Airwaves & Liberty

KPOV gets approved for full power
24 July 2008, 8:37 am
Filed under: Community Radio

Sent to me via the Grassroots Radio Coalition listserv:

KPOV Starts to Gear Up for Transition from 2 watts to 13,500 watts

KPOV StudiosWhen KPOV commenced programming on June 25, 2005, we wanted to offer the community an audio outlet, a gathering place for voices, music, thoughts, and political discourse seldom or rarely heard on the airwaves in Central Oregon. We strive each and every day, every show, every minute to entertain, educate and engage our community through low-powered, high quality radio in Bend.

Now, a little more than three years later, KPOV has the rare opportunity to achieve an even more ambitious goal!

The FCC recently granted KPOV a construction permit to build a full-power community radio station broadcasting at 13,500 watts! We now have three years to secure the funding, build the infrastructure and develop even better programming line up than we have today.

How will you and our community benefit?

– A more powerful signal will alleviate the reception issues many in Bend currently face with our low-power signal. In addition, residents in surrounding central Oregon communities will also be able to receive our signal.
– KPOV intends to offer an even greater presence in the community, from broadcasting and appearing at festivals and events to live election and political coverage to continuing to develop our web presence.

We will begin planning the transition to full-power later this year, with the help of community radio consultants and staff at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. We’ll keep you posted along the way and will ask for your input as we move forward.

Registration info for upcoming Grassroots Radio Conference
8 July 2008, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Community Radio

The 13th annual Grassroots Radio Conference is happening later this month out in Portland, hosted by the good folks at KBOO. I won’t be able to attend, but GRCs are usually pretty fun – if you have a chance, check it out. The email below is from KBOO’s Ani Haines.

– – – – –

GRC logoRegistration for the GRC will be open on Thursday, July 24th, 2 – 8pm. We will have a reception /social gathering at the Native American Student and Community Center from 5 – 8 pm.

Breakfast & Registration will be ready at 8 AM, Friday, July 25th, with the Opening Plenary beginning at 9:30 am.

The conference ends Sunday, 1:30 pm, following the Closing Plenary on Sunday, July 27th.

Many, many more details forthcoming. I will post a list of workshops to this list tomorrow.

Further updates: The rooms that we blocked out at University Place (at a great price!) are going fast. Please reserve your room now if you want one! I am copying the information from our website to the bottom of this email for everyone’s convenience.

And finally, if you are planning to come to the conference, PLEASE REGISTER SOON!!! I am trying to get a good count for food, etc. If you register AFTER JULY 18th, YOU MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO BE INCLUDED IN THE MEALS! So don’t delay, register today! You’ll be glad you did and so will I.

The GRC 13 food planning crew has just asked me to ask you: If you are coming to the Grassroots Radio Conference, we ask you to bring your own re-usable water bottle and travel mug. We are trying to use very few disposables, in keeping with our commitment to the environment.

Thanks so much! We are very excited to host this conference, along with KPCN, Portland Center for Public Humanities at PSU, and the PSU Departments of English and Communications.

I look forward to seeing you in about 2.5 weeks!

Grassroots Radio Conference: Fri Jul 25 – Sun Jul 27, 2008 in Portland, OR
19 May 2008, 9:24 am
Filed under: Community Radio

The 13th annual Grassroots Radio Conference is happening this July out in Portland, hosted by the good folks at KBOO. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to make it, but GRCs are usually pretty fun – if you have a chance, check it out.

– – – – –

GRC logoHello!

Yes! GRC-13 is happening in Portland, July 25 – 27, at Portland State University, primarily at the Native American Student and Community Center. We would love to have workshops and panel discussions in the following areas (and more— what are your ideas???):

» Live remote broadcasts
» Diversity issues – taking out barriers to inclusion
» Addressing “isms” – creating social change within our stations
» Role of community radio in disaster response
» Writing for radio
» FCC issues – current topics and concerns
» Multi-media challenges and opportunities
» Internet streaming
» Hands on production track
§ Interviewing skills
§ Storytelling
§ News reporting basics
§ Field recording
» Fundraising—beyond the membership drive
» Youth radio
» Crisis management – when things go awry
» Art of broadcast—how to make compelling radio that works for listeners
» Music & mission
» Radio theater
» Collaborations between stations
» Functional collectives
» Volunteer recruitment
» Non-violent communication within stations / conflict resolution
» DIY – equipment / studios and ???

We have some information at our website, and hope to have online registration working by next week.

The cost of this conference will be $110, and includes reception on Thursday evening, breakfast & lunch during the three days of the conference and all workshops / events.

There are various housing options, including rooms at the University Place Hotel. We have negotiated a special price of $109 plus tax, and it is 4 blocks from the conference.This is a flat rate, good for one to four persons per room. The rate is good July 23 through July 29. Each room has two double beds. The number of rooms at this rate is limited, so reserve now. Ask for the “KBOO Grassroots Radio Conference” rate. 866-845-4647.

KBOO is happy to try to arrange homestays for people that would like to stay with a KBOO volunteer (this is a free option), or, there are two hostels within a couple of miles of the conference (and on good public transportation / bike routes).

You must arrange your own housing, or let us know soon if you need a homestay arranged.

Please let me know if you are interested in leading a workshop or participating in a panel discussion. The list of workshop ideas is not exhaustive, if you have other ideas, just let me know!

We are very much looking forward to hosting this conference! We are working with KPCN-lpfm, in Woodburn (many of you may have attended the Prometheus Barnraising to build that station in 2006), Portland Center for Public Humanities at PSU, PSU Department of English, PSU Department of Communications, and KPSU fm, to make this a truly memorable GRC.

I am very happy to answer any further questions you might have– just ask.

love and solidarity,

GRC-13 Portland, July 25-27
28 April 2008, 9:02 am
Filed under: Community Radio

A message from Ani Haines at KBOO announcing this summer’s Grassroots Radio Conference.


GRC LogoGRC 13 is scheduled for this July 25 – 27th. It will be held at the Native American Student and Community Center, on the Portland State University campus– this is at the south end of the downtown area. We will have registration and gathering time beginning on Thursday, July 24th.

KBOO is partnering with KPCN, the low power station in Woodburn that was the object of a great Prometheus BarnRaising event that many of you attended. We are also partnering with the PSU English Department and other PSU entities.

We will have our web page about the conference (complete with registration form) up within the next two weeks.

Of course it is also time to put forth your great ideas for workshops/panel discussions that you either want to attend or give. Are there a couple of themes that we want to really explore in the time we have with one another? Let us know.

We have reserved a block of rooms at the University Place, which is a hotel about 5 blocks away. They are rooms with two queen size beds for $119 / night (regardless of number of guests). There are also two hostels in Portland, both about 2 miles from the conference, both both with good public transportation to PSU. We are also working to arrange homestays. If you would like a homestay arranged, please let us know as soon as possible (there will also be a place to indicate this on your registration form). If you would like to stay at the University Place, a hostel, or anything other than a homestay, you are responsible for booking your room.

The conference will include continental breakfast and a lunch, with omnivorous, vegetarian and vegan options. There will also be refreshments/ light fare served as we begin to gather on Thursday afternoon / evening.

Many more details will be posted to the website when we have it up and running, most likely by May 10th.

I will be away from any computers between Sunday afternoon and Wednesday night, so if you post comments or suggestions during that time, I won’t be able to respond until Wednesday night– that said, I am very much looking forward to hearing from you.

Love, solidarity and anticipation!

Community Radio Activists Murdered in Oaxaca
10 April 2008, 11:07 am
Filed under: Community Radio

April 7th, 2008. Oaxaca, Mexico.

Two indigenous triqui women who worked at the community radio station La Voz que Rompe el Silencio (The Voice that Breaks the Silence), in the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala (Mixteca region), were shot and murdered while on their way to Oaxaca city to participate in the State Forum for the Defense of the Rights of the Peoples of Oaxaca. Three other people were injured.

According to the State Attorney General, the victims are Teresa Bautista Merino (24 years old) and Felícitas Martínez Sánchez (20 years old).

Francisco Vásquez Martínez (30 years old), his wife Cristina Martínez Flores (22 years old), and their son Jaciel Vásquez Martínez (three years old) were also injured in the attack.

According to prelimary reports, the women had left the station, which is part of the Network of Indigenous Community Radio Stations of the Southeast (Red de Radios Comunitarias Indígenas del Sureste), around 1:00 PM. They were travelling in a truck on their way to Oaxaca city, but were ambushed on the outskirts of the community Llano Juarez.

The two community radio activists were supposed to coordinate the working group for Community and Alternative Communication: Community Radio, Video, Press, and Internet, at the State Forum for the Defense of the Rights of the People of Oaxaca, which was to begin the today (Wednesday) in the auditorium of Seccion 22 of the teachers union in Oaxaca.

The Center for Community Support Working Together (CACTUS as the spanish acronym) released a communique denouncing the murders and demanding that the state authorities investigate and punish those responsible for the crime.

The state attorney general said that 20 bullet shells, caliber 7.62, were found at the site of the murders, along with other arms including an AK-47.

People are encouraged to contact their local embassies and consulates (or to organize demonstrations at their local embassies and consulates) to express their condemnation of this paramilitary repression of indigenous women and community media projects.

Community Radio in India Set to Go Global
5 March 2008, 3:16 pm
Filed under: Community Radio


04 March 2008

AMARC logoSteve Buckley is a community radio buff and president of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC). He was recently in India for the first time since the Community Radio (CR) policy was approved here in November 2006.

Buckley is excited by the scope of CR in India and has plenty of wisdom to share from his 25-year love affair with radio that he began in Cambridge, as a pirate broadcaster. Piya Kochhar, co-founder of News Radio India, speaks to him.

PIYA KOCHHAR: Why radio? What draws you to this?

STEVE BUCKLEY: Radio is an extraordinarily accessible medium. It’s a medium that’s immediate, easy to use, and low-cost. What I discovered during my pirate broadcasting days, was that it was not so difficult to actually become a radio broadcaster. I mean we didn’t really pay any money to start our radio station. We just cobbled together a few easily accessible bits of electronics, built a transmitter, and went on the air.
Steve Buckley headshot
So I realised that broadcasting didn’t have to be medium of the elite. It didn’t have to be something inaccessible.

We could actually take control of this media; we could appropriate it for community use. And that’s what really inspired me and continues to do so every time I visit a local community radio project. I see people doing extraordinarily inspiring things.

PK: What are your thoughts on community radio in India?

SB: What’s exciting about it is the enormous potential that it has.

India really is just at the beginning. It’s entering into a completely new paradigm; a different sort of radio as you actually give people the opportunity to take a little part of the airwaves and occupy it and make it their own.

I think that the development of community radio in India is going to have an international effect when it really gets going. This is such a vast country, so diverse.

There’s so much innovation and creative potential here and also so much need. It’s a tremendously exciting time.

PK: How will it have an international effect?

SB: Well it already has. Community radio really is a global movement.

I was at our last world conference, the 9th world conference, where I was re-elected president. It was in Aman, Jordon in 2006. And on one of the last days of the conference we received news from India of the adoption of the community radio policy, and a huge cheer went up around the room! People from 90 countries were cheering, because we’d all known about the struggle to get community radio recognised and for licensing processes to be put in place. This has gone on at least since the 1990s to recognise the airwaves as public property, and yet it has taken so long despite the declarations of Bangalore and Pashtapur and wherever else that have come from CR advocates.

So even this breakthrough is important. India is a major player in the world today and for community radio to begin to take its presence in India, it’s going to have a major impact, no doubt about it.

PK: But it took so long just to get the policy approved. Going by how slowly things have moved, do you think it’ll be another 10 years before we actually have programming? How are you envisioning this playing out?

SB: There are things in this country that slow things down and there are things that move very quickly. I mean look at the way the economy has moved in the last few years.

With the new CR policy, we’ve overcome the most significant obstacle which was that you couldn’t get a license to run a community radio station.

Of course, there are still a few bureaucratic obstacles remaining I mean to get a CR license there are four different government departments that have to approve your proposal and every project is visited by the Ministry of Home Affairs to interview the people and decide whether they’re good and fit enough to hold a broadcasting license.

So this is going to slow us down a bit, but not very much. I think once community radio gets on the ground, once one village has one the next one’s going to say ‘Well, we should have one to’ and I think the whole thing will begin to snowball.

PK: And where do you think radio is going to be 10 years from now in India? What’s possible?

SB: Well 10 years from now, there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be a community radio station in every village. If the ministry officials are to be believed there’s enough frequencies out there for four or five thousand community radios, which in its own will be a huge phenomenon.

The pace of development is a little bit slow to start at the moment, but in other parts of the world much smaller countries have been building 100 or more community radio stations a year.

So there’s no reason why we shouldn’t achieve that target of 4,000 or 5,000 community radio stations across India. Now if you imagine that there were that many new radio stations a whole new tier of broadcasting that is outside of All India Radio, that is not run for profit, that is not part of 10 or 12 major chains but is owned by the community themselves, it’s just going to completely change the media landscape.

PK: How would you complete this sentence? “Community Radio is…”

SB: Community radio is the voice of the people. Community radio is our own radio, it’s not somebody else’s radio. Community radio is radio that belongs to us.

A community radio station isn’t just a space where people can speak, it’s where they can really speak out about issues that concern them and their lives. The type of programming that emerges will just sound completely different.

I think people will find that it’s something that they can really call their own. They will hear their family and friends on the airwaves and really know that that radio station belongs to them.

PK: It sounds very democratic. So many more people will be involved in changing and shaping their lives

SB: Yes, participation in community radio is a fundamental part of what it’s aboutand also to hold people to account. Community radio has a broader role in the democratic framework.

Democracy doesn’t work if you just elect governments every few years. It’s not just about elections but what happens between the elections.

How do you ensure that whoever is elected does what they said they’re going to do? And that requires certain checks and balances and the most important checks and balances is the media and the most important media is media that really gives the voices of the people independently.

PK: Any advice or wisdom you’d like to share from your personal experience? Something you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?

SB: I think the most important thing when people begin in community radio is that they do start from the bottom up.

I mean there’s a lot of agencies out there that want to be part of a new fashion and have great ideas about how this should be done, but what any given community radio needs to be defined by is the community itself. Its sustainability will come from its social base and not from its economic donors.

PK: So how long do you plan to remain in community radio?

SB: You know the development of community-based communication systems is a very long-term process. It’s very closely connected to the way in which the world develops politically.

So it’s not necessarily a steady process of development but sometimes one of quite difficult struggle for people involved in this movement, because we’re part of broader struggles against racism, for women’s rights, for the right for people to live a decent existence and be able to relinquish the conditions of poverty.

And, you know, how long is that going to take? Certainly I expect I’ll be doing this for the rest of my life. This is a long-term project to make a better world.

Support needed for the proposed new FCC low power FM rules
15 February 2008, 2:03 pm
Filed under: Community Radio

A message from Tom Voorhees via the Grassroots Radio Coalition listserv:

The FCC 99-25 LP-FM file needs many more comments in support of community radio localism. Please take the time today to file a comment to preserve and expand LP-FM community radio per the below easy automated links.
Much thanks,

Support needed for the proposed new FCC low power FM rules

The proposed new FCC LP-FM rules are now available for public comment. Your supportive comments are crucial to the re-establishment of broadcast radio and TV localism. Two automated response tools are provided below which you can add your own comments to if you want. Or if you are equipped to comment on the complexities check out the:
Preliminary report of #99-25 LPFM rule-making [PDF]
FCC requested LPFM, proposed rule making sections for comment [PDF]

FCC #99-25 automated response tools:
Ask the FCC to make many more FM channels available for LP-FM community localism.
Ask the FCC to protect LP-FM stations from much more powerful commercial stations.