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Strategies for Media ReformInternational Perspectives$
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Des Freedman, Jonathan Obar, Cheryl Martens, and Robert W. McChesney

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823271641

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823271641.001.0001

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The Battle Over Low-Power FM in the United States

The Battle Over Low-Power FM in the United States

(p.182) Chapter Fourteen The Battle Over Low-Power FM in the United States
Strategies for Media Reform

Hannah Sassaman

Pete Tridish

Fordham University Press

Five lessons learned from the fight for low-power FM radio in the US: 1) There’s no replacement for a passionate grassroots effort that wants to build something. Even though Prometheus was a tiny outfit working out of a two-room church basement, we were able to harness the power of people who felt robbed of the community radio they needed. 2) Local voices with meaningful stories can be louder than the richest broadcasters in the world. We encouraged people to share detailed, specific, personal stories with legislators about how their community could use a radio station. 3) We learned how long it takes to make change. It took our grassroots efforts ten years to get a pro-public interest correction through. 4) Choose campaigns well, campaigns that will keep on making a difference in long term, and stick with them long enough to win them. 5) If we can organize together outside of campaign work—outside of calling Congress, signing petitions, taking action—we will build a more permanent understanding of each other across communities, race and class: the lines that divide us and keep big media strong.

Keywords:   community radio, grassroots lobbying, Local Community Radio Act, low-power FM, LPFM, media activism

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