NHMC, Allies Urge FCC To Ensure Meaningful Rollout Of Local Community Radio

Groups Ask For A Fair Application Process, Local Programming Requirements WASHINGTON, DC - May 10, 2012 - Today, the National Hispanic Media Coalition ("NHMC"), along with a number of allies, filed a letter with the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") urging it to consider the needs of diverse communities as it begins to roll out low power community radio across the country. This letter is filed as the FCC begins to plan its implementation of the Local Community Radio Act, signed into law by President Obama last year. As the letter explains, low power community radio stations have long been seen as a way to increase the participation of underrepresented communities, such as women and people of color, on the radio dial. To ensure that low power community radio lives up to its full potential, the signatories make a number of commonsense recommendations to the FCC. First, the FCC should develop an application process that will give underrepresented communities a fair chance to receive licenses. Procedural flaws or too short an application window could prevent groups in underserved communities from having a meaningful opportunity to apply. Second, the FCC should require applicants to offer at least 20 hours of local programing as part of the eligibility criteria. Low power radio stations owned by local organizations present an opportunity to fill local programming gaps often left by large, commercial broadcasters. "Women and people of color are vastly underrepresented as owners of broadcast stations. Low power community radio stations offer us the first chance in quite some time to try to move the needle on ownership and serve some of our communities that have long lacked a voice. It is incredibly important that we get this right the first time and our recommendations provide a sound framework for the Commission to build upon," said Jessica J. Gonzalez, Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs for NHMC. To read the letter, please click here. To see whether there will be opportunities to open community radio stations in your hometown, click here. Signing Organizations American Civil Liberties Union Asian American Justice Center Common Cause Communications Workers of America The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights NAACP National Hispanic Media Coalition National Urban League National Organization for Women United Church of Christ, OC Inc.]]>

National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and human rights organization that was founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino communities.
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