Today the Federal Communications Commission announced that for the first time in more than a decade, community groups will be able to start small, local radio stations. The FCC will take applications for new low power FM radio stations in Fall of 2013.
This marks a historic opportunity for multilingual, immigrant, and ethnic communities to control their own media.

Low power radio is noncommercial and local, often serving those with no other media outlet. Radio Movimiento in Woodburn, Oregon, informs farmworkers about their rights and brings women, youth, and indigenous voices to the air. In Opelousas, Louisiana, KOCZ plays the region’s heritage zydeco music and holds local politicians accountable.

Thanks to today’s FCC vote, many more organizations can use radio to engage their communities, and for the first time, stations will be permitted in urban areas.

The Somali American Community of Minneapolis can help Somali immigrants settle and access health and educational information. Project South can bring its social justice work and leadership programs to the airwaves of Atlanta, Georgia. And the Border Network for Human Rights can mobilize its community in El Paso, Texas.

Interested in starting a station? The Prometheus Radio Project wants to help. Sign up to get free updates and support. Find out if there is an open frequency on your radio dial using the Prometheus zip code check tool. And check out the tour dates to meet us on our Southern U.S. tour, now through Dec. 17.

Community radio has helped to preserve languages, win campaigns, and save lives during emergencies. What could your community do with its own radio station?

Brandy Doyle is the policy director at the Prometheus Radio Project. The Prometheus Radio Project builds, supports, and advocates for low power community radio.