Low tech, high impact


In month 2 I got in touch with Prometheus' roots with the activity at the core of the organization's mission: I learned to build a transmitter! It felt good to take a step back from regulatory policy docs to pick up a soldering iron for an hour. The means of controlling your own media are surprisingly simple...though influencing the rules that govern media is a little more complicated.

Other highlights included attending the NAMAC conference and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) radio trade show, where I learned about the broadcasting lobby that is often on the other side of Prometheus on policy issues. Both of these events were very focused on new opportunities with digital media, an interesting topic at low-fi Prometheus. We are working to understand the implications of HD radio on low power community stations, and part of my job is figuring out how to communicate the tricky world of HD policy to the non-engineers of the world. At the NAB conference, it was easy to see that commercial broadcasters are struggling to maintain relevance in a digital world, but it’s also clear to me that the solution is not just the integration of new technology, but the integration of new models that make use of broadcasting’s uniquely local focus. The crisis in the broadcasting industry could make room for new ideas in public media, if we take this opportunity.

Anyway, projects in month 2 included lots of writing and editing, again helping me to build a sense of the org as a whole and informing what I hope will be more capacity-building for our communications outreach in the future. This has included more work on revising the organization's mission, vision, and values statements, general editing and improving of written materials, particularly press releases. Loving the job.