The media prophets report no future for capacity building of Community Media


Date: June 13, 2011
Contact: Belinda Rawlins, (617) 287-7371, belinda@transmissionproject.org

Regulatory Research VISTA

Prometheus Radio Project
VISTA Name: 
Brandy Doyle
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Prometheus has always done work to make the workings of the FCC more transparent and to bring a wider array of voices to the table as the FCC considers the media future. A VISTA will allow the organization to reorganize this often harried work into a more systematic operation for Prometheus.

The regulatory research project involves researching legal and technical issues as they relate to communications regulations, for the purpose of informing regulatory rule-makings. This would include topics such as Low Power radio, media ownership, spectrum policy, and the analog to digital transition.

Goal 1: Make FCC regulations and lawsuits relevant to media reform accessible to a broad audience

Goal 2: Prepare outreach plan for future FCC filing windows

Project Outcome: 

Goal #1 for our second VISTA was to “Make FCC regulations and lawsuits relevant to media reform accessible to a broad audience.” Brandy Doyle has developed a working knowledge of FCC regulations and telecommunications law that she’s used to educate both the general public and other staff members on the rules that impact community radio. She has written a number of brief, plain-English articles about complex regulatory subjects, including digital radio, radio spectrum policy, and broadcast media ownership. Brandy led the effort to develop a comprehensive plan for the organization’s regulatory work, including a 20+ page document on regulatory work – the most comprehensive the organization has ever produced. This plan proved instrumental gathering input from the entire staff collective in decisions about future regulatory priorities. As part of her goal to make regulatory procedures more accessible, Brandy designed and led a series of public workshops in different settings. In April Brandy held an educational workshop at WMNF Community Radio in Tampa, Florida on media ownership and FCC rulemaking process. In May, Brandy co-presented on “Community Journalism: Its Relevance in Radio and How to Bring it to your Newsroom” with Terri Klemetson, news director at KMUD, and co-presented “The D.C. Report: Community Radio, Politics And Policy” with Pete Tridish at Grassroots Radio Conference. Also in May, she facilitated a discussion with Davis Media Access about the challenges and benefits of community radio/public access television partnerships. Brandy has been aided by her coworkers in the regulatory policy team who have taught her how to research FCC dockets and given her context and information to make sense of them. She has also received support from the rest of the staff.

Because of her own interests, skills, and experience, Brandy has chosen to taken on a number of general writing and editing projects for the organization. Brandy has worked with the communications staff to think through a more comprehensive press strategy, not just a press strategy for outreach, as described in her VISTA assignment, and has played a role in improving our process for media advisories and press releases. Another responsibility Brandy has taken on has been to help coordinate aspects of our new website launch. She’s also taken on responsibility for responding to requests to volunteer at Prometheus, a role that rotates amongst collective members.

Impact Quote: 

All of Brandy’s work has been conducted with an eye towards sustainability. The documents she has helped to produce continue to be re-used on our website and in policy briefs for FCC staff and public education. Brandy has provided an invaluable long term contribution to our organization. - Danielle Chynoweth, VISTA Supervisor

Does the FCC share our vision?

Visioning flipchart

FCC Proposes a Digital Literacy Corps

At today’s Digital Inclusion Summit, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn introduced the National Digital Literacy Corps as a recommendation within the to-be-announced National Broadband Plan:

FCC & Knight Foundation Digital Inclusion Summit

March 9, 2010
Washington, DC

FCC & Knight Foundation Host Digital Inclusion Summit at Newseum on March 9

Media Advisory: FCC & Knight Foundation Host Digital Inclusion Summit at Newseum on March 9

Summit Includes Overview of Working Recommendations
for Broadband Adoption in FCC’s National Broadband Plan

Broadband according to the FCC?

The FCC's definition of Broadband

When we attended the FCC’s workshop last week, one of the handouts was the FCC’s consumer publication Broadband Brochure. While informative, the publication does not break any new ground definitely: broadband is defined as “faster than dial-up service and it doesn’t tie up your telephone line like dial-up often does”; nor metaphorically:

Observations on the FCC Open Internet Workshop at MIT

Mira and Belinda from the Transmission Project

FCC Broadband Workshop: Broadband Accessibility for People with Disabilities

October 20, 2009
Washington, DC and ONLINE

Barriers, Opportunities, and Policy Recommendations will continue the open discussion among the FCC and all who have a stake in the future of broadband and its accessibility for people with disabilities, including the disability community, network and service providers, equipment manufacturers, and software producers, technologists, economists, academics, representatives from trade associations and non-profits, and representatives from tribal, local, state, and federal governments.

Airshifter Handbook: Community Radio Manual


This Airshifter Handbook is an introductory manual for Radio Free Urbana, a community radio station in Urbana, IL. This manual contains the history of Low Power FM radio, information on programming and a broad overview of operations at the station. It was created by VISTA member Stephen Fonzo serving at the Independent Media Center in Urbana, IL.

Transmission Project