Scene Reports: Mississippi, D.C., California

Mississippi: A crew from the Midwest has arrived in Waveland, Mississippi, where the eyewall of Hurricane Katrina made landfall. 30-foot storm surges left survivors literally naked – yet a tent city of sorts has blossomed among the destruction. “Radio Free Waveland” is now providing a 40-watt morale boost among those trying to make the most of a desperate situation (still no FEMA there).

District of Columbia: WSQT gave a fiery interview to the folks at Free Radio Santa Cruz this week. The station is currently off the air after donating its transmitter to Gulf Coast relief efforts and is also relocating following a visit from the FCC earlier this month. I’m a big fan of WSQT’s intensity: it is a guerrilla war, and time and numbers work in our favor.

California: Stephen Dunifer and volunteers with Free Radio Berkeley are assembling a 75-watt transmitter to send to New Orleans. Also, there have been more reports about Berkeley Liberation Radio returning to the air on a regular basis, although details remain sketchy.

KAMP: Over and Out

The emergency LPFM station set up in Houston to serve those displaced from New Orleans by Katrina ran for just five days. Due to the consolidation of the remaining evacuees into one of Reliant Park’s smaller arenas, on-site media were asked to move to a different parking lot. Instead of deal with the hassle, KAMP volunteers decided to pack it in after power was cut to the station Saturday morning.

A KAMP spoke has nothing but high praise for the local authorities (a somewhat surprising turn of events), and wants to make sure they suffer no blame for the station’s premature sign-off: Read More

Scene Reports: Louisiana, Texas

Louisiana: The microradio station in Algiers is broadcasting community information, survivor stories, and any Katrina-related content it can find online on 94.5 FM. It’s desperately in need of volunteers to collect and broadcast news, as part of a larger community media center that’s opened up in the neighborhood.

The heart of the station is a 10-watt lunchbox transmitter donated by KRRR, an impromptu outlet that participated in an anti-Clear Channel protest last year in San Antonio, Texas. That is feeding a homemade dipole antenna held up by a mast fashioned with wood scavenged from damaged/destroyed buildings. The signal gets out pretty well, although with just 10 watts its primary coverage is neighborhood-level, not citywide by any stretch. Read More