Native Radio Building Community
For many communities especially the country's Native American
tribes radio still promises a way to spread news, share stories and
support a cultural or regional identity.
September 27, 2008
By Mike Janssen
As new technologies take hold in the marketplace and in the minds
of consumers old media are starting to look, well, older. FM radio
is no exception. The debut of new cell phones that deliver audio
applications spurred predictions of radio's demise.
But for many communities, radio still promises a way to spread news,
share stories and support a cultural or regional identity. This is
especially true for the country's Native American tribes, which have
seized a rare chance to start new radio stations as a way of
strengthening their communities.
Last fall, many Native people joined hundreds of schools, activists,
churches and nonprofit groups that applied for new noncommercial FM
stations with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Most of
these applications were for frequencies in smaller towns and rural
areas. (Radio spectrum in larger cities is too crowded to accommodate
Because the FCC had not accepted applications for noncommercial
stations in more than seven years, demand was high.
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