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“The talk show enables two-way knowledge sharing and helps to address the issues of violence. Communities are now able to hold authorities accountable for anti-social activities during the lockdown. Also, the wider community is being reached in accordance with WHO guidelines and government measures for COVID-19,” she adds.

In a place where local news is otherwise a once-weekly paper or a conversation at the post office or local market, the radio station has long been a trusted source of knowledge when emergencies hit.

To build on this success, though, localities need to prioritize PEG when they give cable companies franchises, and when they renew them. They need to build PEG expertise not only into crisis planning, but into the daily information flow of the community. And we all need broadband policies that treat broadband like the essential utility service it really is. 

On this day, we will pause our broadcast to recognize the women who were stolen from their families and loves ones far too soon. Together we will celebrate the lives of these unique individuals – recognize the pain their loss has caused their communities and user our voices to demand the justice they deserve.

“One of our goals has been to represent the diversity of Columbus and to provide underrepresented voices the chance to be on the air,” WCRS station coordinator Robb Ebright said.

In the November 2018 Camp Fire, many lives could have been saved if people had been forewarned to evacuate. But the normal communication channels couldn’t handle the sudden increase in the number of calls and many of the cell towers that many people relied on weren’t operating because cell service requires an internet connection.

From the beginning, programming priorities were local news and weather. Sounds simple, but it changed the whole politics of the town

Activists learned a valuable lesson in the ’60s. Commercial radio and television had little interest in covering anything that wasn’t the status quo because advertisers wanted safe, family-friendly programming. The answer was to build-your-own radio station and depend on the community to value and support it.