[IMC-Boston-Discuss] Grassroots Radio Conference in Northampton Aug
petrinavegan at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 25 14:05:37 PDT 2005
this conference seems to me to be something a lot of people here should know about, i'm going. i
10th Annual Grassroots Radio Conference, and Prometheus' Eighth Radio Barnraising!
August 4th-7th, Northampton, Massachusetts~
We're gearing up for the biggest barnraising ever! Grassroots radio producers, organizers, allies,
and friends will descend upon the Florence Community Center, at 140 Pine Street in Florence,
Massachusetts, for the intergalactic multidimensional merger of the 10th Annual Grassroots Radio
Conference and the 8thPrometheus Radio Barnraising!
Florence Community Center, at 140 Pine Street in Florence, Massachusetts
We are in discussions with Smith College to provide housing for participants, and have reserved
100 beds there so far. Spaces are being secured across Florence -- large rooms for plenaries and
eatings, and smaller rooms for workshops and tech working spaces.
There are some ideas and proposals for adjunct and partnered activities, such as the Pacifica
TechTalk conference, a free radio tech workshop, AMARC North America would be another possibility
If you are fool enough not to come to the greatest community radio event in memorable radio
history -- go back to the second dimension, you foolish rectangle, you!
If you have any major, minor, or miniscule questions or concerns about the Grassroots Radio
Conference and Radio Barnraising, email Margo Robb at margo at prometheusradio.orgtoday!
--Intro to DJing: Learn how to spin those records, fade between songs, tips on organizing your
airshift, making station breaks and everything else you need to know to host your very own radio
--Independent Producers: D.I.Y. Radio! You don't have to be affiliated with a station to be a
radio producer. Today's radio technology is making it easier than ever to work from your home,
your activist organization, or wherever your travels take you. And the climate is better than ever
to network with other independents and share your work with a wide audience. Learn about great
resources you can tap into as an independent or freelance radio producer.
--Content on the Web: Share your radio work with the world. And bring the world's radio work to
you. The web can be a great programming resource, but it helps to know where to start your search.
This workshop will introduce you to sites like radio4all.net, indymedia, audioport, prx.org and
many more. Whether you're new to posting or looking for audio on the web or a seasoned veteran,
this session will be a great opportunity to share and swap resources.
--Turntablism: Impress friends and family with your newly acquired spinning, sampling, and
scratching skills. Then make sure you correct them when they tell you what a great DJ you are.
You're not just some DJ. You're a turntablist.
--Youth Radio Never trust anyone over thirty to tell your stories when you can tell your own.
This hands-on radio workshop will be facilitated by youth, for youth. Learn from people involved
in successful youth radio projects and discuss how to get one started in your own community. There
will be two training sessions, plus a panel discussion.
--Politics of the Music Industry Got the Big Label Blues? You're not the only one. The music
industry and radio industry have teamed up to make radio-listening a twelve-bar blech-fest. This
workshop won't serve up a twelve-step solution, but it will explore how community radio,
independent artists, and their supporters can make beautiful music together.
--Four Very Different Music Programmers and Their Shows: Want to start doing your own radio
show, but looking for a few ideas for how to go about doing it? After hearing these four
programmers present their very different radio shows, you'll be totally inspired to create your
--Books, Writers, and Radio: Book Reviews for Radio: A skills-sharing workshop on doing book
reviews and interviews with writers for radio. The workshop will look at how to get review copies
of books from publishers, how to get an interview with an author, preparing for the interview,
doing the interview, and editing the piece for broadcast.
--Intro to Radio: What exactly are radio waves? How do they get beamed out, and how are we able
to pick them up? What are all those electronics I'm seeing sitting around everywhere this
weekend? Come learn all about the science and the magic of radio.
--Intro to Audio Learn about what sound is, how it travels, the names of the various audio
connectors, the difference between stereo and mono, and whether a tree falling in the forest
makes any sound if there is no one there to hear it - among many other basic topics.
--Studio Transmitter Links: Your studio is in one place. Your transmitter is someplace else. How
do you get your mellifluous intonations from Point A to Point b? All solutions ranging from tincan
telephones to satellite considered!
--Internet Radio: When it comes to audio broadcasting, FM radio is still the most widely used
means of distribution. Internet radio is quickly gaining on FM and many stations are adding
webcasting so that they can have listeners anywhere in the world. Learn the ins and outs, the
signal and the noise, and the politics of webcasting at this workshop!
--Archiving: Advanced Tech Topics: Delving even deeper into the world of radio technology.
Here's your chance to figure out the answers to the tech problems that have been troubling you.
Some of our best technical minds will be present to contradict each other and bury you deep in
technical jargon as thick as a pond full of marshmallow fluff.
Automation: Friend or Foe? Automation is often used by corporations to get rid of their live DJs.
But automation can also keep the music and the programming going even when you can't have a live
DJ in the studio. Learn the best ways that automation can be used to help your station be on the
air 'round the clock.
--Station Technical Audits: Maybe your radio station is perfect. Maybe your engineer is a genius,
no microphone ever sounds scratchy, and every set of headphones is taken out of service and
replaced before it shows any sign of unreliability. Maybe your computers never crash and all your
personnel are perfectly trained. Maybe. But you probably wouldn't be at this conference if that
were the case. A station technical audit can help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and
identify places where you can work collaboratively with other stations. Join the Pacifica tech
team to learn about their plans to help stations evaluate their position as the technology of
radio shifts dramatically over the next few years.
--Podcasting: The end of radio? Or radio's new frontier? Podcasting is a new way to distribute
and receive audio files via personal computers and portable listening devices (like iPods) People
are using podcasting to expand the audience for their radio shows or 'audio blogs' and to
automatically download their favorite shows to play whenever they want. This workshop will explore
what the arrival of podcasting means for your radio station.
--History of Community Media : Shape the future by knowing the past. The FCC's Low Power FM
service is only the most recent stage of the history of community radio in the U.S. Hear from the
people who helped start it all- what were they thinking back then? and how does public media
today compare to what they thought it would become?
--Social Movements and Media Reform: The greatest achievements of the movement for a more
democratic media have come in the moments when it has worked closely with civil rights, anti-war,
and social justice movements. Some of the greatest achievements for media reform have come when
media issues were an actively integrated part of the strategy of civil rights groups. In this
panel we will explore the historical connections between media reform and social movements and
explore potential places where media and social movements can weave their efforts together.
--Spectrum Reform and Community Wireless: In the early days of radio, the Federal Communications
Commission was formed to carve up the airwaves so that no one would interfere with each other. The
licenses that they granted are still with us to day. But new technology is moving us towards a
world of "smart radios" that can just choose a new channel to communicate on, and make the use of
the radio bands far more efficient.
-- Media Ownership Public dialog and debate are throttled when a small number of media
conglomerates own the vast majority of the sources we rely on for news and information about our
communities and the rest of the world. How did this happen and what can we do to change it?
--Radio and Community Organizing Radio is a relatively cheap, easy to learn, and accessible tool -
perfect for strengthening and democratizing communication. Find out how to use radio to educate,
inform, discuss, debate, and generally bring people together to bring about social change.
--Threats to College Radio: Around the country, colleges are increasingly treating their radio
stations as profit centers and undermining student- and community-controlled radio stations. Learn
about what people are doing to keep their college stations live, local and connected to their
The Free Software Movement: Doesn't it worry you that every time you turn on a computer, your
world gets just a bit more entwined with Bill Gates and the Microsoft corporation? Open Source and
Free Software is often Free as in Beer, and always Free as in Speech. Learn more in this workshop
about how you can wean yourself from the Microsoft habit!
--LPFM Legislation: If you want to navigate the murky waters of LPFM legislation, this workshop is
the next best thing to a having a permanent office in Washington. With no dress code required!
Learn about two LPFM bills in the Senate and the House of Representatives, what they will do for
community radio if they pass, and what you can do to support them.
--Radio Licensing in the US and UK We have a rare opportunity to see, side by side, the United
States and the United Kingdom systems of radio licensing. Lawrie Hallett is the Senior Associate
For Community Radio at Ofcom, and Peter Doyle is the Chief of the Audio Division of the Media
Bureau of the FCC. How can two countries so similar in their resolve in the war in Iraq have such
different community radio licensing systems? Panel Moderated by Kate Coyer, Refugee from Corporate
American Radio and PhD candidate at Goldsmiths college in London
--The Low Power Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: On Monday, Comments are due on the biggest
proposals for change in the low power radio service since it was founded 5 years ago. In February,
the FCC released a Notice of proposed rulemaking that will determine much of the fate of Low Power
radio. Will hundreds of low power stations be knocked off the air by full power move-ins? Will
there be any opportunities for low power radio in the wake of a wave of translator applications?
Will low power stations be bought and sold? Hear from Peter Doyle, Chief of the Audio Division of
the FCC Media Bureau about the key issues in the rulemaking, and opinions from advocates on
possible changes in the rules.
--Fundraising Through Grants and Major Donors Your station may be non-profit, but you still gotta
figure out how to pay the bills! Learn how to keep the rent paid and the electricity flowing while
still producing great radio.
--Underwriting and Fundrives: Struggling to keep the 'fun' in fundrive? Trying to secure
underwriting without undermining your station's integrity? This workshop will look at two of the
most important sources of revenue for community stations and offer tips for getting the most out
of them without burning out volunteers, selling out your station, or breaking FCC rules.
--There Oughta Be A Law: Laws are weird. If you or I break the law, we go to jail; if a
corporation breaks the law, Congress just makes a new law that legalizes whatever the corporation
was doing. Our panel will take your questions about laws related to community radio stations and
do their best to help you understand your responsibilities in the radio laws and your risks for
--How do I Apply for a Radio Station? This workshop describes the process for applying for full
power non-commercial, low power and translator stations. The history and legal rationales for the
FCCs licensing policies will be touched upon, and a practical step-by step understanding of the
process of application will be presented. Particular attention will be focused on sercies with
upcoming licensing windows.
--Station Governance: So now you have your radio station, and it sounds great. But what goes on
behind the scenes is just as important. This workshop will help you figure out how to structure
your station management and volunteers in a way that feels right for everyone. Hear the way 4
different stations do it, and take some ideas home!
--Programming Policies: Program directors and collective members from 4 stations describe what
you have to do to get a show on their station, and how the distribution of air time is governed.
Do you have terms? Do you have forms? Must programmers volunteer with administrative work or pay
dues? Do you prefer public affairs over music programming? Hear how 4 different stations make the
--Business Issues: When you first took a notion that you would start a community radio station,
you had a vision of yourself behind the turntables, scratching some vinyl, purring into the
microphone in a candlelit studio...and there you are now, balancing the checkbook, reworking page
73 of the business plan, negotiating insurance rates... This session is a primer on the business
skills needed for managing community radio stations, with a generous question and answer session
to talk with people who understand the administrative side of running a community radio station.
--Radio Wars: Every station will have conflicts- and the more successful your station gets, the
more will be at stake for the people who volunteer their time to make it work. This panel will
present four station conflicts, and how they were successfully resolved. You may not get the magic
bullet that solves every internal conflict at your station, but these stories should give you
ideas about constructive ways to make different opinions strengthen rather than debilitate your
--Diverse stations that work: We've all heard the horror stories- Community stations locked into
a single old boys network, people who put their timeslots in their wills, stations with fistfights
over programming decisions. This session is devoted to four stations who have faced the challenges
of diversity head-on. While none of them are perfect, they manage to keep up respectful
communication, offer their listeners radio that expands their horizons, and create points of
solidarity in their towns rather than bitter points of endless conflict.
--Bylaws and Policies Strong bylaws and policies make the difference between continuity and chaos.
It doesn't take a team of lawyers to write effective policies, and there's no need to reinvent the
wheel. Writing effective station policy is like a traditional marriage ceremony: something old,
something new, something borrowed...you get the idea. Learn some tools and tricks at this
--International Radio Station Solidarity This workshop will have people who have done projects
around the world to promote community radio telling stories of their work and discussing
opportunities for expanding international collaborations. It will also serve as the introductory
session to the sister station construction project in Tanzania with the UAACC. The rest of this
track is detailed on the bottom of the work projects page.
--Radio Drama Track: Intro to Radio Plays: Veteran radio play producers and new enthusiasts will
get together to learn about radio theatre! From historical dramas to improvisational comedies,
radio plays are one of the best ways to attract new volunteers and teach people how easy it is to
work together on creative radio. We'll listen to 1-2 radio plays, and get ready to write and
produce a brand new radio play to celebrate our two new radio stations and the conference! Read
through a prewritten script and tear it apart for rewrites, or begin process for writing a new
one! A great introduction to radio theatre.
--Writing and Improvisation for Radio Plays: We'll talk about narrative in radio drama or comedy,
and how to work with snappy dialogue. Masters of improvisational comedy will help us riff on the
existing script, make it better, stronger, faster! You'll also learn improvisational comedy
techniques for radio to take home with you, or spin off even more skits to perform throughout the
weekend or live on the air.
Sound Effects for Radio Plays Rehearse the play with sound effects in mind, and learn the art of
the foley. We start the process of finding sound effects, while learning basic theory behind
good, cheap, simple sound. Lots of takeaway materials and resources for your sound effect
addictions, as well as great sounds applied to the play in hand. A great workshop for kids to sit
in on -- we'd love them to take a role in the play, or to go on a treasure hunt for that perfect
--The Final Cut -We Finish the Play Yup. The (Not Very Well) Dressed Rehearsal! A great time to
jump into the play, pick up an empty role or sound effect, and get ready for the play. We'll
tighten performances, polish sound effects, and develop the final touches. All hands on deck!
--Optional Play Post Mortem: After we perform live on the air, we'll have a postmortem with
skillshare resources and ideas for working radio plays into the programming of your station!
News Track: Field Recording: Learn how to choose and hold microphones, use minidisc recorders,
log recordings and whatnot...
--Interviewing: Cat got your subjects tongue? Did you end up talking more than your guest did? Did
your guest end up answering every question except the one you asked? Tips from veteran
interviewers on getting the story
--Writing For Radio: This workshop will examine some of the common fallacies of mainstream
journalists, and help you write in a style that works well on radio
--Digital Editing: Re-editing George Bush speeches? Taking out the sound of your guest gurgling
soda and spitting it out over your new minidisc recorder? catching the Voice of the Loon outside
your house, and mixing it into your new hardcore station promo? this is the workshop for you!
--Voice for Radio: You don't need to sound like NPR or Howard Stern or Ethel Mermanbut this
workshops will give you some tips on taking care of your voice and sounding good on the air
--Talk Shows: Reclaim the microphone from the Rush Limbaughs and Howard Sterns of the airwaves.
You too can produce radio talk shows that engage, inflame (in a good way), and inform. This
workshop will cover interviewing, setting up roundtable discussions, hosting call-in shows, and
other ways to stimulate dialogue and debate in your studio and beyond.
--The Corporation for Public Broadcasting: The CPB has been in the news- with deep funding cuts
threatened, a "liberal" and "conservative" ombudsman, and key Republicans moving into the
leadership. But were they really worth supporting in the first place, with initiatives like the
Healthy Stations Project and all their money going to a handful of NPR clone stations? What can we
do to save CPB. Or is it even worth it?
--The Eerie World of DC Communications Policy: Getting things done at the FCC is like eating jello
with chopsticks while blind-folded. In Washington DC, appearances are fleeting and mysterious,
disconnected from conventional notions of causality. Rules and traditions can simultaneously exist
and not exist, depending on who you are or who you were or who you could become. Hear from some
smart cookies about the best way to make some waves.
--Application Clinic: FCC application blues? Submitted your application three years ago and still
haven't heard anything? This clinic is just what the Doctor ordered. We'll try to sort out your
application woes, one by one...
--Commercialism: People think of broadcast radio and TV as free because the radio and TV companies
do not send us all a bill every month. But in fact the average American pays about $80 per year
for Commercial Radio, and over $200 per year for Commercial TV, built in to the cost of goods and
services--- whether you watch TV and listen to the radio or not! This panel will explore the way
that commercial media are limited by the constraints of their business model, and the role of
non-commercial media. Appropriate limits for your station's underwriting policies will also be explored.
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