Regulatory Research VISTA
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
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.
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