Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Sound Of Localism

David Oxenford's "Broadcast Law" post on Localism Without Government Regulation makes radio's case against FCC-mandated local programming pretty well.

This comment from Tom Taggart it prompted makes it even more potently:
"Each winter we do a "coats for kids" drive. It's sold, but it's a lot of work. We put barrels at sponsor's stores, and have two dry cleaners who clean the donated coats. The coats then go to churches and community agencies. One bank sponsor has locations 50 miles apart we need to service. Under FCC's rules, we would get little credit for all this work. Now, if we ran four or five hour long discussion programs each Sunday on the need for coats for poor kids and that the government needs a program to solve this problem, why we could fill up the public file issues folder quite full."

Meanwhile, CJJR/Vancouver morning cohost Clay St. Thomas distributed this message to his listeners today:
"The weekend of August 14th to 16th, I'm going to be walking in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer. It's 60K of walking, spread over 2 days. Not bragging, just saying ;) Well, maybe bragging just a little...with that level of commitment, all the walkers on all teams are obviously serious about wanting to do something to end Breast Cancer. I'm a cancer survivor myself, and my mom lost her fight with cancer. Sadly, my circumstances are not unusual. 1 in 3 people will eventually be diagnosed with cancer. This disease runs in everyone's family, and the rate of increase in Breast Cancer specifically is nothing short of epidemic. So here's the pitch: Please consider heading over to and making a donation. I know times are tight, which is honestly part of the reason why I'm doing this whole 'hat in hand' routine. Thanks for reading this, and especially for any support you can give. I really appreciate it. Yours in blister pads and damp socks, - Clay"

PS: his cohost Karen Daniels is doing it too!

There are some things you simply can't do with smoke and mirrors. That's the sound of genuine localism, actions thousands and thousands of radio personalities and their stations take upon themselves every single day, which move millions of listeners to get involved too, amplifying already-impressive individual efforts like Clay's and Tom's.

A sound of genuine "localism" in radio: running shoes on pavement. Just try to stick that in your Public File!

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