Partial Hiatus Ahoy & Miscellaneous Notes

Look for more sporadic news updates this month as I hunker down and pound out major portions of my master’s thesis. Regular refreshes (like the Schnazz) will continue, and news updates will occur if the story’s is big or unique, both of which could happen considering the FCC’s official implementation of its media ownership rule revisions takes place on September 4.

All of the coordinated grassroots media reform e-mail and call-in campaigns have worked so well to date that a big petition push is now on, and a national conference on media reform is slated for November 7-9 here in Madison. The Amherst Alliance has also ginned up a double-sided flyer for “LPFM Summer,” which is starting to hit full stride. Read More

RFPI Lockout Surprise

On Monday officials with the University for Peace attempted to make good on their threat to evict Radio for Peace International from its studios on the University campus (even though RFPI owns the building). This comes after a previous agreement worked out following the eviction notice sent last month in which both sides were supposed to sit down and discuss their problems on August 11.

RFPI staff had been operating on the timetable of the agreement, so when they showed up for work Monday and the initial attempt to enter the building was rebuffed there was plenty of shock to go around. The station’s web site has been modified accordingly, and a Save RFPI site is now operational as well.

Democracy Now! is on the story and the short interview sheds some interesting light on the roots of the conflict. Even the U.N.’s University for Peace is being forced to follow the flag of corporate globalization, and RFPI may be a casualty in the struggle against that.

Florida Broadcasters Change Tactics Against Pirates

An article in the business section of Sunday’s Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel newspaper highlights the “pirate problem” in southern Florida and features lots of quotes from irate broadcast industry-types. My favorite comes from David Ross, Clear Channel’s regional vice president for its 27 south Florida broadcast properties:

“They’re destroying the ability of listeners to hear what they choose and our ability to serve advertisers. It’s a form of squatting. They don’t pay any taxes, they’re breaking the law, they don’t need to meet any licensing requirements and they affect all of us, from the biggest to the smallest operator.” While there is a huge mass of pirate activity in Florida, making that state the most active by far, one gets the sense Ross would say the same thing in any situation where there’s “pirates.” Read More

Latest Amendment One: “LPFM Summer”

Don Schellhardt’s newest column is about a grassroots lobbying effort taking place over the next couple of months while Congress takes a summer break: call your Senators and Representatives and bug them at home about media reform.

The goal is twofold: build momentum for rollback of the FCC’s June media ownership rule changes and convince Congress to restore the FCC’s LPFM service to its original parameters.

Since the political conditions are ripe for success on both fronts, the timing for such a campaign couldn’t be better.