clap clap blog: we have moved

Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Sorry so few posts today--it's been a wee bit busy here. I did want to pass on this e-mail from the Future of Music Coalition (FMC), a good group working against deregulation and media consolodation and like that. I would help, but I currently have every moment of my time scheduled until Monday night, so I don't think my e-mail should make promises my sanity can't keep.


Dear FMC volunteers

This is Kristin Thomson writing. I hope you're well and not swamped with
school/work etc. I'm emailing you today because the FMC is looking for
about twenty volunteers to help us with a quick but potentially vital
research/data project.

As many of you know, the FMC has been very involved in issues surrounding
radio deregulation in the past year, in particular, the impact of the 1996
Telecom Act on musicians and citizens. While we were aware that there's
really no way to "fix" commercial radio by re-imposing rules and ownership
caps on the radio industry, we hoped that our research could serve as a
cautionary tale for policymakers and FCC commissioners -- something they
could look at to predict the effects of further media deregulation.

Because of our work last year we've found ourselves in the middle of a
groundswell of organizing, activism and advocacy surrounding media
deregulation. Jenny Toomey has testified in front of the Senate Commerce
committee and at two of the FCC field hearings, and we have continued to try
to educate citizens and the press through various papers, fact sheets and
data analysis.

That's where you come in! Some of you may know that the FCC collects
comments from citizens via its website, which is a pretty cool feature. The
other nice thing about this FCC tool is that any citizen can *read* the
comments posted by others. You can check it out here:
This proceeding is 02-277

What we'd like to do is to review these comments state by state, and in an
Excel file note the comment maker's name, city/ST and "rate" their comment
on a scale of 1 to 3. At the end of this project, we'd have an accurate
tally sheet of folks who were against lifting the rules versus folks who
were in favor of fewer rules, sorted by state or taken as a whole. This
could be a very powerful data set that we can then present to policymakers
to show them just what the public record reflects, something that the FCC
has *not* done itself.

If you're interested in helping us with this project, let me know. All you
need is access to the Internet (DSL or faster will help), and a computer
with Excel and Adobe Acrobat Reader. I will send you an Excel template and
the list of states you'll need to check out. I'd predict that it might take
3 hours of your time but it depends on how many folks respond. We'll need to
have this project completed by April 30 so that we have time to prepare the
materials for upcoming Senate Commerce hearings, so I'm looking for folks
who have a few hours to spare in the next five days.

That's the gist of it. Let me know if you're interested! Thanks in advance!

Kristin Thomson
Organizer, Future of Music Coalition