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Academic Archives

This section archives relevant research on low power radio, media ownership, and other issues dear to Prometheus. Also check out the Recommended Reading page for more great articles!

November 14, 2014

New book examines Prometheus activists and the fight for Low Power FM

Low Power to the People: Pirates, Protest, and Politics in FM Radio Activism

An important study on the relationship between media consolidation and media ownership by women and people of color. Read the Executive Summary below or download the entire study here.

Off The Dial: Female and Minority Radio Station Ownership in the United States
How FCC Policy and Media Consolidation Diminished Diversity on the Public Airwaves
Review of Current Status and Comparative Statistical Analysis

S. Derek Turner, Research Director, Free Press
June 2007

Former WORT news director and LPFM station founder Margo Robbs' communications thesis on the LPFM movement and its impact on media policy. Download the full text here or read the abstract below.

Christina Dunbar-Hester spent about 2 years skulking around Prometheus and making herself useful around the office and the barnraisings.  She followed us like an anthropologist and examined our quaint customs and practices as we attempted to demystify technology and the political system that makes the laws around who could own radio stations. A great snapshot of what we were trying to do and how we were trying to do it.

Low Power To The People

This is a chapter from NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg's fantastic book Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media, featuring the LPFM struggle and the construction of Radio Free Nashville. If you like this chapter, you will love the book which you can buy on our website here.

Philip Goetz did an excellent survey of LPFM applicants in 2006 for UT Austin masters thesis that gives good insights into who is operating stations, how they make programming decisions and the general state of LPFM. This is some of the first quantitative work we know that has been done studying the LPFM phenomenon. Full text attached here.


Written in 2004, this is the most complete early history of Prometheus Radio Project, from its origins in the pirate radio movement through the role of Prometheus in launching the LPFM radio service, to the historic media ownership court case.  Kate Coyer & Pete Tridish published this in News Incorporated, Elliot Cohen (ed), 2005.  Download this article here.

A Can of Worms: Pirate Radio as Public Intransigence on the Public Airwaves

John Anderson of shares his masters thesis, the most comprehensive examination of legal arguments and court cases involving unlicensed radio stations. The entire documet is attached as a PDF here, or see the Table of Contents below.