Support Our Work

We are building a better, more democratic media one new radio station at a time.

In 2013, we helped more than one thousand community groups and nonprofits nationwide apply for a one-time chance to build a brand new community radio station. These new stations, called Low Power FM stations, are coming to rural towns and big cities thanks to the Local Community Radio Act. Now, with your help, we are making sure that these new voices get on the air.

Who is building new stations?

Over then next several years, hundreds of these new non-commercial radio stations will go on the air in the US. These new non-commercial stations feature diverse voices and views: broadcasting independent local news, local music and arts, and compelling programming that is absent from the profit-driven airplay of corporate media.

Why Radio?

Radio is easy to produce and basically free to use. While most of the conversation about technology today revolves around the Internet, far more people in the US listen to AM and FM radio every week than have access to broadband Internet. And unlike the World Wide Web, radio stations are places where people meet face-to-face, where local communities come together to make media about local issues that matter to them.

What role will you play in getting them on the air?

Prometheus is on the ground in communities across the country, working with grassroots groups who want to use the media to create a more democratic society. Your financial support helps us build a better media. 

 

 

Prometheus is building the future of community radio. Join us.

 
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Hardcover: Low Power to the People
Hardcover: Low Power to the People
Hardcover: Low Power to the People
Hardcover: Low Power to the People
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Low Power to the People: Pirates, Protest, and Politics in FM Radio Activism

The United States ushered in a new era of small-scale broadcasting in 2000 when it began issuing low-power FM (LPFM) licenses for noncommercial radio stations around the country. Over the next decade, several hundred of these newly created low-wattage stations took to the airwaves. In Low Power to the People, Christina Dunbar-Hester describes the practices of an activist organization focused on LPFM during this era. Despite its origins as a pirate broadcasting collective, the group eventually shifted toward building and expanding regulatory access to new, licensed stations. These radio activists consciously cast radio as an alternative to digital utopianism, promoting an understanding of electronic media that emphasizes the local community rather than a global audience of Internet users.

Dunbar-Hester focuses on how these radio activists impute emancipatory politics to the "old" medium of radio technology by promoting the idea that "microradio" broadcasting holds the potential to empower ordinary people at the local community level. The group's methods combine political advocacy with a rare commitment to hands-on technical work with radio hardware, although the activists' hands-on, inclusive ethos was hampered by persistent issues of race, class, and gender.

Dunbar-Hester's study of activism around an "old" medium offers broader lessons about how political beliefs are expressed through engagement with specific technologies. It also offers insight into contemporary issues in media policy that is particularly timely as the FCC issues a new round of LPFM licenses.

 
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