While rooting around in the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System today to examine recent submissions to a proceeding in the agency’s Localism Task Force effort, I made a typo. Instead of searching for filings under the FCC docket number 04-433 (the magic number to file/find comments filed on broadcast localism), I mistyped and got the results for FCC# 04-223, which deals with a pending change to the FCC’s regulation of junk faxes.
Many listeners to the Educational Media Foundation‘s two christian music radio networks, K-LOVE and AIR1, are butterfingers like me. In 04-223 there are ~30 new filings from this week alone. They’re all from K-LOVE/AIR-1 listeners moved to support the networks – networks who are apparently afraid of an expansion of true local LPFM and can’t get enough of translators.
They’re all only a paragraph or two and full of interesting talking points:
“I’m currently a big fan of the K-LOVE radio station…”
“KLove is encouraging and you feel at peace listening to it. We need KLove. Every city needs KLove.”
“The LPFM “Localism” campaign has the potential to disrupt or replace K-LOVE’s signal in my area…This would eliminate a wholesome program that is beneficial to all ages of people and would be a devastating blow to the community.”
“Air1 provides a great alternative and is in the best interest of the community and our future.”
“The powerfully positive influence K-LOVE has had on so many ex-addicts, former prostitutes, gang members, & former inmates is astonishing. K-Love brings hope to those who it so desperately need it…It is highly in the public interest to continue having FM translators for K-Love.”
“Not having K-LOVE in Cincinnati would result in less encouragement for believers in Christ.”
“K-Love is also an integral part in supporting our troops and giving them hope and encouragement when times right now are uncertain and crazy.”
Lo and behold, there’s a new section to AIR1’s web site, advertised from the front page: “Send a comment to the FCC and save your local AIR1 station!” It takes concerned listeners to a page that paints LPFM as a threat and urges them to file comments in the current broadcast localism inquiry. However, it is not a fully automated submission process – just a link to the ECFS comment filing start page. Digits can get mixed up between clicks.
Checking the correct proceeding (docket 04-233) finds several dozen more (of more than 70,000 total filed so far). The technical term, I believe, is “mobilizing constituencies,” and it’s surprising it took them this long to find the party.