Why You Should Support Local Community Radio Stations

Why You Should Support Local Community Radio Stations

Radio has been in use since the 1920s, but in the US, it has largely been controlled by commercial broadcasters with corporate sponsorship. After World War II, however, the introduction of FM radio made a greater variety of stations possible, including local and non-commercial community radio stations. During this era, newsman Lewis Hill collaborated with West Coast radio professionals, pacifists, and intellectuals to create “listener-sponsored” radio stations that would allow greater freedom in both music choices and talk programs.

Today, these stations serve the communities in which they are situated, offering new music from local and international artists rather than overplayed songs by mainstream superstars. They also offer local news and discussions of both local and national issues. Listeners should support them whenever possible, because they also provide the following:  

  • An equitable and versatile medium. Radios are inexpensive to purchase and use: they don’t require a high-speed internet connection and typically don’t use much electricity. This is important in underinvested, rural, and Indigenous communities, where internet-ready devices and connectivity are less accessible. Consequently, many people rely on radio for social, cultural, and political tethers to the larger world. Some radios can even run on a variety of energy sources and become vital tools during a natural disaster. 
  • A way to inform, connect, and engage communities. Community radio can engage its listeners in ways TV, commercial radio, and social media cannot. Programs often include informed discussions of specific local news, politics, and cultural matters, keeping residents abreast of the issues that most impact themselves and their neighbors. Listeners can also call in and express their views, effectively interacting with radio hosts and their communities with the intimacy of (quite literally) a distinct human voice. 
  • Exposure to new and unique forms of music. One study indicates that 24% of Americans aged 12 and up feel it is “very important” to stay up to date with new music, which is also good for your brain. Yet this is difficult to do when commercial radio stations play the same popular songs over and over. For listeners who may not be well served by satellite radio, music apps, or social media, independent radio offers a cost-effective and engaging way to discover new artists, songs, and styles of music.

Support 90.1 KPFT Radio

KPFT 90.1 FM is a listener-sponsored, non-commercial community radio station serving the Houston, Texas metro area. It is owned by Pacifica Foundation, the organization Lewis Hill founded, and first began broadcasting in 1970. Today, people around the world tune in to KPFT for its music by local artists as well as informative news and talk. KPFT also supports local nonprofits like Main Street Crossing in the community music industry.

KPFT relies on donor support for nearly 100% of its budget. Those dollars provide the means to give you memorable music and thoughtful stories. Your gift to KPFT resonates throughout our community.

Contact our Membership Department at (713) 526-4000 x314 to make a donation or pledge online anytime by clicking here. Your pledge of support is always tax deductible. Give today!