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'Radio Pirates' Used Medium As An Organizing Tool

by Rachel Otwell
Dec 12, 2012 (All Things Considered) — The Federal Communications Commission recently passed rules that will mean more community groups across the nation can apply to be on FM airwaves in the coming year. The changes are lauded by those who say more diverse and local voices belong on the radio -- especially in urban settings where issues important to the community are often absent in mainstream media. In Springfield, Ill., Mbanna Kantako has been broadcasting illegally for 25 years. He's a pioneer of a movement that led to the pirating of radio channels across the nation. Experts say it was this movement that led to changes in the way small stations will be licensed by the FCC.

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