FCC report picks up on AIR’s push for airtime, funding for radio indies

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The FCC’s latest report “The Information Needs of Communities” may be long on verbiage and short on remedies, but it does offer some key insights for independent producers, public media analyst Jessica Clark writes for the Association for Independents in Radio’s MQ2 blog.

Public broadcasters’ expansion onto online and mobile platforms, as well as the explosion of nonprofit media outlets, creates new opportunities and more competition in many arenas, Clark writes.

She points to a key FCC recommendation that policy makers reconsider which types of media deserve CPB aid. “[T]his report does not explicitly recommend additional funding for public broadcasting,” Clark writes, “However, it does recommend CPB funding requirements be reconsidered so that it’s easier for new kinds of projects and outlets to receive federal dollars.”

The report directly cites AIR’s advocacy on behalf of indies, Clark notes, including adoption of local content rules requiring noncommercial stations to present “new voices” and independently produced work. AIR argued for an “intervention on behalf of independent radio producers” comparable to the legislation that established the Independent Television Service in 1988, according to the report.