Locally owned and controlled media is a rarity these days. For the past 40 to 50 years, the trend has been for national (and international) corporations to buy up small town newspapers, TV, and radio stations. The reality is that six corporations control 90% of the media outlets in America. They are AT&T, CBS, Comcast, Disney, News Corp (Fox), and Viacom. The Vidette Messenger, since 1927 the local newspaper, was purchased by HowardPublications in 1994 and later by Lee Enterprises in 2002. Lee Enterprises publishes 77 daily newspapers in 26 states and is headquartered in Davenport, Iowa.
The local commercial radio station, Indiana 105, WLJE, had been owned by Porter County Broadcasting, but was sold to the Adams Radio Group in 2014. The Adams Radio Group owns 21 radio stations in Indiana, New Mexico, Delaware, Maryland, and Florida. It is based in Lakeville, Minnesota.
The result of these media consolidations is loss of local control and homogenization of content.
In 2000, Congress passed legislation creating 1000 possible low power FM (LPFM) radio stations to make possible a return to some sort of locally owned media. All LPFM licenses had to be owned by long-standing, local not-for-profit organizations. Project Neighbors applied for an LPFM license and WVLP 103.1 FM began broadcasting 24 hours per day, seven days per week in October, 2002.
All programing on WVLP is done by community volunteers. Here is a sampling of the programming:
- The Information Playground: Talk format centered around safety on the internet.
- Democracy Now: Sydicated alternative national and international news.
- ABC at Noon: Based on the Agenda for a Better Community, reporting on Valparaiso City Council activity and local politics.
- Art on the Air: Features local artists: graphic, dramatic, music.
- HouseRap: All things related to construction and remodeling.
- Listen Up! The Welcome Project: Interviews of people living on the margin.
- Maters of Substance: Issues related of addiction.
- Dad Rock Radio: Father and son sharing their generation’s music.
- Coach’s Corner: Sports talk.
- The Blues Drive: Blues music.
- Jazz: Jazz.
This is just a sampling of the local, volunteer produced shows on WVLP.
Anyone from the community with a particular expertise or passion may apply to do a show. Contact WVLP at firstname.lastname@example.org.