This summer all the radio stations in Michigan must get their FCC license renewed. The following summer all the Michigan TV stations must get their FCC licenses renewed. In the past, this has usually been little more than a rubber-stamping process; a paperwork exercise in which radio stations legal commitment to serve the public interest was seldom really considered. The emergence of a Nation-wide media reform movement is hoping to change that by challenging radio station license renewals on the grass roots level. To further this goal, the Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy (GRIID) has created an easy-to-use guide to the radio and TV license renewal process. This guide looks at why activists should care about FCC license renewals, conducting local TV and radio surveys in your media market, how to lodge a motion not to renewal to the FCC, and most importantly, how to use the license renewal process as an organizing tool.
GRIID has also recently finished two other studies, one looking at hypersexual content on Grand Rapids area radio, the other being an evaluation of local news coverage of the US war in Iraq in 2004. Also available from GRIID and its parent organization, the Grand Rapids Community Media Center, is a video and DVD of Amy Goodman’s recent lecture at Fountain Street Church. To obtain a copy, contact GRIID.