Colorado nonprofits are eligible to apply for a once-in-a-lifetime free low-power FM (LPFM) radio station license through the Federal Communications Commission in October, which could result in dozens of Front Range radio stations being licensed by the end of 2013. Brown Paper Tickets has created a national Make Radio Challenge, is offering assistance to local nonprofits that want to apply for a free low-power FM radio license and has found $3.8 million in public funding available to help them on the path to adding noncommercial voices to the public airwaves.
Assistance in applying for LPFM and the Denver LPFM Resource Guide can be found at community.brownpapertickets.com/Doers/radio.html.
“Now is the time for nonprofits to prepare their application to own a part of the public airwaves,” said Sabrina Roach, a Doer specializing in public interest media for Brown Paper Tickets.
“Most traditional media have not included the FCC’s LPFM application window in news coverage and, therefore, the majority of groups eligible to apply are not aware that this opportunity exists. This is a problem, because the application will take about three months to complete,” Roach said. “My goal is to make nonprofits aware of the opportunity, to inspire them to think about how they could broadcast online and distribute content via multiple platforms, to see this as a jobs creator that can fuel their local creative economy, to guide them to resources that make building and operating a radio station realistic, and to help them to organize and successfully complete the application in time.”
“This will be the first time that LPFM licenses will be awarded in large urban markets, and likely the last time that they will be awarded at all, making the Oct. 15 application window an important opportunity for nonprofit community groups to reach larger audiences. Some potential uses for LPFM would be for recruiting volunteer and financial support, workforce education, public health campaigns, organizing, telling stories that don’t make it to commercial media, publicizing meetings and events, serving as resource for youth development, hyper-local community news, exposure for local artists and musicians, and much more.
“Our hope is that community groups take up the challenge and use the public airwaves for public good,” Roach said. “An additional benefit would be in helping to correct the lack of diversity in media ownership, in that 87 percent of all radio stations are owned by whites, six percent are owned by women and seven percent by people of color, which influences the programming heard on the public airwaves.”
Brown Paper Tickets is an event registration and ticketing company with a social mission of taking less money for its services, making donations to nonprofits with every ticket purchased and building communities as a part of building business.