This has obviously been a most unusual year.  So, on this Giving Tuesday (and it is also near my birthday, perhaps contributing to the desire to do something different), I thought that I would depart from our usual coverage of legal and policy issues and talk about something else – broadcasters giving back.  Broadcasters have long been known for their service to their communities, service celebrated in a statement by soon-to-depart Chairman Pai and in a tweet from Commissioner Rosenworcel (a potential replacement for the chairman in a new administration) on commercial radio’s 100th anniversary last month.  And while broadcasters are always giving back to their communities and should be celebrated for that, those of us who make our living in some aspect of the industry should recognize that there are plenty of ways for us to give back as well – both to those in the industry who are not as fortunate as some of the familiar success stories we hear, and to those who need assistance in obtaining education and training to enter the media industry we so appreciate.

During this year, those of us who have remained healthy and employed are truly blessed. While it may be a cliché, you don’t realize what you have until it is gone. We should all be thankful for jobs, friends and good fortune, and I urge readers who can to give back where possible.  In the broadcast industry itself, there are many groups doing good work. One in particular that I think bears mention is the Broadcasters Foundation of America, which provides relief to broadcasters and former broadcasters who have, for one reason or another, fallen on hard times – whether that be for health reasons or because of some other disaster that has affected their lives. The Foundation deserves your consideration. More about the Foundation and its service, and ways to contribute, can be found at their website, here.

For readers of the Blog in the Washington DC area, including the many DC lawyers who read our articles, the Federal Communications Bar Association, the association of lawyers who work with communications companies, has its own Foundation that is active in helping in the DC community, including in giving scholarships to local students.  More on the FCBA foundation, here.

In a normal year, I spend significant time on the road, visiting with broadcasters and others in the media industry at state and national conventions.  While this year has been different, we should still remember that many state broadcast associations run charitable foundations – often using the funds that they receive to provide for internships and scholarships to students interested in the broadcast industry. Because of the cancellation of many broadcast conventions this year, many of these foundations have not been able to conduct their auctions, raffles and other fundraisers that help fund these organizations.  What could be a better investment than training the next generation of broadcasters to be prepared to provide the service from radio and TV that the public will demand tomorrow and into the future? Contact your local state broadcast association for more information about these foundations.

In addition to the broadcast world, I often write on this Blog about music issues.  While I am not as familiar with all the charitable organizations in the music industry as I am with those in broadcasting, there are many – and there are many in need this year with much of the industry, especially live events, upended by the pandemic.  For those music industry readers, do your own research and find one of the many charitable organizations that benefit different groups in the industry, and consider them in your end-of-year giving.

These are but a few of the many ways for broadcasters and those in the broader media industry to contribute to their communities.  As we begin to gear up for what will no doubt be a different holiday season, all of us should consider how we can give back – whether it is monetarily, though service, or in other ways. Enjoy your success and remember others as well.