Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Community Owned Radio and Takoma (DC/MD) Radio?

Community media is another issue (see the extensive writings by Robert McChesney) that is very important to civic well being and participation.

The chaining up of radio and television and newspapers, not to mention the decline of metropolitan newspapers, and the decline of locally-relevant news content within such media helps to dumb down a community and reduce its ability to self-organize.

Community websites, blogs, and social media have stepped up a bit to fill the gap, but the reality is that such sites are for the most part micro-media, and require users to actively seek out and/or produce the content.

And there are various initiatives to support community broadband and community radio as the provision of the infrastructure necessary to support community media.

Even though "mainstream media" is declining, the reality is that most mainstream media outlets get much larger readership, viewership, or listenership than social media.  So vehicles with broader reach are necessary too.

More attention is being given to low power community radio.  Low power radio has a couple mile radius.  For the longest time, it hasn't been legal--and in DC, one such guerrilla effort is Radio CPR in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, a neighborhood which over the years has supported a variety of community-grassroots initiatives.

But times are changing and the Federal Communications Commission allowed a round of applications for licenses, which were due by November 15th, 2013.

-- Low Power Radio webpage, FCC
-- Prometheus Radio Project

Historic Takoma, the historic preservation and community organization in Takoma Park Maryland and the Takoma neighborhood in DC is looking to apply for one of the licenses.   (I suspect that Radio CPR applied for a license but I don't know.)

See their webpage at Takoma Radio.  Also see "Takoma Park resident tries to bring community low-power FM radio to her area" from the University of Maryland Diamondback.

From the webpage:
LPFM does not require special receiving equipment. It’s regular FM radio with a less powerful signal. Our station will operate at 100 watts and reach two to five miles from downtown Takoma Park. Nationally,there are over 800 community-based, non-profit LPFM stations on the dial already. This is the first “give-away” in urban areas, frequencies are scarce, additional rules apply, and Takoma Radio is highly prepared.
They have a fundraiser concert tonight at the Seekers Church Space in Takoma DC.

Although I don't know much about the bands.

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