True, you can send your message across the world through streaming media but there are many benefits to having an on air presence, in particular an LPFM.
By its nature and by law an LPFM must be controlled by a local non profit organization. This assures the station will focus on local issues and have a presence in the community. An LPFM station must also adhere to community standards unlike a streaming station. This assures the content produced and broadcast will not be offensive to the community.
Radio is accessible to all demographics. On average there are 5 radios per household in the US. An internet connection, computer or smartphone are not required to receive a radio station. The low cost and simplicity of using a radio assure that broadcasts will be available to everyone in the community. Everyone is included in participation, not only those that have internet or cable!
Nothing compares to having an on air presence where the motive is to promote and unite the community. This endeavor is intended to be a local focus point to promote the community through education, information and entertainment.
An LPFM station is not allowed to have advertisements so there is no pressure to appease commercial interests or improve the corporate bottom line. No repetitive music playlists, lack of community involvement, or interest. The community is free to do what it wants to do with this small but important sliver of the public's airwaves.
Many student run college radio stations have been sold off to large non local public broadcasting organizations. This trend is due to the college board selling these stations for the one time monetary gain these stations bring to these colleges. Most of the student run stations that are now exclusively streaming on the internet are not able to achieve the same amount of listenership they had prior to their station being sold. This sheds some light on the power and interest radio has that is not achieved by streaming alone.
Radio is always available. Internet streaming is great and provides interference free streams when it is available. In times when the internet is not available, for instance during a power outage or natural disaster, the radio will still be an available method to disseminate information to the local population.
Even though we feel an on air presence in vitally important, Skylands Radio Cooperative intends to also be available through an internet stream. This will make our broadcast available to all local residents through the LPFM transmitter as well as to anyone in the world through the internet. This will also enable users to access previously recorded programming and to access it anywhere where an internet connection is available.