Let’s find every community radio station

Community radio in the United States has proven difficult to define, and even more difficult to track.

In Canada and other nations, community radio occupies a particular place and classification in civic life. Community stations in the United States do not have the same parameters. For instance, U.S. community radio can have a variety of nonprofit licensees, signal strengths and dial placements. In addition, its volunteer base and geography may impact the lack of reliable data on community radio stateside.

We are at a crucial time. Media is an important facet of our democracy. Community radio — a synthesis of legacy media and the emergent trend of creator-driven content — gives us a look as few other media do at the pulse of a town or city. For lawmakers, journalists, historians, archivists and listeners, where community radio exists helps us understand our regions. Yet without information of what community radio is, we never get a true sense of its impact, diversity and reach. To most, community radio is simply invisible, in part because of these factors.

My life was transformed by community radio, and I am blessed to work in the field. After years of fruitless requests for numbers on the existence of community radio in the United States, I’m starting a project to find these stations.

Enter communityrad.io, a website combining old-fashioned research and crowdsourced wisdom to discover U.S. community radio.

For purposes of simplicity, this endeavor will document the stations that rely on volunteers for their programming and are community oriented. I’d love to help everyone understand the kinds of stations there are as well. You can submit the stations you know of with a basic set of information. You could add your own station, one you like, or those you have heard about.

As submissions come in, they will be vetted and confirmed. I’ll compile them and share them with you. Perhaps this effort can even expand to stations beyond the United States.

What direction this project takes will be up to you. Are there enough fields? Do you have suggestions or your own list to add to this? Would you like to donate time or money to support this effort? Tweet, Facebook or contact me and share what you’re thinking.

Thank you for your help!