Office of Communications, Inc.

UCC Media Justice Update

Low Power Radio Bill to Become Law

The United Church of Christ's media justice arm celebrated the culmination of ten years of policy advocacy today in anticipation that the President will soon sign the Local Community Radio Act of 2010 into law.  To reach this point, UCC OC Inc. joined with the Prometheus Radio Project in leading the effort with Congressional champions, other members of the faith community, the civil rights community, media democracy grassroots advocates and the music community to secure a pivotal victory in the effort to expand the diversity of views and voices on American radio.
 
Andrea Cano, OC Inc.'s board chair and former director of UCC's Microradio Implementation Project said, "After the UCC's ten-year campaign to be sure that ordinary Americans have an opportunity to control their own media outlets, I cannot contain my joy that this bill has become law.  My personal experience with this service shows that these radio stations can have a transformative impact on small non-profit organizations that are otherwise not visible in today's media environment."
 
The Local Community Radio Act passed the House of Representatives and Senate over the weekend, thanks to the bipartisan leadership of Representatives Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).  
 
The media reform community joined with the civil rights community and the faith community in an unprecedented effort on a media reform issue.  In particular, Earl Williams of the UCC OC Inc. Board extended his gratitude to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights for their help over the years, "The Leadership Conference's report on low power radio was instrumental in demonstrating the importance of low power radio to communities of color," he said.
 
Cheryl Leanza, UCC OC Inc.'s policy director highlighted the faith community's tremendous and unwavering support for the bill, "we were gratified that so many members of the faith community have supported this bill for so long—from the National Council of Churches to the National Association of Evangelicals to The United Methodists, everyone stepped up to the plate.  We are particularly pleased that we were able to work so closely on a staff level with the U.S. Catholic Conference so closely on this issue."  
 
Leanza continued, "the sheer number of groups over the years who have supported this bill is staggering – not only organizations specializing in media issues like Media Access Project, the Future of Music Coalition, Free Press and the Media and Democracy Coalition, but also large national organizations like US PIRG, the National Organization of Women and the Communication Workers of America—everyone has done their part."

After implementation at the Federal Communications Commission, this bill will allow the hundreds of communities waiting for this opportunity to build and operate radio stations around the country, laying the foundations for a new generation of local, community media institutions.  Ms. Cano reminded all the supporters of the new opportunity ahead, "don't forget, passing this bill means that local community groups around the country now have a chance to control their own radio station—the time is now to start thinking about how you can make use of this victory."

Categories: low power radio

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Low Power Radio Bill to Become Law

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