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SXSW 2019

Pirate Radio 3.0

Radio pirates were once defined as unlicensed broadcasters hijacking the airwaves to bring local, independently curated, and often subversive content to their communities. With digital technology eroding the relevance of terrestrial broadcasting at large, today’s pirates are DIY broadcasters utilizing both low power FM licenses and streaming protocols to subvert both commercial terrestrial radio and algorithmic streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, making an end run around self-appointed tastemakers. This panel will focus on how live Internet and low-power FM radio is being used to incubate local cultural programming for community building and activism, unite local and global communities, advance civic dialog, and foster artistic expression.

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  1. What role does DIY play in the important ecosystem that exists between local radio, press, record distribution and promotion?
  2. How can grassroots community organizers use a community radio platform for expression, advocacy and dialogue?
  3. How do independent radio stations build an audience to compete with commercial stations and breakthrough to musicians, artists and community?



Tom Tenney, Executive Director, Radio Free Brooklyn

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Media & Journalism
  • Level: Beginner
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