What IS Community Radio?
Learn more about the impact of community radio, our unique approach to building stations, and the incredible diversity of community radio stations on the air today.
Why do we believe in community radio?
Community radio is …
Transformative. Community radio stations have organized workers to win better wages, cleaned up toxic waste, and registered voters.
Accessible. 90% of Americans listen to radio at least once a week. Radio can reach those who don’t speak English or don’t have Internet.
Affordable. For listeners, broadcast radio is free, and for producers, community radio is much less expensive than commercial media.
Local. Community radio strengthens community ties and builds civic engagement. Community radio covers news and events that don’t get enough airtime at bigger outlets, such as local elections, school board meetings, and neighborhood arts festivals.
Participatory. Community members participate in the programming and governance of a community radio station, ensuring that the station is relevant and meets local needs.
Other community Radio Stations: Community Station Profiles
Want to learn more about community radio stations around the country? We have highlighted some of the best community radio has to offer here.
in Opelousas, Louisiana is run by the Southern Development Foundation, an African-American community development organization which sponsors agriculture programs, leases land to farmers, and preserves the region’s heritage of zydeco music on the airwaves. The station also broadcasts public affairs shows religious programming and hiphop. Read the New York Times article
about our friends at KOCZ!
near Maui Hawaii was started as a youth program at the Pa’ia Youth & Cultural Center. Youth have their own programs, airing music and essays. The station helps kids build confidence and meaningful relationships in the studio.
, run by Davis Community Media in California, features a call in show with a teenaged DJ. The only area broadcasters of local election information, gardening tips for the Davis area, and programs geared to schoolchildren.
WUVS 103.7 LPFM
in Muskegon, Michigan on a Thursday evening and you’ll hear a segment with a Muskegon County judge, a public service announcement from nearby Muskegon Heights Public Schools, and a music and talk show with WUVS founder and general manager Paul Billings, known on-air as PA.
WRFR in Maine:
Broadcasts everything from science fiction stories to indie music. WRFR
is much beloved by its Maine community. The station participates in Rockland’s yearly Lobster festival and keeps its listeners informed of other events, too. Run by the Penobscot School.
Its 100+ volunteers come from many walks of life and are all over the political spectrum. Conceived as a music station, WSCA
broadcasts tons of public affairs programming to cater to its Portland, New Hampshire community. Considering its different programmers, the shows vary widely, including “All Things Gay” and “Don’t Dis My Ability.”
is a Black cultural heritage station near Sacramento, CA. The station
broadcasts an award-winning environmental radio show by Black Americans for Black Americans. KDEE-LP also produces local talk shows and is expanding its vision to include other minority groups.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, WQRZ
provided the only source of emergency information in Hancock County, Mississippi, after 125 mph winds destroyed bridges and other infrastructure. WQRZ
helped its community through Katrina and Gustav, and now broadcasts not just emergency info but music, a public affairs call-in show and more. WQRZ
is run by the Hancock County Amateur Radio Association.
has triumphed over a lot, including getting kicked out of City Hall. It’s a hub of community uplift, featuring small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. KSAPis run by Port Arthur, Texas’s Truth & Education Corporation.
is the voice of Oregon’s Rogue Valley. It’s moving and transitioning to full power so more people can hear that voice. Along with a program produced by schoolkids, the station airs a program with 60s and 70s music entwined with stories from the Vietnam war and many more. The station is run by the South Oregon Multi-Cultural Association.
: Run out of a local high school, the station carries a lot of programming created by students. It’s a teaching tool for students interested in telecommunications. KDogs radio
is also part of a student/teacher-run business that tracks invasive weeds. Run by Townsend’s K12 School District.
: In Cape May, NJ. Combining an eclectic blend of jazz with community-generated special programs, the volunteer-run station, WCFA-LP 101.5 FM broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in a 10-mile-plus radius from the Wildwood Crest water tower. WCFA-LP went live in the fall of 2006.
WOZO-LP 103.9 FM Knoxville, TN–Knoxville Community Radio–The People’s Radio –We are a community-based, non-commercial, local low-power FM (LPFM) radio station operating out of The Birdhouse (Fourth & Gill’s community center) near downtown Knoxville, with our antenna located across Lake Loudon in beautiful East Tennessee.