For the last few years at this time of the year, we’ve departed from our usual coverage of legal and policy issues to talk about something else – broadcasters giving back.  With Giving Tuesday upon us, we wanted to urge our readers to consider ways to give back to our industry.  I guess it is now a tradition, so we’ll do it again this year and suggest some of the many ways we can express our thanks to the industry in which we work.  Broadcasters have long been known for their service to their communities, service benefitting individuals and groups across the country.  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 associated with the industry who have fallen on hard times, and to those who need assistance in obtaining education and training to enter the media industry we so appreciate.  We should all be thankful for jobs, friends, and good fortune. But we should also ourselves give back where possible.  In the broadcast industry itself, there are many groups doing good work.

One that 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 FCBA–The Tech Bar, which is 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.  The NAB too has a foundation for training the future leaders in the industry – the NAB Leadership Foundation and its Future Leaders Fund, financing programs including the Broadcast Leadership Training Program that has trained many broadcasters who have gone on to leadership positions in the industry.

I spend significant time on the road, visiting with broadcasters and others in the media industry at state and national conventions.  Many state broadcast associations run charitable foundations – often using the funds they receive to provide internships and scholarships to students interested in working in the broadcast industry.  What could be a better investment than training the next generation of broadcasters to be prepared to provide the service that the public will demand tomorrow and into the future? Contact your local state broadcast association for more information about these foundations.

Preserving the history and traditions of the broadcast industry and the indispensable part it plays in the nation’s culture is another route for charitable giving.  The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation supports the broadcast history collection at the University of Maryland – originally the Broadcast Pioneer’s collection that was hosted at the NAB.  Other broadcast museums and collections, both national and local, can be found across the country.  Look for opportunities to donate money and history to these groups.

In addition to the broadcast world, I often write on this Blog about music, copyright, and other entertainment and media law issues.  While I am not as familiar with all the charitable organizations in the broader industry as I am with those in broadcasting, there are many.  For those readers in the broader media industry, 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.  Do your own diligence to see what these organizations do, and which can best meet your giving goals.  But as we look forward to this holiday season, all of us should consider how we can give back – whether it is monetarily, through service or in other ways. Enjoy this holiday season – and remember ways to help others in our industry as you do.