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PRINCIPLES OF THIS ISSUE:
Virginia Center for the Public Press: Radio Free Richmond Project
NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Links Galore!
  • LPFM a THREAT?
  • vs
    DAB a THREAT?
     
  • WHY DIGITAL WON'T SERVE LISTENERS 
  • Your favorite programming
    and radio stations may be
    FORCED OFF THE AIR!!

    Your radios ...
    All turned to junk
    By Government edict ...

    PROBLEM: 
    Beancounters Rule Radio:
    Ignore/underserve markets they do not value
    and/or are antagonistic to:

            "Despite their numbers [24% of the U.S. population] ,
              Cultural Creatives tend to believe that few people
              share their values.
              This is partly because their views are rarely
              represented in the mainstream media,
              which is mostly owned and operated according to
              the Modern world view.  Little of what they read
              gives them any evidence of their huge numbers."

            "It's not too far off to say that Moderns see the 
             world through the same filters as Time magazine." 

    In the February 1997 American Demographics article "The Emerging Culture",  Paul H.Ray

     
     

              "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes 
              me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . 
              corporations have been enthroned
              and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the
              money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working
              upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few
              hands and the Republic is destroyed." 

               President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
                                              (letter to Col. William F. Elkins)

     

              "Stewardship of our free press is a public service and a heavy responsibility. 
             It should not be treated the same as the manufacture of bobby pins or of 
             automobiles." 

    Walter Cronkite 
    Cited by FCC Commissioner
    Susan Ness 10/11/96

     

              "Adam Smith, as a philosopher, had a somewhat bleak view of the nature 
             of businessmen, who, "silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their
             own gains … neither are, nor ought to be, the rulers of mankind". 
             He despised the Netherlands (then a global superpower), a nation ruled 
             by big business interests, believing their model of economic development 
             was exploitative, monopolistic and unsustainable." 

    Adam Smith and the Ethics of Economic Liberalism,
    Keith Ranking, 10 November 1998

     

            " ... history of advertising -- from the simple handmaiden task selling 
            already-manufactured goods to its present role of creating industries 
            and redesigning a world's folkways to meet the needs of commerce." 

    From p8 of The Space Merchants
    by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth


            "Our representative government is perhaps more representative than it has ever 
            been before in history. It is not necessarily representative per capita, but it most 
            surely is ad valorem
            If you like philosophical problems, here is one for you: 
            should each human being's vote register alike, as the lawbooks pretend and as
            some say the founders of our nation desired? Or should a vote be weighed
            according to the wisdom, the power, and the influence--that is, the money--
            of the voter?

            That is a philosophical problem for you, you understand; not for me. 
            I am a pragmatist, and a pragmatist, moreover, 
            on the payroll of Fowler Schocken [Advertising Agency]" 

    From p16 of The Space Merchants
    by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth

     
     
    ..... "The Media is the Lifeblood of a Free Society"
    Newt Gingrich
    1994

     
     
    .....  "Freedom of speech does not exist in the
    abstract. On the contrary, the right to speak can 
    flourish only if it is allowed to operate in an
    effective forum -- whether it be a public park
    or a radio frequency. For in the absence of an
    effective means of communications, the right to 
    speak would ring hollow indeed. And, in
    recognition of these principles, we have consistently 
    held that the First Amendment embodies,
    not only the abstract right to be free from censorship, 
    but also the right of the individual to
    utilize an appropriate and effective medium for 
    the expression of his views." 
    Justice of the Supreme Court William Brennan

     
    Premise: Our Democratic Republic depends on a careful balance of power 
    and an effective “free press” that is neither onerously influenced 
    by government or overly centralized private influence.
    Premise: 
    The American Dream is to be
    who you want to be
    as you define it.
    To realize this you must be informed
    Premise: "Media is the lifeblood of a Free Society", Newt Gingrich 
    "Information is the currency of democracy.", ThomasJefferson
    Premise: A stable society is an inclusive and just society..
    Media is the feedback loop
    between those who make policy 
    and those who suffer from policy. 
    Conclusion:  America can only function with justice so long
    as the media includes the broadest possible spectrum
    of news/views and culture.



     
     
     

    AMMO: What to say when someone says "What's the problem?"
    Introduction ... basic problem is in the "culture war", the old guard are busily closing off the channels of communication ...
    Actual Arguments in the debate ... (aka "the dirt")
     



     

    The bottom line is that in a democracy, you have a right to matter to those who's decisions affect your ability to become who you want to be.
    It does not matter whether those decisions are your neighbors, an elected official, a bureaucrat or an officer of a private corporation. 

    Media, and especially radio (because it is so accessible to so many people) serves as that vital feedback link between those who make policy and those who suffer from policy. When that link becomes tainted by overly concentrated control, it is tinted by that ownership's agenda. The policymaking then gets further and further out of touch with reality as the decisionmakers are divorced from the consequences of their decisions. This is what happened to the King of England that lead to the American Revolution. 

    Democracy is run by those who show up.
    If your story, your values and your needs are not heard, not acknowledged by those in power, you are going to get stomped! 

    The basic problem is that radio programming matters. Those who $pend million$ on commercial$ would not wa$te their money if they did not have re$earch $howing that you are influenced by what you hear on the radio! 
    So why do the owners of radio so often claim that they are not responsible for the influence on behavior alleged to their programming, that their programming is inert, has no effect on society? 
    They make this two-faced claim because they want to make money without being responsible for the consequences of their decisions

    Big Business bought Big Brother via the campaign financing disaster of the late 20th century.
    Due to the preposterous prices of a run for elected office, the circle of people who run for office or have influence on those who run for office has continually narrowed to the 2% of America that controls over 40% of America's assets. 
    Furthermore, with "public-private-partnerships" and such, this 2% of America leverages public decisions in their favor. Regulatory bodies commonly regulate more in the interests of those they regulate than the public interest. The FCC is normally no different. 
    Even worse, media is encouraged to do a bad job covering election campaigns: The worse coverage a candidate gets, the more the candidate is encouraged to purchase ads to make up for the bad coverage!
     



    You may find yourself wondering either:
    • a) Why does most media leave me feeling like a "Stranger In A Strange Land" and/or ...
    • b) why are there any unserved people at all? Why has not the market system reached out to these people? Why are 13,000 people going to the considerable trouble of asking the FCC for a frequency to start their own radio stations?




    Why Doesn't the "Almighty Market" serve everyone?
    Because that group is not regarded as profitable to serve ... or
    Because those who might serve that group do not think that group worth serving ...

     

    Let's face it, human nature is to try to get something for nothing. 

      "People of the same trade seldom meet together, 
    even for merriment and diversion, 
    but the conversation ends 
    in a conspiracy 
    against the public, 
    or in some contrivance to raise prices."
    National Association of Broadcasters -- most powerful lobby in America

     

     Many people assume that if "the market" has not produced programming for someone, it is because that person belongs to a group that is not worth programming for..
     Not so:

    In the February 1997 American Demographics article "The Emerging Culture",  Paul H. Ray argues that one of the reasons that media in general and especially radio ignores so many Americans is that those who make the programming decisions are ignorant or downright antagonistic of our desires and needs.

    Do you find yourself both "liberal" and "conservative ... or reject the binary choices as worthless?

    This research has found three major groupings of values in America, the two that are commonly thought of as "liberal" and "conservative" ... and a third emerging culture referred to as "Cultural Creatives" that combines aspects of both

    "Cultural Creatives" are generally well educated, well paid and hungry for news and culture ... yet have very few radio or TV programs designed for them  ... because the Cultural Creatives are not making the decisions and are not acknowledged as a market to be served
     
    Chart of new emerging culture
    Click on chart to see it full-sized. 
    Click here for the full story.
    "Despite their numbers [24% of U.S.] , Cultural Creatives tend to believe that few people share their values. This is partly because their views are rarely represented in the mainstream media, 
    which is mostly owned and operated according to the Modern world view.  Little of what they read gives them any evidence of their huge numbers." 

    "It's not too far off to say that Moderns see the world through the same filters as Time magazine."

    Paul H. Ray...


    "A major change has been growing in American culture. It is a comprehensive shift in values, world views, and ways of life. It appeals to nearly one-fourth of American adults, or 44 million persons. 
    People who follow this new path are on the leading edge of several kinds of cultural change. They are interested in new kinds of products and services, and they often respond to advertising and marketing in unexpected ways. 

    This emerging group has been labeled Cultural Creatives by American LIVES of San Francisco. In numerous surveys and focus groups, we have seen that Americans live in three different worlds of meaning and valuing. Each world creates distinctive contexts for a wide array of consumer purchases, political convictions, and civic behavior. And within each world are class divisions that create different subgroups that share the same broader views. 

    The first world view is Traditionalism. It is the belief system for about 29 percent of Americans (56 million adults) who might also be called Heartlanders. In America, traditionalism often takes the form of country folks rebelling against big-city slickers. Heartlanders believe in a nostalgic image of small towns and strong churches that defines the Good Old American Ways. That image may owe as much to John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart movies as to any historical reality, but for them it is a powerful reminder of how things ought to be. 

    The second world view is Modernism. It holds sway over about 47 percent of Americans, or 88 million adults. Modernism emerged 450 years ago as the governing world view of the urban merchant classes and other creators of the modern economy. It defines modern politicians, military leaders, scientists, and intellectuals. Modernists place high value on personal success, consumerism, materialism, and technological rationality. It's not too far off to say that Moderns see the world through the same filters as Time magazine. 

    The third and newest world view goes beyond Modernism. Its current adherents are the Cultural Creatives, who claim 24 percent of U.S. adults (44 million). Trans-Modernism began with esoteric spiritual movements such as 19th-century American Transcendentalism. It gained strength as Western intellectuals discovered the diversity and coherence of other religions and philosophies. It caught fire in the 1960s, as millions of young people joined "movements" for human potential, civil rights, peace, jobs, social justice, ecology, and equal rights for women. 

    Conservative commentators often believe that each of the social movements listed above exists in isolation and is important only to a few. But from women's issues to environmentalism, the emblematic values of the 1960s are being embraced by more and more Americans. Few in the media recognize it, but these ideas are coalescing into a new and coherent world view. When Cultural Creatives look at Modernism, they see an antique system that is noisily shaking itself to pieces." 

    The majority of radio programming decisions are carried out by Modernist oriented stockholder corporate beancounters, or by the Heartlanders that populate the Christian Coalition etc. etc. The Modernists and Heartlanders are either uninterested in serving the Cultural Creative market, or outright hostile.
    Patrick Buchanan was often referring to Cultural Creatives when he said that America was "in a cultural war."

    Ironically, much of Buchanan's distaste for NAFTA and GATT's corporate takeover of the world's resources finds a sympathetic audience in Cultural Creatives. Either way, there is little programming to cover the convergence of these cultures.
     
     




    This is the source of the discomfort
    with the condition of American Radio today.


     



     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Who is making the decisions for you?

    Peter Phillips, Director of Project Censored pointed out,
    "... eleven major corporations
    with 157 people sitting on the boards of directors
    own almost all media ...

    those 157 people are corporate America ..."

    These are the same 157 people that control most 
    of what we see and hear

    These 157 people also control 14% 
    of all corporations in America,
    not just media corporations.

    In other words, the media watchdogs are actually the lapdogs of the burglars at whom they are supposed to bark.
     

    Mergers allowed by the 1996 Telecom Act 

    have brought U.S. close to a monopoly disaster ... 

    There is no competition to speak of 

    And the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) plans to ensure that it stays that way at your expense!


     
     

    Radio is more than just a business.

    Radio is "... the lifeblood of a Free Society",
    Newt Gingrich, 1994

    Our Democratic Republic depends on a careful balance of power 
    and an effective “free press” 
    that is neither overly influenced 
    by government or private influence.

    Media is the feedback loop 
    between those who make policy 
    and those who suffer from policy.

    You have the right to matter
    for your stories, 
    your interests 
    and inspirations 
    to be heard by those 
    who's votes affect your life and freedom.

    It does not matter whether those votes are 
    fellow citizens, 
    boards of directors of corporations, 
    bureaucrats or 
    Congresspersons and Senators.
    All these votes affect your life.

    America will only function with justice 
    so long as the media 
    includes the broadest 
    possible spectrum of the people.
     

    • Since the broadcasters use 

    • our tax money supported agencies 
      (Federal Communication Commission) 
      to protect their use 
      of our public resources 
      (the airwaves) ...
    • a radio dial that 

    • misrepresents and/or 
      deletes entire cultures,
      philosophies, 
      views and 
      music ...
    • IS LITERALLY TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.


     










    Argument: There is no relationship between ownership (diversity of decision-makers) and programming (decisions).
    Ownership=Programming: Opposition to the Low Power Radio Service (that would open thousands of new slots on America's FM dial) say that "you'll have to prove there's a relationship between diversity of ownership and diversity of viewpoints."
    PROOF: ITEM: It's a White, White World on Network TV , Washington Post, July 13, 1999; Page A1. 
    Excerpt:  "Here's one thing you won't be seeing much of when the big TV networks 
                    roll out their new sitcoms and drama series this fall: black people. 
                In what is likely to be the whitest television season in a generation,
                    not one of the 26 new shows set to debut on ABC, CBS, NBC
                    and Fox will star an African American. Blacks, along with
                    Hispanics and Asian Americans,
                    will occupy few secondary roles as well." Argument: The Market will solve all problems.
    • Market is incapable of serving some markets. Example:
      • WPBR 1340AM had a very popular liberal talk show host, Elliott Maartens.
        • WPBR had conservative talk show hosts, but they were not as popular.
        • Not because there were not conservatives in Florida, but because there were already several other conservative radio stations that had better signals.
        • There was only ONE other station with a devout self-labelled liberal (Jack Cole), and that was later in the day.
        • Maartens, however, was not fiscally viable; we could not get advertisers to purchase airtime on his show with enough volume to convince management to replace him with another liberal when he left.
        • This is why moderate to liberal views are almost always heard on donation-stations and rarely on commercial stations; those who have enough money to buy advertising often will not support a "liberal" talk show!
          • But when a community radio station goes straight to its listeners for donations, the listeners become the primary constituents for the station's management ... cutting out the middlemen as topic and ideology filters (pied pipers).

          •  

             
             
             

    • The "Almighty Market" is aggressively underserving certain markets (like Techno music). EX:
    • Radio is more than just a business ... it is a vital part of a vibrant democracy.
    • Advertising "Blacklisting" is destroying the economic viability of radio owned by or programmed for minority Americans. The NTIA study showed that "The dictates that no time be bought on Urban [black] or Spanish stations and the lower rates paid to these stations when buys were made, reduced their revenues by an average of 63 percent."

    • Another study quoted a NY Times article, "'Your listeners don't buy our cars,'' a Chicago radio executive recalled being 
      told by an official of a luxury-car maker who had just rebuffed an advertising sales pitch. 'They steal them.''' 
    • Now that there are no real restrictions to corporate concentrated ownership of multiple radio stations "we all are the other guy" [that you used to switch to]!!


    Argument: Public Radio is here to serve anyone not served by commercial or religious radio.

    • If only that were so! (See links in narrative above).
      • Public Radio pushing out minority third-party candidates from their debates.
      • Public Radio double standards (will air shows sponsored by large corporations, but not by a Union).
      • Public Radio stations violating the founding documents of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (goal, diversity, not duplication of commercially viable classical music services).

      • [Click here for a table showing commercial viability of existing commercial classical radio stations]
      • Public Radio sponsoring near-worship of Wall Street culture with little in the way of warning of its downsides.
        • Kiddie Games
        • Marketplace
        • Reading the Dow Jones Average instead of Consumer Price Index on the radio.

        • Most serious investors do not buy or sell based on one day's rise or fall in a stock. They research the company, then buy and hold, perhaps rolling the dividend over into more stock from the same company. Since the stock report serves no real purpose for investors, this suggests that it is a subtle way to suggest that the fortunes of the Fortune 500 are more important than your fortunes, the "Doug Jones Average" (what it costs to live).


    Argument: If you don't like it, turn off the radio, get on the Internet.

    • Radio station's use of the public resources, the airwaves, is protected at taxpayer expense (The Federal Communication Commission, the Federal Marshalls).
    • Internet is not real competition ... yet.
      • Not portable
      • Not reliable
      • Not available to all as is radio.
      • And if you like waiting for the RealAudio player to "buffer", you'll love the coming digital radio farce called "IBOC". Click here for the full horror!


    Argument: The media is already too beholden to special interests, they should be objective.

    • "Objectivity" as a standard for media is a Public Relations move from the early 20th century and is a myth.

    • In the 19th century, newspapers were more like magazines are now. 
      The "Penny Press" and the lack of any real competitive alternate technology for news delivery meant that newspapers were openly and honestly partisan and opinionated. 
      After radio became a competitor, newspapers began dying off. 
      The ones that were left realized that they needed to create the appearance of being something for everyone and alienate no-one, and so the idea of an "objective" press was invented as a sales ploy
    • America is NOT a "melting pot", rather America is a "Brunswick Stew" where all the components retain their individual identity and characteristic culture, values, interests and stories.
      • Taxation without Representation:
        • Broadcasters use taxpayer funded agencies (FCC)

        • to protect their use of the public resource (the airwaves). 
        • If they misrepresent or completely

        • delete entire cultures, news and views of Americans that pay taxes ... 
        • Then an unrepresentative radio dial is

        • LITERALLY TAXATION  WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!
      • You have the right to matter to those whose vote affects your life. If your story is not heard by those who vote, whether your fellow citizens, or the board of directors or bureaucrats or legislators, then your needs are likely ignored.

     
     

    Free Radio Network
     

    If you want to keep updated 
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    THANK-YOU for 
    contacting your 
    Senator/Congressperson.

    THANK-YOU for
    contacting your FCC Commissioners

    Thank-you for reading all this 
    and considering helping us 
    create a radio dial as diverse 
    as the population that listens 
    and pays taxes to regulate it.

    Contact Information
    for Congress HERE

    Virginia Center for the Public Press
    1621 W Broad St.
    Richmond, Va. 23220
    804-649-9737
    FREE DAB4US eZine
    VIRGINIA CENTER FOR THE PUBLIC PRESS PRESENTS:
    FM4U.S.
    This is an effort to ensure that the public's airwaves are kept open for the benefit of all, not just the beautiful, rich or popular.

    This site is designed to address efforts by a powerful minority to bend public policy to their aide and benefit at our expense and loss of liberty and access to the many voices of a healthy Democratic Republic.

    Their Basic Plan: Force  a new standard for Digital Audio Broadcasting (IBOC-DAB) * that destroys the remaining stations that have resisted consolidation including any new LPFM stations that are started.
     



     







    Please call your Congressmen and Senators ... make sure they know you know that you want to hear your favorite station on the radios you already own! 

    Lookup 
    Your Congressmen
    and Senators
    by ZIP Code HERE
     

    Ask your Federal Representatives and Sentators to send a letter to the FCC Commissioners that we must:

    1) Keep the FM dial FM
     (no "mandatory sunsetting" [prohibition] of affordable analog FM broadcasting)

    2)  We want access to more choices in program values and sources [stations], not less.
    Tell them to tell the FCC not to force a new standard for the FM dial for Digital Audio that will block your ability to hear the LPFM and smaller stations.

    3) Help Digital Audio find a third separate "Digital Band" just as we moved FM to a different band from AM in the 1950s.



     
     
     

    * What is "IBOC-DAB"? ("In Band On Channel--Digital Audio Broadcasting")
      

    Digital Audio Broadcasting sends the sound out coded the same way a fax machine codes a picture, as little blocks that are "on" or "off" (the binary language of computers and other digital devices).

    In Band On Channel describes where that digital signal is placed, in this case IN the FM BAND and centered ON their original signal  center location "CHANNEL"  on the FM dial.

    If you drive up toward Washington DC and tune your radio to 106.5, then get within 20 miles of the test IBOC-DAB station, WJFK 106.7 in Alexandria, Va., you will hear a "buzz saw " sound, that is the digital carrier of the on-off-on encoded signal.

    IBOC-DAB claims:
    1) Better sound (actually, less noise)
    2) More robust signal (like your PCS cellphone)
    3) The ability to put banner ads and weather maps or traffic wreck warning maps on a display on the radio faceplate. 
    Don't stare too long while driving or you're the next car wreck mapped!
     
     
     
     

    There are those who claim that your favorite station is threatened by the NEW Low Power FM service stations ... what about that?
     
     

    UPDATES:

    Time Is Fleeting ...
    1) "Goliath" will now 
    attempt to kill Community Radio with the Digital Radio Farce.

    First the monopolists will have to kill the Low Power FM radio stations that might use some of the spectrum they need to kill your favorite station!

    They will do this by passing laws against the recent FCC decision to create LPFM stations:

    HOUSE: HR3439
    SENATE: SB2068

    OUR RESPONSE TO THE HEARINGS:
    [VCPP Testimony on HR3439]

    [Resources on "Beeper Network" issue]

    [Dr. Rappaport's Testimony to HR3439]
     
    FREE DAB4US eZine
    Subscribe for updates or

    CLICK HERE
    FOR UPDATES


     
     
     
     

    A stable society 
    is an inclusive
    and just society.
     

    Community radio is designed to encourage 
    a diversity of cultures represented on the airwaves 

    by encouraging a diversity of ownership/control. 
     

    A diversity of people and organizations 
    with different values and priorities 
    will create a more inclusive media 
    (and therefore government policy) 
    because they will have different definitions 
    of what is “newsworthy” and “viable” 
    for sharing on the public's airwaves.
     
     


    Index of documents
    on this web site as 
    well as the hundreds 
    of links to the outside 
    world. 
     
     
     
     
     

    A healthy democracy hears from everyone, not just the beautiful or profitable people.
     
     
     
     

     WHY doesn't the 
    "Almighty Market"
     Serve Everyone?
     
     

    Media is the 
    lifeblood of 
    a Free Society",

    Newt Gingrich, 1994

     
     
     
     


     
     
     
     

    "Information is the  currency of democracy.", 
    Thomas Jefferson
     
     
     
     

    You have a right in a Democratic Republic for your story to be heard by those whose decisions affect your life ...
     
     
     
     


     
     

    ACTION:
    What you can do to solve the problem of 
    unrepresentative radio. 

     

    (Critiques)