|It's good to see community radio don't have to go through hoops no more!|
Well, at least this act is settled (unlike H.R.848 "The Performance Rights Act" I blogged about way back when)!
I check out the Prometheus Radio Project frequently, and they broke it to me that Congress has finally passed S.592, the Local Community Radio Act. According to their press release, the House and Senate has given the FCC a mandate for thousands of new community stations nationwide.
Sounds great, right? Right!
Why? Because it's a win for the little guy, of course, but also is a win for the home team (whoever yours may be). For about ten years, since the Radio Broadcast Preservation Act, small town radio has suffered under the shrinking dial frequency thanks to big corporate radio stations wanting to minimize use of the spectrum for their own gain, claiming interference (which ended up being a claimed disproved by a Congress-mandated study in 2003).
The new bill is waiting for President Obama's signature. According to Pitchfork, it does state that approval of the FCC must be "based on the needs of the local community," and that restrictions are in place to prevent applicants from getting a low power FM license if he or she has violated section 301 of the Communication Act of 1934.
The most awesome thing about the Local Community Radio Act is that this could possibly lead to more media job creation! Your girl needs a job, and is not afraid to step into the booth as a radio jockey. The world needs Bubble Gum Pop Rap on the airwaves, right? Wouldn't that be dope! Seriously, this could create more jobs in a starving market, so journalists and folks who love the radio should rejoice as Congress has done something amazing for once!
This wouldn't be right if I didn't shout out the following local radio stations in Atlanta that I always listen to when I'm in the car or near the frequency box!!!
WRFG 89.3 - Radio Free Georgia, man oh man. It plays a little bit of everything progressive-wise, including REAL experimental music, REAL bluegrass and country, and REAL hiphop music, and also very helpful and resourceful talk shows (not the crappy sensationalizing talk shows that scare the bejeebus out of folks just to tune them in on a permanent basis). I especially like their hiphop show Beats & Lyrics, plus their late night shows... which isn't what you think at all. I promise.
WRAS 88.5 - Album 88 is a radio station based at Georgia State University in downtown Atl. The thing I like about them is that they play what's hot in the blogosphere and in the community. It's a great place to hear local bands, indie bands, and whatever other music stuff that's considered hipster. I'm no hipster, but everytime I tune in, I always have a "THAT'S MY ISH RIGHT THERE!" moment. The thing I can't stand is that it's the ONLY radio station around that plays the atypical music.
WREK 91.1 - Georgia Tech's station is a station I tune into from time to time. I caught wind of it when they had a F' Action hour, which was interesting considering it was a Sunday evening. I always find something dope on Saturday nights on the road to a show or something, as they always have some crazy Techno or Drum & Bass record going crazy. Ultimately, they always play some jazz or big band record that keeps me tuned in.
There are a couple more stations that I like, or at least keep on my dial until I buck up and change to V-103 or Hot1079 or one of the old school stations. But the classic rock station The River, alternative rock stations 99x and Project 9-6-1 do keep me occupied when absolutely nothing else is on the radio. I hope this new Local Community Radio Act forms more local stations here in the A that provide more voices to this city.