and Anti-fracking / Anti-war lists in New York and PA:
A rare window opportunity is opening up for reforming
YOUR local broadcast media outlets, TV and Radio.
To take advantage of this, you must begin planning NOW.
THE MEDIA PROBLEM:
In most areas, most stations play 95% robotic streams
from a satellite, only injecting local commercials.
What little news and public affairs is out there is generally
lies somewhere between extremely right-wing, conservative,
pro-war, pro-fracking, all the way to fascist.
There are generally NO local voices on the air,
NO opportunity for independent community producers to get content on,
and NO progressive topics covered fairly.
In fact, many of the stations are COMPLETELY AUTOMATED after dark.
No humans at the station at all.
No More Incidents like Minot ND!!
In January 2002, there was a train derailment in Minot ND.
All of the radio stations were operated by Clear Channel.
The stations were automated, the Emergency Alert system was automated.
People tried calling the radio stations to try to get alerts out
but the one guy on duty didn't answer the phones.
(Have you ever tried to call a local on-air DJ lately?)
1: The Community Needs Assessment
2: The "Citizens Agreement"
3: The Petition to Deny
Every eight years every broadcast television and radio license holder
must file to renew with the FCC. This renewal process is normally
a rubber-stamp, because most communities are completely
unaware the process is occurring, and completely unaware
of their opportunity to participate in the process.
Here's how the process ideally works.
1) Perform a Community Needs Assessment.
Poll your area and find out how the various broadcast outlets are (or are not) meeting local needs.
2) The "Citizens Agreement"
This is an element of the FCC-required Public File. After you perform your needs
assessment, you try to negotiate with the General Manager of the station
and try to get him/her to agree -- in writing-- to commit to whatever it is you
find your community needs. Here are some things you might ask for:
- Less hate speech
- Less offensive programming
- Less conservative talk
- Less robotic streams
- More locally produced shows
- More news
- More coverage of community events
- More content from independent community producers
- More local talk shows
- More diversity in (music, public affairs, etc)
needs and local media problems and come up with creative solutions.
Use you imagination of what might be possible!
3) If you fail to negotiate your "Citizens Agreement", file a formal Petition to Deny
If you fail to negotiate your Citizens Agreement, that you make a formal complaint to the
FCC and ask them to deny the license renewal. YOU MUST DO THIS 2 months before
the actual license expiration.
Even if you do everything right it is a long shot.
BUT-- if enough people get educated on this process
and start getting involved, this has the potential to gain some
Here are the dates of the license expirations:
- radio:Jun 2014 TV:Jun 2015
- radio:Aug 2014 TV Aug 2014
- The Free Press Media Action Guide has some great information:
- The UCC Media Empowerment Organizing Manual is also a great resource:
I am quite familiar with this process and would be willing to come and address your group
and help get you started.
Bill Huston phone: 607-321-7846
Please help distribute this to all media reform, peace,
sustainability, Green, progressive, anti-war,
and other activist lists in New York and Pennsylvania.
THIS IS A ONCE PER 8 YEARS OPPORTUNITY!
Don't pass this up, folks.
Don't get mad.... GET ORGANIZED!
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)