why we’ve been collaborating with local public agencies to help support applicants.

All that work has paid off, and on this coming Tuesday, October 15th, we’re bringing together a celebration of the local organizations that could soon be popping up on your radio dial. Consider this your invitation to meet the LPFM applicants in your neighborhood, get your own map of the proposed new media landscape in the Puget Sound, and enjoy some free food while you’re at it.

They’re our airwaves. What’s your vision?

*What: Celebrate the Sound of Tomorrow: A Brown Paper Tickets Neighborhood Radio Party*

*Where:  Pike Place Market Elliott Bay Room on the top floor of the Economy Market Atrium.

*When: Tuesday, October 15th , 2013 at noon.

*RSVP here!

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Mid-Week Beat: Is Radio Still Relevant in the Digital Age?

large_war-of-the-worldsThis week on the Mid-Week Beat we stray away from our usual format of featuring bands and shows to focus on radio, and more specifically Low Power FM. Radio is an important medium that is just as relevant and useful to independent musicians as it is to community groups and non-profits, even in the age of the Internet. Today, on World Radio Day, we feel it’s important to talk about some exciting developments for independent, community-based radio and to encourage all of you to support the independent radio stations in your own community. Happy World Radio Day everyone!

Every musician wants to connect with their audiences and, in the past, radio airplay has been the key to achieving that. I know some of you can remember the excitement of when you heard your favorite song come on the radio or, if your a musician, the first time you heard your own music on the radio. Younger musicians like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, have made it clear that the walls of the old school music industry are crumbling in favor of D.I.Y. online solutions, but does that mean that the power of radio has diminished?

No one who listened to Orson Welles’ famous radio play, “War of the Worlds” would have questioned the importance of radio. The realistic “theatre of the mind” made people of that day pack their bags, call the police and go into basic panic mode, because what you create in your mind can be even more powerful than anything that you see or read. Surely, radio as a medium would remain important to artists who’s work can primarily be appreciated and shared through the sense of sound… at least, as long as audiences were still tuning in.

But in the digital age, has radio outlived its relevance?

According to the United Nations, radio remains the medium that reaches the widest audience worldwide, and radio is able to connect better with communities regardless of economics or education levels. Radio can reach listeners who are engaged in other activities and tell stories in a way that resonates in a different way than other forms of media are able to. This is just as true in the world’s largest cities as it is in places without a digital communications infrastructure.
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Nonprofits Invited to Learn How to Own The Airwaves

Are you a nonprofit?

It’s time to dream big! Now, your nonprofit has an opportunity to own a piece of the airwaves, and it’s easier than you might think.

This Friday, November 30, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will announce rules on how nonprofits can apply for low-power FM radio licenses (LPFM) across the United States. These radio signals will reach 3 to 10 miles, serving communities in a similar way to how neighborhood and community blogs do for the online community.

We expect the FCC announcement will guarantee that the new local stations are run by truly local organizations and are broadcasting programming that originates locally. As radio signals go, LPFM isn’t too expensive, and you’d  have two years to raise the money. Watch the live Internet stream of the FCC meeting announcing the rules for application at 10 a.m. EST/7 a.m. PST,  here.  Join me for a #LPFM Twitter Party, hosted by Prometheus Radio Project, sharing comments, questions, and insights as we all watch the event.  If you miss the event, don’t worry!   To learn more about about what this announcement could mean for your school, community organization, or nonprofit, read on!


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Non-Profits: What Would You Do With Your Own Radio Station?

Today, many of us get our news from neighborhood blogs that report the goings-on in our local communities. These blogs and their popularity are indicative of how hyper-local news is effective in binding and supporting neighborhoods. Another growing source of local information are low-powered FM radio stations, which are non-commercial stations that operate at low power, for low cost, to a hyper-local community area. The popularity of hyper-local engagement has even caught the attention of the FCC, who recently approved the granting of hundreds more low-powered FM radio station licenses to local non-profits.

This provides a unique opportunity for non-profits to use the airwaves as a tool for broadcasting to their local community, and for making a difference in the world.  We encourage any of the non-profits that we work with to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Think about it — what would your non-profit be able to accomplish with your own community radio station?

Here’s the story of the community radio station WSLR 96.5 LPFM in Sarasota, Florida. This short documentary gives you a sense of the people, passion and vision that creates community radio and the valuable contributions that stations like WSLR give to their communities. Think how great it would be to have a station like WSLR in your town or city, promoting your causes to your very own hyper-local community! This is your opportunity to make that happen.


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