We here at Pawling Public Radio are very excited about an important new bill that was passed on December 18, 2010, with U.S. Senate bipartisan support, titled the Local Community Radio Act.
The bill expands community radio across our nation and has created new opportunities for local media ownership. We want to tell our listening public about the latest information and explain how we believe the radio station will become an integral part of our community.
I’d like to take this opportunity to give this community some information about the Local Community Radio Act and its impact on PPR. First, Congress has given the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) carte blanche to license thousands of new community radio stations, which in turn, will allow a more democratic media system. As stated by Pete Tridish of the Prometheus Radio Project, “A town without a community radio station is like a town without a library. Many a small town dreamer has successfully launched a low power station, and built these tiny channels into vibrant town institutions that spotlight school board elections, breathe life into the local music scene, allow people to communicate in their native languages, and give youth an outlet to speak.” Wow. That sounds pretty awesome.
Imagine broadcasts of local sports games by high school students or local bands playing their original music. Imagine children reading stories on the air that they have written or plays they have created. Imagine being able to have immediate access to School Board meetings or Town and Village Board meetings while they are happening. Imagine being able to tune into 101.7 and learn quickly if any district school is closed or has a delayed opening. Imagine a place to hear first hand of any kind of natural disaster.
Just imagine…and now believe that these are important goals of PPR right now in Pawling – in our own town. This is the vision of everyone who is volunteering by putting hundreds of hours in to make this radio station a reality. This new bill will give PPR a dedicated communication outlet and also allow our town, as well as other communities, to air their voices on the FM airwaves.