Newspaper readers across the country last week were encouraged to support low-power radio.
In ads sponsored by the Public Media Center and Media Access Project, Americans in 29 markets were asked to clip and sign coupons urging senators to defeat legislation the groups say would effectively kill the FCC's effort to create a new class of non-commercial stations. Low-power stations would have coverage areas of four miles or less. The new service is intended to counter media-consolidation trends by providing an outlet for neighborhood groups, schools and others.
The campaign roasts House lawmakers for passing legislation, backed by the National Association of Broadcasters, that would drastically curtail the number of low-power stations the FCC could create. "Democracy doesn't mean the richest, loudest voice wins. Not every time. Not this time," the ads proclaim.
The ads ran May 1 in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Capitol Hill trades, 11 local papers and 18 college papers.
The ad campaign, paid for primarily by Public Media Center, cost $300,000. The San Francisco-based center, which supports a wide range of environmental and social causes, gets most of its funding from foundation grants and client fees.