Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bexley, Ohio. Hannah Sassaman of Prometheus Radio Project is guest of WCRX-LP host John Manning.

On Friday October 5, 2007, Hannah Sassaman of Prometheus Radio Project was a guest on WCRX-LP. She discussed the low power FM radio movements with WCRX-LP radio host John Manning.

Sassaman is active throughout the U.S. in helping individuals and organizations establish local radio services. She is also active in Washington D.C. lobbying efforts on radio issues for Prometheus Radio Project.

Prometheus Radio Project is headquartered in Philadelphia. Its core activity is providing technical advice and physical assistance to groups establishing community radio stations.

Sassaman said that Prometheus Radio Project has helped farm worker organizations, civil rights groups and neighborhood groups establish low power FM radio stations. The kind of physical assistance Prometheus Radio Project has provided new stations is called a “barn-raising” where volunteers travel to the proposed station location and help the local group assemble equipment, raise the antenna tower and begin broadcasting. All of this work is accomplished by volunteers in a single weekend.

Sassaman came to her work for Prometheus Radio Project while she was a student at University of Pennsylvania.

Sassaman described her experience of street dynamics during the 2000 Republican national convention in Philadelphia. In confrontations, news reporting and subsequent legal proceedings, Sassaman recognized how the interaction of journalism and law enforcement define events.

On last Thursday evening at Ohio State University, Sassaman offered insights into local radio with a group of about seventy five listeners. She said that most of the audience were students and faculty. Her presentation was by invitation of a local group called Democracy Matters and was done in conjunction with a media conference at the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University.

She discussed Congressional legislative efforts to permit the Federal Communications Commission to open up the airwaves to more LPFM stations. In particular, she said that the legislative effort is directed at increasing the number of LPFM stations in the major metropolitan areas. Sassaman discussed the “Local Radio Bill of 2007” identical versions of which have been introduced in to the House as H2802 in the Senate as S1675.

Columbus, Ohio is fairly unusual in that it is licensed in one of the top fifty radio markets and is one of only two or three major radio market with a LPFM producing local material.

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