Low Power to the People

Un libro in lingua di Dunbar Christina hester edito da Mit Pr, 2014

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The United States ushered in a new era of small-scale broadcasting in 2000 when itbegan issuing low-power FM (LPFM) licenses for noncommercial radio stations around the country. Overthe next decade, several hundred of these newly created low-wattage stations took to the airwaves.In Low Power to the People, Christina Dunbar-Hester describes the practices of anactivist organization focused on LPFM during this era. Despite its origins as a pirate broadcastingcollective, the group eventually shifted toward building and expanding regulatory access to new,licensed stations. These radio activists consciously cast radio as an alternative to digitalutopianism, promoting an understanding of electronic media that emphasizes the local communityrather than a global audience of Internet users.

Dunbar-Hester focuses on howthese radio activists impute emancipatory politics to the "old" medium of radio technologyby promoting the idea that "microradio" broadcasting holds the potential to empowerordinary people at the local community level. The group's methods combine political advocacy with arare commitment to hands-on technical work with radio hardware, although the activists' hands-on,inclusive ethos was hampered by persistent issues of race, class, and gender.

Dunbar-Hester's study of activism around an "old" medium offers broaderlessons about how political beliefs are expressed through engagement with specific technologies. Italso offers insight into contemporary issues in media policy that is particularly timely as the FCCissues a new round of LPFM licenses.

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