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NPR  

Timothy M. Crain

NPR, formerly known as National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded nonprofit membership media group. Its primary focus involves the production, syndication, and distribution of news and cultural programming to US public radio stations. Individual NPR stations, however, may broadcast programming from various sources that have no formal affiliation with NPR. NPR also manages the Public Radio Satellite System, which distributes NPR programs and other programming from independent producers and networks.

In 1967 congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting Act established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to provide federal financial support of local radio and television stations, nationally produced programming, and interrelated services. As a result, National Public Radio (NPR) was created in February 1970 to replace the National Educational Radio Network. NPR aired its first broadcast in April 1971 and soon launched national program services. Until 1977 NPR was primarily a production and distribution organization. When it merged with the Association of Public Radio Stations, however, it began to provide affiliated stations with training, promotion, and management, and to lobby Congress for funding. In ...

Article

Laura B. Schnitker

A type of radio station operating on a college or university campus that is run by students. Although such stations did not achieve prominent status in the music industry until the late 1970s, when they became stages for up-and-coming artists, college radio is one of the older types of broadcasting in the United States.

The first educational station in the United States was probably WHA at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which started broadcasting in 1917 as 9XM. After World War I, about 200 broadcasting licenses were granted to educational institutions, which primarily used them as experimental and technical training facilities. Those that later became known as college radio were the stations run mainly by and for students. By this definition, some credit Haverford University with having the first college station because its students built a station in 1923 and by 1926 were broadcasting with nearly 1000 watts.

The rise of national networks in commercial broadcasting, increased competition for frequencies, and the high cost of operations resulted in the loss of all but the most dedicated college stations; by ...

Article

Gillian Turnbull

Radio that is owned by a private, nonprofit organization and publicly funded, usually by donations from citizens or a local community. Community radio differs from public radio, which is government-supported; college radio, which is university-supported; and commercial radio, which is privately owned. As noted by Howley, community radio should not be conflated with alternative media, which strives to overturn or alter prevailing media systems. Rather, community radio is participatory in nature, drawing involvement from the station’s stakeholders and listeners but maintaining the structures and practices common to public and commercial stations. It is assumed that there is a high degree of accountability to listeners, who predominantly run and fund the station. The often limited amount of advertising time allotted to community stations dictates the need for external fundraising through pledge drives, grants, and donations. Community radio can serve a specific geographical region or a particular demographic or special-interest group. Programming includes music that is not mainstream (for example, independent artists or more obscure genres) and local-interest news and shows. It purports to represent marginalized or social and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in commercially oriented media. In its programming, the aim of community radio is to provide analysis of current events and culture that is otherwise absent from the public and corporate arms of broadcasting....