Friday, June 22, 2007

Hannah Sassaman on Democracy Now

Hannah, one of the leaders of Prometheus Radio, leads a song for the new station in Tennessee. The words are:
Nashville, Nashville,
Here is your radio station
You better use it
Before the Zombies
Tune to another frequency
Radio, radio
Low Power Ra-Di-O
For the people
Who want their voices
To find a wave!
Hannah was on Democracy Now! this morning. Hannah Sassaman of the Prometheus Radio Project spoke about a series of developments that could result in the creation of hundreds – if not thousands – of new non-commercial radio stations. Legislation has been introduced that would allow the FCC to grant more licenses to low power FM stations. Meanwhile the FCC is opening the door for new non-commercial and education full power radio stations.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Prometheus and PCUN
On August 18-20, Prometheus Radio collaborated with PCUN- Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Treeplanters and Farmworkers United of the Northwest), for PRP's tenth radio station barnraising, to build KPCN-lp Woodburn, OR. Local volunteers from Portland's KBOO and Indymedia were joined by national volunteers throughout the US and international volunteers from Central and South America and gathered in the Willamette Valley of Oregon to make a long-standing dream of PCUN's come true! Since the organization formed in 1985 to protect the rights of Woodburn's immigrant treeplanters and farmworkers, it has been in the organization's vision to own and operate its own radio station to use as a tool to discuss the group's numerous issues and campaigns (right - PCUN mobilizes 20,000 demonstrators in Salem, Oregon during May Day 2006)Video by Pepperspray Collective


The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC published on its website today, “Community Radio Social Impact Assessment: Removing barriers, Increasing Effectiveness”. To download and read the document, please go to:

The publication contains the key findings of the participatory action-research process conducted by AMARC in 2006, seeking to identify the barriers that limit the potential positive impact of community radio and explore ways to increase the effectiveness of community radio in achieving poverty reduction, development objectives, inclusiveness and democracy building in local communities.

The last AMARC 9 World Conference of Community Radio Broadcasters held in Amman Jordan in November 2006, (see: ) received the first findings of the evaluation process and defined strategic lines of action for 2007-2010 seeking to reinforce the CR movement by removing barriers and establishing conditions for increasing its effectiveness. This book seeks to share the evaluation process findings and contribute to increased debate and awareness on CR social impact.

For Comments and to ask for hard copies please contact Norm Stockwell from community radio in Madison, Wisconsin and Virginia Magwaza-Setshedi from the Freedom of Expression Institute in South Africa at the AMARC meeting in Nairobi at the World Social Forum in January, 2007.


From Mediact's Web Page:
The Media Center is part of the public cultural infrastructure, aimed at raising the nation's media literacy, which is necessary for the 21st century era of visual information. The Media Center has its own independent film theater, a 'cinematheque' where visitors can watch and talk about a variety of visual material. Equipped with a wide range of tools used in the digital media environment, the Media Center enables professionals and amateurs to produce their own visual material and to attend media education programs. The Media Center is also involved in the research, study, collection, management and preservation of existing media resources. In other words, it is a comprehensive media culture center.http://www.mediact.orgMigrant Workers Television has a regular slot on a public access cable channel and on satellite in Korea.

Friday, June 15, 2007


"BURN STATION is a multipart project travelling through Europe, investigating the different aspects of free culture (free software community, open source policies, organizational strategies and independent distribution) from a social and local perspective. Our prime interest is to track the history of independent media culture back to the 60's, from Marcel Mauss and the philosophy of the economy of gift to Fluxus, through the situationist movement, psychogeography, flanneur culture, relational and social aesthetics), and to document how the new technologies have helped free culture and cultural networks to grow out of subcultural contexts"-- from the burnstation website: is the software designer of "burnstation".


This small station is very popular in Nicaragua.A good way to keep up with news about Nicaragua is to listen to the station on line, or read their timely news posts:



Nevada County TeleVision

Midpeninsula Community Media Center

Denver Open Media

City of Tampa Television


Cambridge Community Television

Foxboro Cable Access, Inc.



Norfolk Community Television

Norton Community Television

PACTV (Plymouth Area Community Television)


Beverly Community Access Media

Community Media Network (TROY, MI)

Minneapolis Television Network

North Suburban Access Corporation (Roseville, MN)

KCCG-TV2 Kansas City

BCTV - Buncombe County Television


East Wake Television Channel 22

WSTV 13 City of Winston-Salem

Community Access Television


BCAT/Brooklyn Community Access Television

Manhattan Neighborhood Network

Penfield Community / Government TV - PCTV


Puget Sound Access (KENT)

SCAN Community Media (SEATTLE)

Madison Schools MMSD-TV

WYOU Community Television, Inc. (MADISON)

Thanks to Denver Open Media for initiating this compilation.


Dirk Koenig founded the Grand Rapids Media Center, which became a global model for what community media could be. This video is a story he often told about a very basic need of a small village for a communication tool.One of the projects of GRMC was to set up mobile media centers.


While in New Mexico, I visited the public access center in Albuquerque. Housed in a condemned courthouse (asbestos?, roof leaks? or the desire of the "public servants" to build a newer one and rake in the graft?) The new courthouse is the center of recent news. This is from the local paper: Former Bernalillo County Metro Court administrator Toby Martinez used part of his take of the money allegedly skimmed from the construction of Albuquerque's Metro courthouse to invest in a proposed Mississippi casino and buy a 2005 Lexus, according to documents filed in federal court. The building is pretty empty now, except for the lively work of Quote Unquote..Around behind the marble entrance of the condemned court house is the access center. This is the transmission room.Steve Ranieri is the Director of the center and Coleen Gorman is Systems Coordinator. They are working on a new initiative to do media training in New Mexican schools.Zack Freeman is a graphic artist who is Programming and Outreach Coordinator. I asked him what his shirt was about. He said that a group of Tex/Mex musicians do a show at the Center and he learned to love the music, expecially the accordian. When they printed up t-shirts he asked bought one. He wants his friends to learn about this type of music! Zack paints many of the bold graphic designs that make Quote Unquote a lively place. Where else in our society can so many people from so many different walks of life come together to work and exchange their creative projects? Access rules! The center has some great new equipment from a grant from Apple.The screens are alot bigger than the one I am posting this blog on!Unfortunately there are great pressures on PEG (public, educational and government) cable facilities and channels. Verizon, ATT and other telcos are trying to eliminate public interest requirements, saying that it would be unfair of them to have to negotiate for the right to dig up city streets, place switching boxes in yards and town squares and other uses of the "rights of way".
Whose streets? OUR STREETS !!! Go to for the real deal.


Daniel Del Solar recently visited a small radio station in Venezuela in the region known as Los Teques. The studio has a large portrait of Oscar Romero, the priest who was killed by death squads of the right wing government in El Salvador.The radio station has an emphasis on ecology.Daniel del Solar was interviewed on their afternoon talk show.Their bulletin board lists tasks to be performed by volunteers and scheduled meetings.
This is their disk and record archive. They have three small rooms in a mountainous neighborhood outside of Caracas.
This Guaicaipuro station is very small. This is the engineer. Community radio in Venezuela has been growing in the past few years. The spectrum which was used mostly by large commercial stations is now divided between many small community radio and tv channels. A few weeks ago the Venezuelan government denied the renewal of a license for transmission of RCTV, a large commercial station, charging that the station had been instrumental in fomenting and supporting the attempted coup. This caused a great deal of reaction by the corporate press and many NGOS in the US, who saw this as censorship. Despite those charges, that station was not "closed down" -- they did lose their government license to the public airwavess but the right wing commercial station continues with their anti-Chavez attacks on cable and the internet. The spectrum that they were using will be divided between thirty small community stations. (However this claim which I got from a response article is disputed by the comment below from the director of Artevision and a producer at Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela .)Radio Guaicaipuro is one of the many community media outlets which has been supported by the Chavez government.
Anonymous said...
With all due respect, but I find your comments at least inaccurate and frankly, very misleading.

For instance, when you say "that station was not closed down - they did lose their government license to the public airwavess but the right wing commercial station continues with their anti-Chavez attacks on cable and the internet." you seem to ignore that only 15% of Venezuelans have access to Internet or Cable TV. The truth is that for the vast majority of Venezuelans the station has been in fact "shut down". They are not longer allowed to watch it, if they wanted to.

Also when you say "The spectrum that they were using will be divided between thirty small community stations" you seem to be badly misinformed. Firstly, this is not technically possible, but more important, the spectrum is being used by a new state-controlled TV station (the 5th) called TVes. It is very hard to believe that you didn't know that.

RCTV was not only shut down, but its broadcasting network was confiscated by the State. In fact, TVes is currently using this equipment - for free- to reach the Venezuelan audiences.

Finally, community stations are a great idea. Some of them existed before Chavez came into power and did a very good job for their communities. Unfortunately, during Mr Chavez administration the vast majority of them has been converted into government propaganda outlets. With the government having the right to close stations whenever it wants, and being the only source of funding for this so called "community" stations, believing that these stations are truly independent voices is just a very naive dream

Truly yours,

Rafael Hidalgo

4:49 AM

DeeDee Halleck said...
Thanks for your comment. I had read an earlier comment that there would be 30 smaller stations set up-- perhaps they are local versions of TVes?

If you are the same Rafael Hidalgo who runs Artevision, could you give any information about what sorts of pressures you are getting from the government or from outside sources, funding and other wise? Given the long history of destabilization by the US of progressive states within Latin America, I would think that there is a big opportunity now from places like the Inter American Development Bank, World Bank, etc, for those who would be willing to take a strong anti-Chavez stand.

By the way, I did a film called The Gringo in MaƱanaland about the US and Latin America.
I have a spanish version which I could send to you.

7:50 AM