WordPress developers, publishers and concerned tech people can serve the country by helping community radio better illuminate conversations in diverse regions and create relationships that sustain democracy.
Community radio is part of the world’s most widespread medium — radio — and its content is authentic, local and inspired by volunteers with roots in the cities and towns they serve. These stations have few financial resources, but are rich in how they connect people.
An hour, a day or more once a month or week of your time remotely, or donating services for free or at a reduced cost, will help these broadcasters amplify a vision for lasting understanding, dialogue and localism. Your contribution is tax-deductible, as community radio is all non-profit, 501(c)(3), educational broadcasting. If you’re a journalist or publisher, these stations have incredible contacts in towns you might not even know. They’re also generating hours and hours of interviews and news content that represents a partnership for you at little to no cost.
How can a person or organization help community radio? Here are just a few ways:
- Build tools or refine existing web tools for economically slim community radio.
- Give them guidance on how to make something more readable, responsive, search-friendly, etc.
- Teach people to use WordPress or simplifying the onboarding process for volunteer station help.
- Help them make podcasting and pushing out audio content even simpler than what’s out there.
- Recommend plugins and other resources to save them time to focus on their communities.
- Partner with stations in your coverage of issues you’re following.
- Syndicate your content via their websites to draw interest.
- Doing a radio/web/video collaboration of coverage.
- Train volunteer reporters in best practices and journalism.
- Show community radio how you learned to be more adaptive in the online age.
- Donate consulting, server space, services, bandwidth, etc.
- Give a large donation to help community radio stations together nationally to create news, programming and online engagement.
- Give your staff a paid day to go in and revitalize community radio.
- Consider trades for bigger investments (i.e. $50,000 worth of product for a tax deduction and/or underwriting acknowledgment).
- Talk with your own partners and team up to support rural America’s democracy and institutions.
Since 1978, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters has supported community radio. We are happy to connect you to stations and projects. Please consider us your allies for a better America.
Ernesto Aguilar, Membership Program Director, NFCB