Category Archives: Media Ownership

Mergers, diversity of ownership, and multiple perspectives.

Low Power Radio Power Increase: FCC Considering LP 250

After many years of advocacy, the U.S. Low Power Radio community may be getting what it wants. The Federal Communications Commission has announced that they are considering a proposal to broadly authorize a power increase for many low power radio stations from 100 watts to 250 watts.

So-called “simple LP250”, which would make the increased wattage available with a minimum of exclusionary conditions, would provide the mini-radio stations with increased reach and increased legitimacy.

Two-thirds of existing low power radio stations are outside the top 100 media markets and offer local news, information and culture in areas with relatively little media diversity.

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California Could Vastly Expand Affordable Broadband — If The Legislature Acts Now

by Chris Witteman and Tracy Rosenberg. Originally published at 48 Hills.

Fourteen months of COVID quarantine made one thing clear: we need our broadband. 

It used to be only media activists who insisted that Internet access was an essential service; now it’s accepted wisdom. 

Unfortunately, the last year has also made clear that the current system is broken. Pictures of kids doing homework in parking lots because they have no broadband at home highlight the problem: The market has failed to deliver adequate broadband because there is no market. 

High-speed broadband in most areas is available only from the monopoly cable company, occasionally from the duopoly phone company.  It’s overpricedunreliable, and – even based on the carriers’ overstated reporting — simply not available to millions of Californians – certainly not at the bandwidth needed for today’s applications. 

People know this is so, despite industry propaganda to the contrary.  

Californians need fast, modern Internet. Gov Newsom has responded with a budget that allots $7 billion — from a mix of state surplus dollars and federal rescue money – to actually build public broadband infrastructure rather than just talk about it or continue to throw money at the incumbents.   

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The Official Project Censored Show

Looking ahead to the upcoming annual conference of the Alliance for Community Media West, Mickey speaks with two long-time activists in the community-media movement- Sue Buske and Tracy Rosenberg; they discuss the future of public-access cable channels, associated public/local media, and the role community media centers can play centering marginalized voices in local news deserts, especially in hyper-artisan times. The ACM West’s 2022 conference is taking place in San Jose, CA from March 30 through April 1. In the second half of the show, we learn about the iconic, pathbreaking civil-rights activist, lawyer, clergy, and feminist, Pauli Murray (1910-1985), from Simki Kuznick, author of a newly-published Murray biography. That which Murray fought for foreshadowed and impacted many of the civil rights campaigns that continue to this day. Notes: Tracy Rosenberg is Executive Director of Media Alliance, a San-Francisco-based advocacy organization involved in a wide array of campaigns, including net neutrality, personal privacy, and many other issues. Sue Buske is Vice-Chair of ACM West, and heads a consulting firm (the Buske Group) assisting local governments and nonprofit organizations on cable-TV matters. The California Assembly bills discussed on the show are AB2635 and AB2748. Simki Kuznick is the author of “Pauli Murray’s Revolutionary Life” (from Rootstock Publishing). While living in California, she helped found the group Interracial Pride. Now based in the Washington, DC area, she is a writer and editor, holds an MFA in Creative Writing. 

Protect Community Media From Cable Lies

We need your help right now for community media. 

Cable industry lobbyists have swamped the state capital with lies and distortions to stop much-needed changes in the discriminatory treatment of public content on cable.

They want to keep on degrading the signals of public community benefit TV channels to outdated technology that makes Zoom captions illegible and compresses images so they are indecipherable. By down-converting a high definition signal to a standard definition signal, up to 80% of the picture information is discarded. This is ridiculous in 2022 and will get a lot more ridiculous as time goes by. 

Industry has somehow convinced the state Assembly that providing functional and robust community benefits on cable systems will break the bank, although 20 other states already have high definition public channels, including the cities of Denver, Chicago, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Portland and Seattle. Californians already pay some of the highest average cable bills in the country. 

We only have two weeks to set the record straight and combat the lies or this modest reform dies. 

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Cable Customer Service Under Review

ACTION: After the first new cable regulation bill in 15 years, the public utilities commission can now consider cable’s execrable customer service record when renewing licenses. In a proceeding at the CPUC, they are asking how best to do that. We have answers.

If you’d like to help rein in the cablecos, you can sign up to receive our comments and sign on in support. Tell us that you are with us here.

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The Battle for Translators – Low Power FM

As the FCC ramps up to open the first Low-Power FM radio station licensing window in several years, LPFM advocates are asking the Commission to consider making a window for translator licenses exclusively for non-commercial licensees.

Translators enable radio stations to broadcast at greater distances and help to circumvent geographic obstacles to radio waves, like mountains and tall buildings They are especially critical to low-power stations which work on small power allocations and often serve rural areas with rugged terrain.

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