Category Archives: Community Media

Community-focused, independent media source

Freedom of the Press: Good or Bad, Aren’t you glad you get some real news on the Internet?


“America’s journalists are not ‘newshounds’. They are nothing more than salesclerks, hocking the products their employers want to sell. The pretty faces that now function as most television news anchors are no different than the pretty models used to sell other products. The American “free” press is comprised of nothing more than a number of retail outlets which sell stories slanted to please their target audiences. As such, they exist merely to sell snake oil.”

Click Here for the story…

Mo’ Power for Low Power

In 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began accepting LPFM license applications from community groups around the country. But the broadcast lobby, including the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and National Public Radio (NPR) opposed opening up the airwaves. By the end of 2000, Congress—folding under industry pressure—passed the “Radio Broadcasting Preservation Act” to block urban LPFM stations, based on the radio industry’s claim that adding 100-watt, low-power stations into the FM spectrum would endanger full-power broadcasters’ signals.

Activists hope Congress will allow low-power FM radio stations in urban areas in 2009.

By Jeremy Gantz via Infoshop

CHICAGO —The Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP), an all-volunteer radio group formed in 2007, will begin webcasting this winter—though millions of city residents who live close to the station won’t be able to hear its programming.

That’s because urban Low Power FM (LPFM) radio stations remain illegal.

In 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began accepting LPFM license applications from community groups around the country. But the broadcast lobby, including the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and National Public Radio (NPR) opposed opening up the airwaves. By the end of 2000, Congress — folding under industry pressure — passed the “Radio Broadcasting Preservation Act” to block urban LPFM stations, based on the radio industry’s claim that adding 100-watt, low-power stations into the FM spectrum would endanger full-power broadcasters’ signals.

However, in 2003 the Mitre Corporation, funded by a $2 million grant from the government, found that LPFM stations do not interfere with the signals of existing full-power stations. In late 2007, the FCC recommended that Congress eliminate the interference regulation that blocked LPFM stations from entering urban airwaves.

“I don’t know what more evidence they need,” says Joe Torres, government relations manager for Free Press, a media reform organization. “There is no legitimate basis for NAB and NPR to claim that LPFM will interfere with broadcast stations.”

Since 2000, more than 800 rural LPFM stations have begun broadcasting. In some cases, they provide listeners with local emergency updates and information unavailable on commercial stations.

But urban groups like CHIRP are gearing up for swift passage next year of legislation that could finally bring independent community radio to a city near you.

Love Twitter? Try Portland’s new ‘Twisitor Center’

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland has become the first city in America to try putting its visitor center on Twitter.

Twitter is a social networking Web site where people post very short messages.  Many people know all about Twitter but if you’re new to the idea, here’s a video that explains it all.

In what Portland is calling its Twisitor Center on Twitter, visitors can ask quick travel questions about the city – questions like:

  • Where’s a good place to have lunch downtown?
  • What’s a good show to see?

To post a question, just make sure to add the identifier #inpdx at the end of your tweet.  Examples:

  • “What’s the best way to get from the airport to downtown? #inpdx”
  • “Looking for a sandwich shop with free Wi-Fi, any suggestions? #inpdx”

Not only does the Travel Portland Visitor Information Bureau offer an expert’s suggestion, because it is on Twitter, anyone can help – locals helping visitors.

By Brian Wood and KATU.com Staff   Video

FCC Order Would Make Wireless Broadband an Information Service

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is circulating an order that would classify wireless broadband Internet access service as an information service, rather than a telecommunications service. More Here

Citizen Journalism 2.0

Business Week
Video blogging is a particularly dangerous business in Baghdad. Isam Rasheed, the publisher of the weekly vlog “Alive in Baghdad” believes that vlogging is the only way to tell the true story of what’s currently going on in Iraq.

Whereas CNN, MSNBC and Fox News can afford protection for their journalists, vloggers play a dangerous game. In one case, two of Rasheed’s writers were captured and held for 72 hours. In Iraq, anyone filming without an entourage can easily be regarded as a spy, but Rasheed maintains the risk is worth taking.

It’s this kind of citizen journalism that’s reshaping the way we consume content. The networks can censor their content all they want, but user-generated video exists as a powerful alternative to disseminate images and information.

And rhetoric. We’ve seen two different stories today that show how video can be manipulated to tell a story: Corporations can create slickly produced PR messages, and vigilante journalists can also place themselves in the middle of news events to expose harsh realities. – Read the whole story…

Yahoo and Reuters: Now Accepting Citizen Journalist Submissions

The New York Times
A new demand for citizen journalism has come right on the heels of the user-generated video boom. Just yesterday, Reuters and Yahoo announced that anyone with a digital camera or a camera phone could submit pictures and video of news events, to be placed throughout Reuters.com and Yahoo News.

Reuters said it would also start to distribute some of the submissions to the thousands of print, online and broadcast media outlets that subscribe to its news service. It also hopes to develop a site comprised completely of user-submitted photographs and video.

“There is an ongoing demand for interesting and iconic images,” said Chris Ahearn, president of the Reuters media group. Reuters and many other news organizations have always bought newsworthy pictures from “stringers,” individuals and part-time contributors, but as Ahearn said,this is like seeing the whole world as potential stringers. The Yahoo-Reuters program is called “You Witness News.”

Yahoo and Reuters certainly won’t be the first news partnership to extend the offer to citizen journalists–though it may the biggest, as Yahoo News is the most widely-read news service on the Web, according to comScore Media Metrix. Blogging has been around for years, as have user-contributions to local newspapers. Earlier in the year, CNN and the BBC began both began soliciting user submissions. – Read the whole story…

Chicago gets hyper-local news network

Chicago’s Sun-Times News Group (STNG) is integrating its 98 local news websites into one network connecting 120 communities across the Windy City.

The STNG network, which includes Suntimes.com – one of the 10 most visited newspaper websites in the US, will continue to provide local community news while creating direct access to all the other communities in the network.