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Master of Arts (M.A.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
non-commercial, community, radio, low power, public interest, LPFM service
The introduction of the Low Power FM (LPFM) service by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provided a unique glimpse into media policy-making. Because usual allies disagreed over the service, the usually invisible political nature of the debate was made transparent. The project of this thesis is to contextualize the histories of radio policy, non-commercial radio, and the public interest standard to shed light on why it was so challenging to implement even a small, local radio service. Secondly, the thesis will explore the theoretical understandings of the various players in the LPFM debate, as well as the practical functioning of these tiny stations. This project also challenges the low power advocates and media reform movement to actively fight for more substantive media policy regarding civic protections.