Hear Ye! FCC Listening to Public Media

This Friday, April 30, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission is hearing from leaders of public media, including our very own Sue Schardt, the Executive Director of the Association of Independents in Radio/AIR.

The FCC wants to know what’s on the minds of makers, deciders and funders in public radio and TV as we face the digital transition, and deal with the dramatic changes in how Americans get information. The FCC recognizes that noncommercial broadcasters have a unique role and responsibility for serving communities, and that economic forces and technological changes are creating both challenge and opportunity. FCC Advisor Steven Waldman explained the purpose of the FCC’s Future of Media project here:

AIR’s Sue Schardt has been invited to make a presentation during this week’s FCC hearing. She will share the inspiring results of MQ2, highlighting producer-led, cross-platform invention.


Interesting Bedfellows

Several other AIR members will be panelists during the day, including: Nan Rubin (Prometheus Radio Project), Jake Shapiro (Public Radio Exchange/PRX) and Terry Clifford (Station Resource Group/SRG). 

Other familiar names and faces include CPB Chairman Ernest Wilson, CPB CEO Patricia Harrison, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, PBS CEO Paula Kerger, American Public Media/APM CEO Bill Kling, Hari Sreenivasan of PBS NewsHour, David Fanning of PBS Frontline, Maxie Jackson of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters/NFCB, Bill Buzenberg of the Center for Public Integrity.

Also on the agenda is Craig Parshall of the National Religious Broadcasters, a membership and advocacy group for Christian media.

And, just added to the agenda: Eric Newton of the Knight Foundation will wrap up the day. It was the Knight Foundation’s Commission on Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy that started this whole ball rolling. 


Come On Down

The FCC “workshop” is open to the public. The FCC is at 445 12th Street, SW in Washington, DC. The room has a 300 person capacity. If you want to attend, you are encouraged to arrive early and remember to bring your photo ID. The entire event will be streamed live and archived for later viewing on the FCC website. Questions from the internet audience can be submitted throughout the course of the workshop via e-mail to and via Twitter using the hash tag #FOMwkshop.

There’s another way you can share your thoughts with the FCC about the future of media, public and commercial. The browser tab might be confusing since it reads “Customer Feedback” but this link takes you to the online forum where you can tell the FCC about what’s working and what’s missing in the media in your community.